Climate Group Overview

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Astrangia poculata, seen here with polyps extended, is a unique cold water coral that occurs in Woods Hole with (brown) and without (white) symbiotic algae. Both warm and cold-water corals are used at WHOI to research past ocean climate, past ocean circulation changes, and past sea levels. We are also using Astrangia poculata colonies in culture experiments to provide insights into coral biomineralization processes and the effects of ocean acidification on calcification. (photo by Terry Rioux)


What is the ocean’s role in natural climate change, and how are the oceans likely to respond to future changes in Earth’s climate, both natural and anthropogenic?

How has Earth’s climate varied in the past, and why?

How have earth surface temperature, the hydrologic cycle, and global biogeochemical cycles changed as part of this climate variability?

How can we apply our knowledge of past climate variability to our understanding of the present and future climate changes?

The thirty-plus members of the Climate Group at WHOI include Paleoceanographers and Climate Scientists. We use nature archives (e.g., sediment cores, corals, glacial ice), contemporary observations, and state-of-the-art analytical tools (e.g., global climate models) to understand relationships between the physical ocean-land-atmosphere-cryosphere system and the circulation, biology, and chemistry of the oceans. We investigate these interactions on a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, to understand modern climate mechanisms and to reconstruct the timing, magnitude, and causes of past changes within the global climate system.

To find our more about who we are and what we do, follow our People and Research links on the left.


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Last updated September 12, 2012
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