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Carbon Cycle


Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Chasing Ocean ‘Snowflakes’

Scientists envision putting a flotilla of devices in the ocean to act as “eyes” that can track the “marine snow” that drifts down into the ocean.

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Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

In the 1930s, the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project dug approximately 1,500 miles of ditches across marshes on the Cape to drain their water and reduce the number of ponds where mosquitoes can breed. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biogeochemist Amanda Spivak is studying how this and other management decisions have changed the ability of coastal marshes to store carbon and protect against sea level rise.

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Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

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A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

A Mighty Mysterious Molecule

What gives sea air its distinctive scent? A chemical compound called dimethylsulfide. In a new study, WHOI scientists show that the compound may also be used by marine microbes to communicate with one another.

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Specks in the Spectrometer

Specks in the Spectrometer

Mass spectrometer facilities can be a rite of passage for scientists—as well as for the samples analyzed inside the mass specs.

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Earth’s Riverine Bloodstream

Earth's Riverine Bloodstream

Like blood in our arteries in our body, water in rivers carry chemical signals that can tell us a lot about how the entire Earth system operates.

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Tracking a Trail of Carbon

Tracking a Trail of Carbon

Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains of South America is an extraordinary place to explore ancient human civilization, Earth’s climate history, and the flow of carbon through our planet.

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Of The River and Time

Of The River and Time

The Fraser River in western Canada is flowing with tiny time capsules. Inside them is a fascinating history of Earth’s…

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River Quest

River Quest

Max Holmes and Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink spend a lot of time upriver—one day bundled in a parka on the icy banks…

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Elemental Journeys

Elemental Journeys

Humans have changed the face of the Earth by significantly altering the natural movements of chemicals on the planet’s surface,…

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Deep-sea Detectives

Deep-sea Detectives

Links to related materials Mid-Ocean Ridges—Articles, illustrations, and video showing how new seafloor crust formsMapping the Seafloor with Multibeam Sonar…

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Deep-sea Detectives

Deep-sea Detectives

  Links to related materials Mid-Ocean Ridges—Articles, illustrations, and video showing how new seafloor crust forms Mapping the Seafloor with…

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Follow the Carbon

Follow the Carbon

“Carbon is the currency of life,” said David Griffith, a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). “Where carbon…

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To Fertilize, or Not to Fertilize

To Fertilize, or Not to Fertilize

Global warming is “unequivocal,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in November 2007. Human actions—particularly the burning of…

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