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Ocean Chemistry


Report reveals ‘unseen’ human benefits from ocean twilight zone

A new report from researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) reveals for the first time the unseen—and somewhat surprising—benefits that people receive from the ocean’s twilight zone. Also known as the “mesopelagic,” this is the ocean layer just beyond the sunlit surface.

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Value Beyond View: The Ocean Twilight Zone

How does the ocean twilight zone benefit life on Earth? The ocean twilight zone helps regulates our climate. Storing two to six billion tons of carbon annually. That’s up to six times the amount of carbon emitted from autos worldwide. Preventing an increase in temperature between 6-11°F. The ocean twilight zone supports a healthy ocean ecosystem. Containing 10 times more fish than the rest of the ocean. Providing food for many other animals in the ocean. The ocean twilight zone could also play an important role in feeding a growing population. We are working to better understand this realm in order to inform sustainable management decisions.

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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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The oceans are losing oxygen, and faster than we thought

WHOI scientists weigh in on a new ICUN report highlighting a 2% decline in marine oxygen levels between 1960 and 2010. The loss of oxygen has triggered an expansion of marine dead zones throughout the global ocean that has put marine life and ecosystems in peril.

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Ocean acidification gets a watchful eye in New England aquaculture ‘hot spot’

Shells

Shellfish aquaculture is thriving in New England, but future growth in the industry could be stunted as coastal waters in the region become more acidic. Researchers at WHOI have developed a way to link nutrient load reductions to improvements in the health of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, which may an important step toward cleaner and less acidic harbors in the Baystate.

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Panel delves into impact of ocean acidification

Cape Cod Times

The state commission tasked with studying ocean acidification and its regional impact — particularly in relation to the aquaculture industry — held its first meeting Friday in Woods Hole with a sobering presentation on the phenomenon.

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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Putting the ‘nuclear coffin’ in perspective

WHOI geochemist Ken Buesseler discusses marine radioactivity monitoring in the Marshall Islands atop Runit Dome

WHOI chemist and marine radioactivity expert shares his thoughts about radioactivity waste leaking from Runit Dome—a bomb crater filled with radioactive soil in the Marshall Islands that is now being penetrated by rising sea levels

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Geology creates chemical energy: Origin of a massive methane reservoir discovered

Cosmos Magazine

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.