Mesobot is a brand new underwater vehicle designed to reveal what lives in the ocean’s twilight zone. Mesobot can follow animals as they move through the darkness and as they migrate from the depths to the surface and back. The twilight zone is vast and remote, but is threatened by unregulated fishing and climate change. We need Mesobot’s insights to understand and protect the twilight zone before humans change it forever.Read More
Op-ed piece written by Mark Abbott, president and director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Chris Scholin, president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
As ocean acidification and climate change become the new reality, scientists wonder what will happen to the distribution and well-being of plants and animals. “Monitoring communities and ecosystems is going to be much easier done by DNA methods,” says Elizabeth Andruszkiewicz Allan, an environmental engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic. “You take one water sample and look for everything from microbes to whales.”
Today, the U.S. is a powerhouse of ocean science research and marine engineering, led by organizations such as Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, among others. These are the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, and Goddard Space Flight Center of ocean exploration.
Down in the dark and shadowy ocean twilight zone, countless species—bristlemouths, lanternfishes, jellies, and others—rely on bioluminescence for a variety of important functions, including finding their next meal, outsmarting predators, and looking for mates.Read More
WHO scientists and engineers are developing an innovative autonomous deep-sea vehicle with hovering and manuevering capabilities that will allow it to follow animals without disturbing their environment and behavior.Read More
Quotes Mark Abbott
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 if we explored the ocean’s vast twilight zone, teeming with undiscovered life? Today, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) was awarded $35 million – the largest philanthropic gift in the Institution’s history – to do just that. The award comes from The Audacious Project, a bold new philanthropic collaboration housed at TED to fund critical ideas that have potential to create massive, global change.Read More