Scientists know methane is released from deep-sea vents, but its source has long been a mystery. A team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution may have the answer. Analysis of 160 rock samples from across the world’s oceans provides evidence, they say, of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane – methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter.
“Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” says marine geochemist Jeffrey Seewald from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).”Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology.”
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has begun the permit process for a $27 million, 50,000-square-foot building planned for its Quissett campus.
Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink, a geochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who was not involved in the study, praised the team’s work for detecting substantial amounts of iron-60, originating from outside the solar system.
Michael Moore, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, raised the concern that the “torturous” process the fisheries service was undertaking to write and enact the new regulations would “still come up short.”
The editors of Marine Technology Reporter are pleased to share that Dr. Mark Abbott, President & Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), is #5 in the 14th Annual “MTR100”.
The high seas are legally defined as waters that don’t fall under any single nation’s exclusive economic zone. That means they technically belong to everyone. It also means they’re hard to protect against activities like fishing or mining because they’re beyond any single nation’s jurisdiction, explained Porter Hoagland, a senior research specialist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
It has its limits, said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who led the design of the system. The technology cannot pinpoint where whales are and can only tell scientists that whales have been heard in its coverage area.
Scientists from the Center for Coastal Studies and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are working with local commercial fishermen to install video monitoring equipment on gillnets.
The type of toxin released depends on the species causing the bloom. Some of the most common ones affect the liver or the nervous system, said Donald Anderson, director of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and a senior scientist at WHOI.
Recent trends of ocean temperatures along the U.S. East Coast have scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution concerned.
Michael Moore and Hannah Myers of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say it’s critical to develop alternative gear for lobster and crab fishermen that will eliminate ropes from the water column, where North Atlantic right whales—critically endangered species—are likely to swim into them.
Op-ed piece written by Mark Abbott, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Chris Scholin, president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
As ocean acidification and climate change become the new reality, scientists wonder what will happen to the distribution and well-being of plants and animals. “Monitoring communities and ecosystems is going to be much easier done by DNA methods,” says Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan, an environmental engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic. “You take one water sample and look for everything from microbes to whales.”
“Every time we deploy REMUS SharkCam, we learn something new about the species we are studying,” said Amy Kukulya, WHOI research engineer and SharkCam principal investigator.
Sarah Das, a glaciologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who’s used ice core records to reconstruct Greenland’s recent melt history, described the 2012 melt event that enveloped nearly the entire ice sheet’s surface as “unprecedented” in the last few centuries, perhaps within the last several thousand years. This summer, she said, “would be up there with  if not eclipsing it.”
A feature story on Carolyn Tepolt, an assistant scientist in the WHOI Biology Department, and her research on the invasive green crab.
An interview with Dan Zitterbart, a WHOI scientist who is testing a new thermal infrared imaging system to detection whales in busy waterways to prevent ship strikes.
“We control how much greenhouse gases we put in atmosphere,” said Sarah Das, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “If we can slow down emissions, we can slow down sea level rise.”
“Trying to understand the big picture on plastic and be able to weave a story together is going to take decades,” said Christopher Reddy, an environmental chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who was not involved in the study.
To find out what causes these mass strandings of whales, WMNF interviewed Darlene Ketten, a senior research scientist at Boston University and at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Part of her research involves pathologies associated with whale strandings.
The first undersea video recordings of the creatures were made in 1999, and caught a surprise. Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass., had set up an undersea observatory in the North Pacific between California and Hawaii. It lay more than three miles down.
WHOI researchers deployed a REMUS 600 AUV to survey a subsea cable system in Buzzards Bay, Mass. The vehicle uses a propeller and fins for steering and diving, and relies on an internal navigation system to independently survey swaths of the ocean.
“The problem has expanded dramatically,” says Don Anderson, director of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Part of that expansion is due to advances in our understanding of toxic algal species, as well as our grasp on their ecological and economic cost; today, we know a diversity of harmful algae blooms occur in every state and across all seasons.