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News Releases


Linking Climate Change Across Time Scales

What do month-to-month changes in temperature have to do with century-to-century changes in temperature?  At first it might seem like not much.  But in a report published in this week’s Nature, scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found some unifying themes in the global variations of temperature at time scales ranging from…

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

ImageSource, a new database of images and illustrations representing years of ocean exploration, is now available to the public. Combining a number of visual libraries and collections at the Institution, WHOI ImageSource was created to provide the interested public with a source for their oceanographic visual needs.  ImageSource currently has more than 36,000 images accessible…

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Walrus Calves Stranded by Melting Sea Ice

Scientists have reported an unprecedented number of unaccompanied and possibly abandoned walrus calves in the Arctic Ocean, where melting sea ice may be forcing mothers to abandon their pups as the mothers follow the rapidly retreating ice edge north. Nine lone walrus calves were reported swimming in deep waters far from shore by researchers aboard…

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Stamina in the Stream

Despite a ship strike that caused significant damage and harsh winter conditions, a surface buoy and mooring have survived a record six months in the Gulf Stream, recording both atmospheric and ocean conditions.  The mooring was deployed in October 2005 and was serviced during a recent cruise by WHOI scientists and technicians aboard research vessel…

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Gliding from Greenland to Spain

In May, the Spray glider will attempt to set yet another record when it will begin the roughly 2,500-mile journey from the tip of Greenland to the coast of Spain to help scientists better understand the role of oceans in global climate. The autonomous underwater vehicle or AUV moves slowly through the Atlantic Ocean collecting…

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Marine CSI: Solving the Mysteries of Marine Mammal Strandings

A 12-foot Cuviers beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) found stranded on a beach south of Boston in early April is a rare event in New England, although strandings of pilot whales and other marine mammals are not unusual. In collaboration with the New England Aquarium,  the beaked whale was brought to the new necropsy/CT scanning facility…

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Jenkins Named Head of National Ocean Sciences Carbon Dating Lab

Physicist Bill Jenkins, a senior scientist and 32-year veteran of the WHOI Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, has been named the new director of the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (NOSAMS) facility. Jenkins is the third director of the facility, established in 1989 on WHOI’s Quissett Campus to provide radiocarbon analysis (principally carbon-14…

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The Last Voyage?

The Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Alvin finished a five-month overhaul in Woods Hole in early April and returned to sea April 19 aboard support vessel Atlantis for what may be Alvin’s last voyage.  The three-person sub, with more than 4,100 dives to depths of 4,500 meters (14,764 feet) to date, is scheduled to be replaced…

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WHOI Scientist Selected As Leopold Leadership Fellow

Christ Reddy

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientist Christopher Reddy has been chosen one of 18 academic environmental scientists from throughout the U.S. and Canada as a 2006 Leopold Leadership Fellow. The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program provides scientists with intensive communications and leadership training to enhance their ability to communicate effectively with non-scientific audiences, especially policy makers,…

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Daily Dispatches from Hawaii

Several hundred WHOI scientists and engineers will join the nearly 3,500 researchers at  Ocean Sciences 2006, jointly sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society, and the Estuarine Research Federation. Starting February 20, visit the link below for daily dispatches from Honolulu.  Among the topics WHOI scientists and…

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How Does Iron Get Into the Ocean?

Marine scientists and engineers have created a new tool to track an essential ingredient on which life in the oceans depends: iron.  The instrument, deployed on a buoy off Bermuda for four months in 2004, collected wind-blown particles in the open ocean over time, indicating that two large African dust storms in the summer transported…

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A View from Down Under

While it may be summer in the southern hemisphere, it is still very cold on Antarctica, where WHOI researchers are conducting a number of projects on and around the continent.  This month, biologists are working in the waters near Palmer Station, scuba diving and using towed instruments to study salps, a gelatinous creature that may…

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New Instrumentation May Help Scientists Understand Earthquake Mechanics

Hundreds of earthquakes occur every day around the world, most of them underneath the oceans, while the vast majority of instruments used to record earthquakes are on land.  As a result, advances in understanding basic earthquake processes have been limited by the available data. Scientists are improving this situation by developing an instrument that records…

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Monitoring Baleen Whales with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Like robots of the deep, autonomous underwater vehicles, or AUVs, are growing in number and use in the oceans to perform scientific missions ranging from monitoring climate change to mapping the deep sea floor and surveying ancient shipwrecks.  Another use for these versatile platforms has now been found: monitoring the lives of whales. Marine mammals…

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Deep Submergence Vehicle Alvin Overhaul in Action

Watch the latest progress on the overhaul of the three-person submersible Alvin at http://alvincam.whoi.edu/view/view.shtml. The sub has been ashore in Woods Hole, Massachusetts undergoing overhaul since November and will be ready for sea trials from the research vessel Atlantis in April.  Alvin dives in 2006 are scheduled in the North Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, in…

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Warmer than a Hot Tub: Atlantic Ocean Temperatures Much Higher in the Past

Scientists have found evidence that tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures may have once reached 107°F (42°C)—about 25°F (14°C) higher than ocean temperatures today and warmer than a hot tub. The surprisingly high ocean temperatures, the warmest estimates to date for any place on Earth, occurred millions of year ago when carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere…

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Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Maps Ancient Greek Shipwreck

Additional contact: Denise Brehm MIT News Office 617-253-2704 brehm@mit.edu  After lying hidden for millennia off the coast of Greece, a sunken 4th century B.C. merchant ship and its cargo have been surveyed by an international team using a robotic underwater vehicle. The group accomplished in two days what it would take divers years to do. …

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Magnetic Misfits: South Seeking Bacteria in the Northern Hemisphere

Magnetotactic bacteria contain chains of magnetic iron minerals that allow them to orient in the earth’s magnetic field much like living compass needles. These bacteria have long been observed to respond to high oxygen levels in the lab by swimming towards geomagnetic north in the Northern Hemisphere and geomagnetic south in the Southern Hemisphere. In…

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Clues in a Crater: From India to the Surface of Mars

Researchers from WHOI, Harvard, MIT and Princeton will conduct the second part of an intensive field and laboratory study this month at Lonar Crater in Maharashtra, India, looking for clues about the surface of Mars.  Lonar Crater is unique among terrestrial impact sites in that it occurs within a thick pile of basalt roughly the…

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Changes in the Antarctic Ecosystem: Salps versus Krill

WHOI biologists will travel to Antarctica in mid-February to study salps⎯transparent, gelatinous, planktonic animals that generate massive populations containing individuals 10 centimeters (about four inches) long and colonial chains many meters (more than three feet) long. Salps consume diatoms, the microscopic plant cells abundant in spring and summer. In some years, salp populations may replace…

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Who Goes to Sea Wishing for Bad Weather?

Some physical oceanographers do, even if it is in January in the North Atlantic. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists will spend two weeks this month working south of the Gulf Stream in the Northwest Atlantic trying to understand the transfer of energy from deep water to surface waters, and the effect on climate. It…

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