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Ocean Chemistry


Sunlight can break down marine plastic into tens of thousands of chemical compounds, study finds

Sunlight was once thought to only fragment plastics in the marine environment into smaller particles that chemically resemble the original material and persist forever. However, scientists more recently have learned that sunlight also chemically transforms plastic into a suite of polymer-, dissolved-, and gas-phased products. Now, a new study finds that this chemical reaction can produce tens of thousands of water-soluble compounds, or formulas.

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What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

A new study co-led by WHOI postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson looks closely at the changes occurring in both coral reef and microbial communities near Bocas del Toro during sudden hypoxic events, which occur when there is little to no oxygen in a given area of water.

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The ocean science-art connection

Some of the most complex insights in marine science are no match for the communicative power of art. Check out these five recent collaborations between ocean scientists and artists

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Say hello to a vast underground ecosystem

MSU Today

The research team — led by Karen Lloyd, an associate professor at the University of Tennessee, and Donato Giovannelli, a professor at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy — found that this microbial ecosystem sequesters a huge amount of carbon dioxide.

A new ocean soundscape

Combining his passions for marine chemistry and music, an MIT-WHOI Joint Program student converts data into songs that reveal the chemical nuances of the ocean.

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Plate Tectonics Fuels a Vast Underground Ecosystem

The subsurface is among Earth’s largest biomes, but the extent to which microbial communities vary across tectonic plate boundaries or interact with subduction-scale geological processes remains unknown. In a recently published study, scientists compare bacterial community composition with deep-subsurface geochemistry from 21 hot springs across the Costa Rican convergent margin.

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Northern Star Coral Study Could Help Protect Tropical Corals

Worldwide, coral reefs are in crisis. Researchers at WHOI and Roger Williams University are finding that studying the recovery of this local New England species from a laboratory induced stressor could help better understand how to protect endangered tropical corals around the world.

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