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News Releases


WHOI Announces 2012 Ocean Science Journalism Fellows

journal fellow 2012

Ten writers and multimedia science journalists from the U.S., Canada, and Poland have been selected to participate in the competitive Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship program. The program takes place September 9-14, 2012, in Woods Hole, Mass., on Cape Cod.

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Pressure Testing of New Alvin Personnel Sphere Successful

The human-occupied submersible Alvin reached a major milestone in its upgrade project on June 22 when its new titanium personnel sphere was successfully pressure tested, reports the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the vehicle’s operator. The sphere, which holds a pilot and two scientists, is designed to descend to 6500 meters (21,000 feet or 4…

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Melting Sea Ice Threatens Emperor Penguins, Study Finds

At nearly four feet tall, the Emperor penguin is Antarctica’s largest sea bird—and thanks to films like “March of the Penguins” and “Happy Feet,” it’s also one of the continent’s most iconic. If global temperatures continue to rise, however, the Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, in East Antarctica may eventually disappear, according to a new…

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Scientists Discover Huge Phytoplankton Bloom in Ice Covered Waters

A team of researchers, including scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice. The amount of phytoplankton growing in this under-ice bloom was four times…

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A ‘B-12 Shot’ for Marine Algae?

Studying algal cultures and seawater samples from the Southern Ocean off Antarctica, a team of researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the J. Craig Venter Institute have revealed a key cog in the biochemical machinery that allows marine algae at the base of the oceanic food chain to thrive. They have discovered a…

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Climate Change Led to Collapse of Ancient Indus Civilization, Study Finds

A new study combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago. The study also resolves a long-standing debate over the source and fate of the Sarasvati, the sacred river of Hindu…

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Dr. Karen Lloyd Receives WHOI’s Holger W. Jannasch Visiting Scholar Award

Karen Lloyd

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has chosen Karen Lloyd, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, as the recipient of the Holger W. Jannasch Visiting Scholar Award. The award recognizes Lloyd for her “outstanding contributions to the field of marine microbiology,” as well as her demonstrated…

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New Study by WHOI Scientists Provides Baseline Measurements of Carbon in Arctic Ocean

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have conducted a new study to measure levels of carbon at various depths in the Arctic Ocean. The study, recently published in the journal Biogeosciences, provides data that will help researchers better understand the Arctic Ocean’s carbon cycle—the pathway through which carbon enters and is used by…

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WHOI to Host Public Forum on Climate Change and Global Water Supplies

Severe droughts, floods, and storms are now a routine part of our nation’s weather forecast. Remarkably hot and dry weather in 2011 caused droughts in Texas, the Plains states and the West. The year also brought historic flooding along the Mississippi River. In the Northeast, an unusually warm winter meant little snowfall and bad news…

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Pacific Islands May Become Refuge for Corals in a Warming Climate, Study Finds

Scientists have predicted that ocean temperatures will rise in the equatorial Pacific by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. But a new study shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a surprising way and mitigate the warming near a handful of islands right on the equator.…

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Study Amplifies Understanding of Hearing in Baleen Whales

For decades, scientists have known that dolphins and other toothed whales have specialized fats associated with their jaws, which efficiently convey sound waves from the ocean to their ears. But until now, the hearing systems of their toothless grazing cousins, baleen whales, remained a mystery, largely because specimens to study are hard to get.  Now,…

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Sampling the Pacific for Signs of Fukushima

An international research team is reporting the results of a research cruise they organized to study the amount, spread, and impacts of radiation released into the ocean from the tsunami-crippled reactors in Fukushima, Japan. The group of 17 researchers and technicians from eight institutions spent 15 days at sea in June 2011 studying ocean currents,…

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WHOI Team Uses Advanced Imaging Data to Bring a New View of Titanic to the World

Newly released images of the Titanic wreck site provide the first unrestricted view of the world’s most notable maritime heritage site. These new images add to the already unprecedented collection of images published in the April 2012 issue of National Geographic Magazine. For the first time the public as well as marine archaeologists can view…

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Study of Patagonian Glacier’s Rise and Fall Adds to Understanding of Global Climate Change

Increased global temperatures are frequently viewed as the cause of glacial melt, but a new study of Patagonia’s Gualas Glacier highlights the role of precipitation in the glacier’s fluctuation. The study, conducted by Sbastien Bertrand of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and his colleagues, compares past temperature and rainfall data with sediment records of…

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Study Links Major Shifts in Indian Civilizations to Past Changes in Monsoon

A fundamental shift in the Indian monsoon has occurred over the last few millennia, from a steady humid monsoon that favored lush vegetation to extended periods of drought, reports a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The study has implications for our understanding of the monsoon’s response to climate…

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Special Fukushima Session at 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting

The March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radioactivity releases from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants resulted in the largest accidental release of radiation to the ocean in history. In a special session on Tuesday, Feb. 21, during the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, researchers will present early results from several…

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WHOI Receives $1Million from Keck Foundation for First Real-Time Seafloor Earthquake Observatory at Cascadia Fault

One of the most dangerous faults in North America is the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia fault – an offshore, subduction zone fault capable of producing a magnitude 9 earthquake that would damage Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Victoria, British Columbia, and generate a large tsunami. Yet there are currently no instruments installed offshore, directly above the fault,…

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WHOI’s John Waterbury receives NAS Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal

John Waterbury

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has awarded John Waterbury, scientist emeritus in the Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the 2012 Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal. Waterbury is among 17 individuals honored by NAS this year in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical,…

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