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Climate & Ocean


Oases in Sea Ice Are Essential to Life in Antarctica

This video explains the key physical, biological and ecological processes in oases on the Antarctic icy coast — polynyas. Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Delaware are trying to unveil crucial connections among the physical and biological components in the polynyas and to understand how the Antarctic ecosystem responds to changes in the large-scale environment.

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For now, river deltas gain land worldwide

Delta areas worldwide have gained land in the past 30 years, despite river damming. However, recent land gains are unlikely to last throughout the 21st century due to expected, accelerated sea-level rise.

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2019 Year in Review

Enjoy this montage of video captured throughout 2019 documenting how WHOI researchers explore the ocean planet to tackle the most pressing questions about our water world and find solutions to benefit society.

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March of the Penguins

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

The fate of the penguins is largely tied to the fate of sea ice, which the animals use as a home base for breeding, feeding and molting, she notes. Emperor penguins tend to build their colonies on ice with extremely specific conditions—it must be locked into the shoreline of the Antarctic continent, but close enough to open seawater to give the birds access to food for themselves and their young. As climate warms, however, that sea ice will gradually disappear, robbing the birds of their habitat, food sources, and ability to raise their chicks.

Jenouvrier and her team conducted the study by combining two existing computer models. The first, a global climate model created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), offered projections of where and when sea ice would form under different climate scenarios. The second, a model of the penguin population itself, calculated how colonies might react to changes in that ice habitat.

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Why is the Greenland Ice Sheet melting faster than ever?

Senior scientist Claudia Cenedese has been studying how glaciers melt for the last 15 years in her fluids laboratory. In 2018 she was a principal investigator on a research cruise in Greenland for the first time. She wants to understand why the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting faster than ever and what happens to the fresh water released into the ocean.

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Understanding the Melting Arctic

Glaciologist Sarah Das explains why surface melting and runoff across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet sped up dramatically in the 20th and 21st centuries, showing no signs of abating.

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March of the penguins

New Zealand Geographic

If current warming trends continue, emperor penguins will be marching toward an 86 per cent population decline by the end of the century, at which point, “it is very unlikely for them to bounce back,” says study author Stephanie Jenouvrier, a seabird ecologist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Climate change threatens everyone’s favorite little fish

Cape Cod Times

The well-being of the colorful clownfish of “Finding Nemo” fame is closely tied to its habitat among the sea anemone, according to a 10-year study by an international team of scientists. The little fish does not appear to have the ability to adapt to the rapid environmental effects of climate change.

 

WHOI scientists weigh in on sea level rise impact study

Climate Central sea level rise graphic

When it comes to future sea level rise, most studies predict we’ll see between four to eight inches of global sea level rise between now and 2050. The looming question is—how many people will be affected by rising seas in the coming decades?

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Unless warming is slowed, emperor penguins will be marching towards extinction

penguins

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

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More Than 11,000 International Scientists Declare Climate Emergency

WCAI

A new paper endorsed by 11,258 scientists and researchers from 153 countries describes climate change as a “climate emergency.” Published in the journal BioScience, it warns of “untold human suffering” if individuals, governments, and businesses don’t make deep and lasting changes.

Falling in love with foraminifera

WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina

A marine geobiologist falls for the ‘brains’ and beauty of an ancient single-celled creature that can change its shell into a variety of geometric shapes.

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