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Walking on polar ice

Oceans of Change

February 27, 2020

Oceans of Change WHOI scientists learn how the ocean shapes—and is shaped by—global climate By Madeline Drexler (Photo by Simon Buchou on Unsplash) “THE SEA NEVER CHANGES, AND ITS WORKS, FOR ALL THE TALK OF MEN, ARE WRAPPED IN MYSTERY.”...

The future of the ocean’s conveyor belt

February 19, 2020

By Evan Lubofsky | February 18, 2020 WHOI physical oceanographer Young-Oh Kwon relies on a combination of ocean data and climate models to understand the circulatory strength of the Atlantic Ocean’s conveyor belt. (Photo by Daniel Hentz, © Woods Hole...

The Ocean’s Moveable Feast

January 8, 2020

Today, warming waters are redrawing the lines of the marine food web By Madeline Drexler | January 9, 2020 Warm ocean temperatures caused large-scale ecological disruption that affected different species, including lobster. (© AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty as...

Australia satellite image of bushfire

Investigating the ocean’s influence on Australia’s drought

January 8, 2020

By Evan Lubofsky | January 9, 2020 Multiple bushfires burn across Australia’s east coast during the recent dry spell, while strong winds spread smoke haze to the city of Brisbane. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons) Australia is burning. But to understand...

dipole

Global heating supercharging Indian Ocean climate system

November 20, 2019
Climate Central sea level rise graphic

WHOI scientists weigh in on sea level rise impact study

November 13, 2019

By Evan Lubofsky | November 12, 2019 As the seas rise, areas across the country will be affected disproportionately. (Graphic courtesy of Climate Central) When it comes to future sea level rise, most studies predict we’ll see between four to...

Summer Resident

Chris Linder wins Photography Award for story on Adélie penguins

September 25, 2019
sea washing onto road

WHOI on NPR: Why sea level rise varies across the world

August 22, 2019

The sea level is rising more in some places than in others. WHOI scientist Chris Piecuch explains why.

Blue shark

A tunnel to the Twilight Zone

August 2, 2019

Blue sharks ride deep-swirling currents to the ocean’s midwater at mealtime By Evan Lubofsky | August 2, 2019 Video by Camrin Braun, University of Washington and Tane Sinclair-Taylor, James Cook University. When you’re hungry, wouldn’t it be nice to just...

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

July 25, 2019

Researchers test ocean robots to make subsea cable surveys faster and cheaper By Evan Lubofsky | May 25, 2019 https://www.whoi.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/OffshoreWind-Cable-Monitoring-Option1.mp4 Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)—a staple of oceanographic research—can perform subsea cable surveys faster and more economically than using ships with...

Oceanus Magazine

Harnessing the Power

Harnessing the Power

February 6, 2019

Offshore wind power has made landfall in the U.S., and with it, all the tantalizing potential benefits a breezy ocean and some towering blades can bring: reduced use of climate-changing fossil fuels, lower electric bills, energy independence, new jobs, and...

Gliders Reveal Tango Between Hurricanes and the Gulf Stream

Gliders Reveal Tango Between Hurricanes and the Gulf Stream

January 9, 2019

It’s mid-afternoon on a blistering day in South Florida—around 95° F in the shade—and Joleen Heiderich is standing aboard a bright-red tow boat, peering out at the Miami skyline as it fades in the distance. The vessel is typically busy...

Tracking a Snow Globe of Microplastics

Tracking a Snow Globe of Microplastics

December 10, 2018

An estimated eight million tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, yet only one percent can be seen floating at the surface. This is the second in a three-part article series about how researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution...

The Secret Tuna Nursery

The Secret Tuna Nursery

November 20, 2018

It was a little after 10 p.m., and several hundred miles off the coast of Massachusetts, Chrissy Hernandez was counting eyeballs. Scattered across a dinner plate-sized sieve in front of her was the harvest from yet another tow with a...

On (and Below) the Waterfront

On (and Below) the Waterfront

November 5, 2018

You often see them, faded and covered in graffiti, as you pass them on the highway, or piled 40 feet high in industrial waterfronts of working cities: the ubiquitous steel shipping containers that efficiently transport everything from coffee to cars...

The Living Breathing Ocean

The Living Breathing Ocean

October 31, 2018

Rainforests have been dubbed the Earth’s lung, but like us, our planet has two lungs. The second one is the ocean. Rainforests and oceans both draw in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reducing the buildup of heat-trapping gas that is...

Mysteries of the Red Sea

Mysteries of the Red Sea

October 25, 2018

When my friends and family ask me what I am doing in my research, I respond that “I am investigating the winds and currents of the Red Sea in the Middle East.” Scary faces pop up. All they see are...

The Current that Feeds the Galápagos

The Current that Feeds the Galápagos

October 9, 2018

Just below the surface of the vast Pacific Ocean, a powerful current streams rapidly along the equator from west to east. Thousands of miles after this oceanic superhighway begins its journey near Indonesia, it slams squarely into a tight-knit group...

Can We Improve Monsoon Forecasts?

Can We Improve Monsoon Forecasts?

September 24, 2018

It’s a hot summer day on the Indian subcontinent. Torpid winds are lingering over the dry northern plains. One billion people are looking skyward, counting on the wet monsoon season to bring rainfall. Yet the sky is clear blue. When...

Autonomous Ocean Vehicles Supply Key Data on Hurricane Florence

Autonomous Ocean Vehicles Supply Key Data on Hurricane Florence

September 12, 2018

With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the North Carolina coast, researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have mobilized autonomous vehicles and instruments to track changes in the ocean ahead of and beneath Florence. The data will be relayed in...

News Releases

What did scientists learn from Deepwater Horizon?

April 20, 2020

Paper reviews major findings, technological advances that could help in next deep-sea spill.  Ten years ago, a powerful explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Over a span of 87...

R/V Neil Armstrong in Prince Christian Sound

$8.3M award to WHOI extends observational record of critical climate research

March 18, 2020

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $8.3 million to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to extend the life of the Overturning in the Sub-polar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) in a key part of Earth’s ocean-climate system. The award...

Indian Ocean phenomenon spells climate trouble for Australia

March 10, 2020

New international research by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues has found a marked change in the Indian Ocean’s surface temperatures that puts southeast Australia on course for increasingly hot and dry conditions. The work led by The Australian...

Study reveals rapid sea-level rise along U.S. Atlantic coast in 18th century

March 4, 2020

During the 18th century, sea levels along a stretch of the Atlantic coast of North America were rising almost as fast as they were during the 20th Century, reveals a new study by researchers at the University of York, Woods...

Report reveals ‘unseen’ human benefits from ocean twilight zone

January 22, 2020

Exclusive report Value Beyond View: Illuminating the human benefits of the ocean twilight zone Download now – it’s free! Did you know that there’s a natural carbon sink—even bigger than the Amazon rainforest—that helps regulate Earth’s climate by sucking up...

Study Finds No Direct Link Between North Atlantic Ocean Currents, Sea Level Along New England Coast

June 14, 2019

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) clarifies what influence major currents in the North Atlantic have on sea level along the northeastern United States. The study, published June 13 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined both...

Antarctic Bottom Waters Freshening at Unexpected Rate

Antarctic Bottom Waters Freshening at Unexpected Rate

January 25, 2017

In the cold depths along the sea floor, Antarctic Bottom Waters are part of a global circulatory system, supplying oxygen-, carbon- and nutrient-rich waters to the world’s oceans. Over the last decade, scientists have been monitoring changes in these waters....

Salty Oceans Can Forecast Rain on Land

Salty Oceans Can Forecast Rain on Land

December 16, 2016

At this week’s American Geophysical Union meeting, a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) presented their latest research findings on the long-range predictions of rainfall on land. Their method is based on ocean salinity rather than...

Fishermen, Scientists Collaborate to Collect Climate Data

Fishermen, Scientists Collaborate to Collect Climate Data

May 23, 2016

Fishermen plying the waters off the southern New England coast have noticed significant changes in recent years.  Though generations of commercial fishermen have made their livings on these highly productive waters, now, they say, they are experiencing the impacts of...

Study Offers Clues to Better Rainfall Predictions

Study Offers Clues to Better Rainfall Predictions

May 6, 2016

The saltiness, or salinity, of seawater depends largely on how much moisture is pulled into the air as evaporative winds sweep over the ocean. But pinpointing where the moisture rains back down is a complicated question scientists have long contended...