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.Read More
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.Read More
Earth?s land and oceans have been soaking up the excess carbon Earth?s land and oceans have been soaking up the excess carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. But there are limits.
A new-generation computer model indicates that the capacity of land and ocean to absorb and store the heat-trapping greenhouse gas will reach its peak by the end of the century?removing a brake that has been tempering the effects of global warming.
WHOI Phytoplankton photosynthesis has provided Earth’s inhabitants with oxygen since early life began. Without this process the atmosphere would consist of carbon dioxide (CO2) plus a small amount of nitrogen, the atmospheric pressure would be 60 times higher than the air we breathe, and the planet’s air temperatures would hover around 300°C. (Conditions similar to these are found on Earth’s close sibling Venus.Read More
The monsoon, a giant sea breeze between the Asian massif and the Indian Ocean, is one of the most significant natural phenomena that influences the everyday life of more than 60 percent of the world’s population.Read More