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Ocean Chemistry

Are natural toxins in fish harmful?

toxins story

Marine life has been naturally producing toxic chemicals well before chemical companies were manufacturing PCBs. But are these naturally-produced compounds as harmful as man-made environmental pollutants, and do those pose a human health threat?

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MC&G Department Virtual Seminar

Insights into Surface Ocean C Fluxes Using Th-234 Distribution in the Pacific Ocean Jennifer Kenyon, WHOI Organic Speciation of Copper Lydia…

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A rapidly changing Arctic

Healy, Polarstern

A new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their international colleagues found that freshwater runoff from rivers and continental shelf sediments are bringing significant quantities of carbon and trace elements into parts of the Arctic Ocean via the Transpolar Drift—a major surface current that moves water from Siberia across the North Pole to the North Atlantic Ocean.

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The ocean’s ‘biological pump’ captures more carbon than expected

Buesseler sediment trap

Scientists have long known that the ocean plays an essential role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere, but a new study from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that the efficiency of the ocean’s “biological carbon pump” has been drastically underestimated, with implications for future climate assessments.

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The Ocean is Earth’s Oxygen Bank

Oxygen is like money for Earth, and the ocean acts like a bank. Deposits are made in three ocean layers: At the surface through exchange with air, in the water, when phytoplankton produce O2 from sunlight and CO2, and on the seafloor where plants and corals live. Withdrawals occur when organisms consume oxygen. Oxygen is tightly connected to life in the ocean, and can tell us a lot about an ecosystem’s health & productivity. This is why we need an ocean oxygen budget. A simple idea, but has been difficult until now.

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