WHOI in the News


How Will First Responders Deal With Oil Trapped Under Ice?

Hydro International

As sea ice continues to melt in the Arctic and oil exploration expands in the region, the possibility of an oil spill occurring under the ice is higher than ever, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) says. But how first responders will deal with oil trapped under ice in such an extreme and remote environment is a huge unresolved question.

Scientists blast Maine lobstermen’s whale safety stance

Cape Cod Times

“Reducing entanglement in East Coast waters of the United States is a critical part of a comprehensive strategy for right whale survival and recovery,” Scott Kraus, chief scientist for marine mammals at New England Aquarium’s Anderson Center for Ocean Life, and Mark Baumgartner, associate scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and chairman of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium, said in a letter Tuesday to Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Whale populations in New York Harbor are booming—here’s why

National Geographic

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New York Aquarium teamed up to deploy a high-tech acoustic buoy named Melville, 22 miles south of Fire Island. Whales communicate mostly via sound, and each species has distinct calls (and even dialects).

Making the planetary personal: the roots of climate science

Nature

In the 1950s, a timber cabin on the grounds of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts, became a hub for annual meetings where Simpson, meteorologist Jule Charney and other innovators teased out geophysical fluid dynamics. As Dry shows, imagination has been as important as mathematical skill in advancing planetary knowledge.

Researchers are exploring the SS Portland shipwreck. Here’s how to watch

Portland Press Herald

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is working with NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries and Marine Imaging Technologies to explore the wreck of the SS Portland as part of a three-year project that will also include explorations of other nearby shipwrecks.

Exploring the wreck of the steamship Portland, ‘the Titanic of New England’

Boston Globe

By visiting the final resting place of the Portland, researchers will document changes that have occurred at the site of the wreck and gain more insight into the fate of the doomed steamer.The expedition is being led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Marine Imaging Technologies.

Waters off the coast of Maine vulnerable to changing climate

Portland Press Herald

“As the Arctic’s atmosphere is heating up it is reducing the gradient, and that slows down the jet stream,” says Glen Gawarkiewicz, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who helped track the phenomenon. “It’s been having these big meanders and sometimes just gets stuck in one position for weeks at a time.”

New report takes in-depth look at three factors contributing to sea level rise along the U.S. East Coast

Phys.org

A new report from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) discusses some of the science of sea level rise and highlights three key processes that contribute to the phenomenon. Produced in conjunction with climate science expert Dr. Christopher Piecuch, the report also describes some of the research being conducted to better understand how and why sea levels are rising, so that we can more confidently predict future changes.

Up All Night- Atlantic hurricanes

BBC Radio

BBC radio host Rhod Sharp and Jeff Donnelly of WHOI’s Coastal Research Lab trace the history of hurricanes in the Atlantic and discuss the frequency of intense storms. New sediment records indicate that historically unprecedented levels of intense hurricane activity impacted the eastern seaboard of the United States and northeastern Gulf Coast in the last two millennia.
(segment begins at 02:05:00)

Climate change doesn’t only mean rising oceans — your health is at risk, too

The Sacramento Bee

According to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution website, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning produces gastrointestinal symptoms, usually beginning within 30 minutes to a few hours after consumption of toxic shellfish. Although not fatal, the illness is characterized by incapacitating diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

How a Volcanic Eruption Set Off a Phytoplankton Bloom

The New York Times

Lava-driven nutrient fountains “could be a pretty important driver of phytoplankton ecology in the broader ocean,” said Harriet Alexander, a biological oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who was not involved in the latest study.

Microplastics Found In The Ocean And In Human Poop

Forbes

Where are the sources of these microplastics? Well, as a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution video explains, some of the microplastics may be coming from larger plastic objects such as bottles and other households goods being ground up by the elements.

Why we must protect the ocean’s ‘twilight zone’

Mother Nature Network

The twilight zone can be found 200 to 1,000 meters (about 650 to 3,300 feet) below the ocean surface, at the point where the sun’s rays can no longer reach, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts. Because it’s so deep and there’s no sunlight, it’s cold and dark.

Dense Antarctic water returning to the Atlantic

PhysOrg

“This region, the Scotia Sea, is unique in that it hosts several different physical mechanisms which launder dense water to make it lighter within a relatively small basin (the Southern Scotia Sea),” says co-author Dr. Kurt Polzin of WHOI. “This small basin relative to a relatively large volume transport enables researchers to assess changes in water mass production ultimately coming from the Antarctic Shelves on a biennial basis, compared to decadal time scales from other sections.”

How the Titanic was lost and found

MSN

“Everyone has their own opinion” as to how long Titanic will remain more or less intact, said research specialist Bill Lange of WHOI.”Some people think the bow will collapse in a year or two,” Lange said. “But others say it’s going to be there for hundreds of years.”

Opening their eyes to science: EarthWatch program gives girls a chance to delve into scientific world

Martha's Vineyard Times

This year, the fourth for the program, EarthWatch kept the program local, teaming up with Sea Grant at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to provide girls in Massachusetts with experiences in all types of sciences, Woodroof said. Only girls from Massachusetts were selected, which included a couple from the Cape and a couple with seasonal ties to the Island.

Local fishermen assist leatherback research

Wicked Local

After several years, Kara Dodge began to do other work with turtles, in particular a “TurtleCam” project with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution engineer Amy Kukulya. The project involved tagging and tailing turtles with autonomous underwater vehicles to study diving behavior, eating habits, and assess ways to reduce entanglements.

Exploring Antarctica as Citizen Scientist with Polar Latitudes

Forbes

As part of a partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, guests aboard The Whale Science Voyage, one of their annual itineraries (February 27- March 11, 2020), can participate in a major research study being conducted by a team of scientists on climate change and its impact on the humpback whale population, an animal that is protected under the Endangered Species Act.