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News Releases


Modeling our climate future; WHOI to lead ocean current research

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) senior scientist of physical oceanography, Dr. Young-Oh Kwon, and WHOI adjunct scientist, Dr. Claude Frankignoul, have received a new research grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections (MAPP) Program, funding their research project focusing on western boundary ocean currents and their correspondence with…

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Study Finds Growing Potential for Toxic Algal Blooms in the Alaskan Arctic

A warming Arctic presents potential new threats to humans and marine wildlife in the fast-changing region   Changes in the northern Alaskan Arctic ocean environment have reached a point at which a previously rare phenomenon—widespread blooms of toxic algae—could become more commonplace, potentially threatening a wide range of marine wildlife and the people who rely…

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Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and WHOI enter partnership to map the world’s ocean

seabed whoi

Woods Hole, Mass. — The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in recognition of both organisations’ work to advance our understanding of ocean bathymetry. This will complement the goals of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Seabed 2030 is a…

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WHOI collaborates to bring video installation to United Nation Headquarters

Vertical Migration by artist group SUPERFLEX will be projected onto the facade of the United Nations’ 505-foot tower in New York, on 21-24 September 2021, coinciding with the 76th General Assembly and Climate Week NYC. The projection seeks to draw global attention to the critical role of the ocean in global climate, a primary focus…

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Flipping the “genetic paradox of invasions”

A new study led by Carolyn Tepolt, an associate scientist of biology at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is investigating the adaptive mechanisms of the green crab along the west coast of North America, where it has shown extensive dispersal in the last decade despite minimal genetic diversity.

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A recent reversal in the response of western Greenland’s ice caps to climate change

New collaborative research from the WHOI and five partner institutions published today in Nature Geoscience, reveals that during past periods glaciers and ice caps in coastal west Greenland experienced climate conditions much different than the interior of Greenland. Over the past 2,000 years, these ice caps endured periods of warming during which they grew larger…

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Sunlight can break down marine plastic into tens of thousands of chemical compounds, study finds

Sunlight was once thought to only fragment plastics in the marine environment into smaller particles that chemically resemble the original material and persist forever. However, scientists more recently have learned that sunlight also chemically transforms plastic into a suite of polymer-, dissolved-, and gas-phased products. Now, a new study finds that this chemical reaction can…

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Some coral reefs are keeping pace with ocean warming

Some coral communities are becoming more heat tolerant as ocean temperatures rise, offering hope for corals in a changing climate. After a series of marine heatwaves hit the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) in the central Pacific Ocean, a new study finds the impact of heat stress on the coral communities lessened over time.

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Surviving extreme heat

A team led by Anne Cohen, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, received $1.75M in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how coral reefs survive extreme heat events caused by climate change. The multidisciplinary project taps into expertise across four WHOI departments to uncover the oceanographic and biological processes that enable…

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Project funded to digitize and mine weather data from whaling logbooks

An ongoing collaborative effort by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD), and Providence Public Library (PPL), has received a grant from FM Global. The project is investigating the role of historical weather data in current climate change research, and the increasingly urgent issues surrounding it.

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WHOI advancing a seaweed solution to develop new kelp strains

A leader in ocean science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is embarking on a study of how new seaweed strains could further enhance the burgeoning seaweed industry and offer solutions to some of the world’s pressing challenges. This research is funded in part by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with support from the Bezos Earth Fund.

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What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

A new study co-led by WHOI postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson looks closely at the changes occurring in both coral reef and microbial communities near Bocas del Toro during sudden hypoxic events, which occur when there is little to no oxygen in a given area of water.

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Review Evaluates the Evidence for an Intensifying Indian Ocean Water Cycle

Report Calls for Better Integration of Observations, Models, and Paleo Proxies The Indian Ocean has been warming much more than other ocean basins over the last 50-60 years. While temperature changes basin-wide can be unequivocally attributed to human-induced climate change, it is difficult to assess whether contemporary heat and freshwater changes in the Indian Ocean…

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Study Examines the Role of Deep-Sea Microbial Predators at Hydrothermal Vents

Researchers Emphasize the Need for Baseline Information of Microbial Food Webs The hydrothermal vent fluids from the Gorda Ridge spreading center in the northeast Pacific Ocean create a biological hub of activity in the deep sea. There, in the dark ocean, a unique food web thrives not on photosynthesis but rather on chemical energy from…

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Shark Week 2021: Sharks and the Ocean’s Twilight Zone

How large marine predators use the twilight zone to thrive, and survive Woods Hole, MA (July 11, 2021) — Sharks are some of the largest fish in the ocean, known as apex predators, that steal the show in films, television and of course – shark week! For decades, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has studied…

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Study Shows that Lobsters Can Detect Sound

A new study demonstrates that lobsters can detect low-frequency sound and suggests that anthropogenic noise could affect lobsters. The study comes out at a time when the construction of more offshore wind farms, with their associated underwater pile driving noise, is being considered in New England.

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Underwater robot offers new insight into mid-ocean “twilight zone”

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Woods Hole, MA (June 16, 2021) — An innovative underwater robot known as Mesobot is providing researchers with deeper insight into the vast mid-ocean region known as the “twilight zone.” Capable of tracking and recording high-resolution images of slow-moving and fragile zooplankton, gelatinous animals, and particles, Mesobot greatly expands scientists’ ability to observe creatures in…

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