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Groups of Pilot Whales Have Their Own Dialects

Groups of Pilot Whales Have Their Own Dialects

In humans, different social groups, cities, or regions often have distinct accents and dialects. Those vocal traits are not unique to us, however. A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that short-finned pilot whales living off the coast of Hawai’i have their own sorts of vocal dialects, a discovery that…

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Coral Larvae Use Sound to Find a Home on the Reef

Coral Larvae Use Sound to Find a Home on the Reef

Choosing a place to call home is one of the most consequential choices a coral can make. In the animal’s larval stage, it floats freely in the ocean, but once it settles down, it anchors itself permanently to the rocky substrate of a reef, and remains stuck there for the rest of its life. Exactly…

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Greenland Ice Sheet Melt ‘Off the Charts’ Compared With Past Four Centuries

Greenland Ice Sheet Melt 'Off the Charts' Compared With Past Four Centuries

Surface melting across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries, showing no signs of abating, according to new research published Dec. 5, 2018, in the journal Nature. The study provides new evidence of the impacts of climate change on Arctic…

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Flounder Now Tumor-free in Boston Harbor

Flounder Now Tumor-free in Boston Harbor

In the late 1980s, more than three-quarters of the winter flounder caught in Boston Harbor – ”one of the most polluted harbors in America – ”showed signs of liver disease, many of them with cancerous tumors. But now, a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has documented a dramatic rebound in flounder health spurred…

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Alvin Submersible Makes 5,000th Dive

Alvin Submersible Makes 5,000th Dive

Alvin, the country’s only deep-diving research submersible capable of carrying humans to the sea floor, reached another milestone in its long career on Nov. 26, 2018, when the sub made its 5,000th dive during an expedition to the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California.

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Climate Change Likely Caused Migration, Demise of Ancient Indus Valley Civilization

Climate Change Likely Caused Migration, Demise of Ancient Indus Valley Civilization

More than 4,000 years ago, the Harappa culture thrived in the Indus River Valley of what is now modern Pakistan and northwestern India, where they built sophisticated cities, invented sewage systems that predated ancient Rome’™s, and engaged in long-distance trade with settlements in Mesopotamia. Yet by 1800 BCE, this advanced culture had abandoned their cities,…

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Study Tracks Severe Bleaching Events on a Pacific Coral Reef Over Past Century

Study Tracks Severe Bleaching Events on a Pacific Coral Reef Over Past Century

As climate change causes ocean temperatures to rise, coral reefs worldwide are experiencing mass bleaching events and die-offs. For many, this is their first encounter with extreme heat. However for some reefs in the central Pacific, heatwaves caused by El Nino are a way of life. Exactly how these reefs deal with repeated episodes of…

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Sea Grant Funds New Technology to Monitor for Harmful Algal Blooms

Sea Grant Funds New Technology to Monitor for Harmful Algal Blooms

A new system using next generation robotic sensors to monitor coastal waters for disease-causing microalgae has been funded by the NOAA Sea Grant Program as part of a national strategic investment in aquaculture. The PhytO-ARM (Phytoplankton Observing for Automated Real-time Management), under development by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biologist Mike Brosnahan, will vastly improve…

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Ocean Acidification May Reduce Sea Scallop Fisheries

Ocean Acidification May Reduce Sea Scallop Fisheries

Each year, fishermen harvest more than $500 million worth of Atlantic sea scallops from the waters off the east coast of the United States. A new model created by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), however, predicts that those fisheries may potentially be in danger. As levels of carbon dioxide increase in the…

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NSF Awards Contract to Group Led by WHOI to Continue Operation of Ocean Observatories Initiative

NSF Awards Contract to Group Led by WHOI to Continue Operation of Ocean Observatories Initiative

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that it has awarded a coalition of academic and oceanographic research organizations a five-year, $220 million contract to operate and maintain the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The coalition, led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), with direction from the NSF and guidance from the OOI Facilities Board, will…

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Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health Receives Five-year Funding from NSF and NIEHS

Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health Receives Five-year Funding from NSF and NIEHS

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), one of the National Institutes of Health, have announced that the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will receive funding to continue operating the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health (WHCOHH). The five-year, $6.9 million award is part of a collaborative…

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Three WHOI Scientists to be Honored by AGU

Three WHOI Scientists to be Honored by AGU

Three scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are among those to be honored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) with awards or special lectures at its upcoming fall meeting December 10 to 14 in Washington, D.C. The awardees include Caroline Ummenhofer, who will receive the James B Macelwane Medal, and Chris Reddy, who…

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$1 Million Grant to Build the WHOI-Keck Real Time 3-D Acoustic Telescope

$1 Million Grant to Build the WHOI-Keck Real Time 3-D Acoustic Telescope

A first-of-its-kind acoustic telescope is under development at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), funded by a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, that will permit researchers to map and study the underwater soundscape. Seawater quickly absorbs or scatters light, radio waves, and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, making conventional telescopes useless beneath…

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Taps New Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Taps New Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has selected Samuel C. Harp, an international brand marketing expert, as the Institution’s first Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer. Harp has spent much of his career in academic, technology, and research institutions and will begin working at WHOI on October 1. “It is paramount that WHOI…

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WHOI Chosen as Location of New NSF-funded Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Center

WHOI Chosen as Location of New NSF-funded Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will operate a new center to provide seafloor seismographs and technical support to the U.S. academic community beginning in August 1, 2018. The new Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Center (OBSIC) will be housed at WHOI under a 5-year cooperative agreement, with John…

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Following the Fresh Water

Following the Fresh Water

A research team led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the fingerprint of a massive flood of fresh water in the western Arctic, thought to be the cause of an ancient cold snap that began around 13,000 years ago.

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Study Finds Link Between River Outflow and Coastal Sea Level

Study Finds Link Between River Outflow and Coastal Sea Level

Sea levels in coastal areas can be affected by a number of factors: tides, winds, waves, and even barometric pressure all play a role in the ebb and flow of the ocean. For the first time, however, a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown that river outflow could play…

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Hearing Tests on Wild Whales

Hearing Tests on Wild Whales

Scientists published the first hearing tests on a wild population of healthy marine mammals. The tests on beluga whales in Bristol Bay, AK, revealed that the whales have sensitive auditory systems and showed less age-related hearing loss than is expected.

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Geologic History of Ayeyawady River Delta Mapped for the First Time

Geologic History of Ayeyawady River Delta Mapped for the First Time

The Ayeyawady River delta in Myanmar is home to millions of people, and is a hub of agricultural activity. Unlike other large rivers across the world, however, the Ayeyawady has been relatively untouched by large infrastructure and dam projects for the past 50 years, and its geologic evolution has never previously been studied.

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Fueling a Deep-Sea Ecosystem

Fueling a Deep-Sea Ecosystem

Miles beneath the ocean surface in the dark abyss, vast communities of subseafloor microbes at deep-sea hot springs are converting chemicals into energy that allows deep-sea life to survive, and even thrive, in a world without sunlight. Until now, however, measuring the productivity of subseafloor microbe communities (or how fast they oxidize chemicals and the…

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New Details on Discovery of San Jose Shipwreck

New Details on Discovery of San Jose Shipwreck

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) recently obtained authorization by Maritime Archaeology Consultants, Switzerland AG (MAC), and the Colombian government to release new details from the successful search for the three-century old San José 62-gun, three-masted Spanish galleon ship that sank with a cargo believed to be worth billions of dollars. The ship, which is…

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Are Emperor Penguins Eating Enough?

Are Emperor Penguins Eating Enough?

For Emperor penguins waddling around a warming Antarctic, diminishing sea ice means less fish to eat. How the diets of these tuxedoed birds will hold up in the face of climate change is a big question scientists are grappling with. Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have developed a way to help determine…

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