“Digital Reefs” awarded $5 million

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) $5 million to participate in NSF’s ground breaking Convergence Accelerator Program. The project, led by WHOI scientist Anne Cohen, builds the world’s first Coral Reef Digital Twin, a 4-dimensional virtual replica of a living coral reef powered by state-of-the art data and models.

Chula Launches a Bioproduct “Microbes to Clean Up Oil Spill in the Ocean”

Chula Faculty of Science has developed bioproducts to clean up oil spills in the ocean from their research on oil-eating microbes while getting ready to expand to industrial-scale production for ecological sustainability.

The bolder bird gets (and keeps) the girl

. In a paper published today in Royal Society Biology Letters, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) demonstrate a clear connection between personality in wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) and the likelihood of divorce. Though the link between personality and relationship outcomes in humans is well-established, this is the first study to do so with animals.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution names Paul Salem as new Board of Trustees Chair

Paul Salem, a leader in private equity and non-profit board service, has been named Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Salem will transition into the role officially on January 1, 2023, taking over for David Scully, who has served as the Board Chair for the past seven years.

Mid-depth waters off the United States East Coast are getting saltier

A new study led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows a significant increase in frequency of warm saltwater intrusions from the deep ocean to the continental shelf along the Middle Atlantic Bight, which extends from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Using data collected from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Ecosystem Monitoring program, as well as data collected from the fishing industry, the study’s results show that ocean exchange processes have greatly changed over the past 20 years in this region.

Climate Change Could Lead to a Dramatic Temperature-Linked Decrease in Essential Omega-3 Fatty Acids, According to New Study

The effects of global climate change already are resulting in the loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise, and longer and more intense heat waves, among other threats. Now, the first-ever survey of planktonic lipids in the global ocean predicts a temperature-linked decrease in the production of essential omega-3 fatty acids, an important subset of lipid molecules.

World Oceans Day: FSU researcher shares insight into importance of the ocean

By: Bill Wellock | Published: June 6, 2022 | 12:19 pm | SHARE: The United Nations marks June 8 as World Oceans Day, an opportunity to celebrate the ocean and how it supports life on Earth.As director of Florida State University’s Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), Eric Chassignet leads investigations into the physical processes that govern the ocean and its interactions with the atmosphere.

Geoscience technology company founded by MIT/WHOI Joint Program student awarded $3.8M from U.S. Department of Energy

Eden, a geoscience technology development company co-founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program student Paris Smalls, will receive $3.8 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Study Finds Why Baby Leatherback Marine Turtles Can’t ‘See the Sea’

For most sea turtles, the journey to find the ocean from their nests is pretty straightforward. However, leatherback hatchlings more often crawl around in circles trying to find the ocean. Circling delays their entry into the ocean, wastes energy, and places them at greater danger from natural predators. Under different moon phases: bright light during full moon and only starlight under new moon, researchers have a better understanding of why this circling behavior happens and why it is most commonly observed in leatherbacks.

Used Face Masks – Infectious Waste that Requires Proper Disposal

Chula Engineering professor proposes ways to manage used masks and ATK test kits by choosing reusable masks, separating infectious waste, and preparing it properly before discarding it to be destroyed in a non-polluting disposal system to reduce overflowing waste problem.

Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences joins ASU’s Global Futures Lab

In a major development in the bid to deepen the understanding of the role that the ocean plays in climate science, Arizona State University (ASU) President Michael Crow announced today that ASU, a leading research university, has established a partnership with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), one of the longest-serving research institutes dedicated to studying ocean processes in the Western Hemisphere.

Major ocean current could warm greatly, new study reveals

A new study led by researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York found that the Kuroshio Current Extension is sensitive to global climate change and has the potential to warm greatly with increased carbon dioxide levels.

Powering Navigational Buoys With Help of Ocean Waves

Traditionally used energy harvesting technologies, like photovoltaic panels or wind turbines, suffer from several limitations. In the absence of daylight and wind, neither of the two can supply any power. In the case of ocean buoys, a potential solution is omnipresent: wave energy. Abundant, predictable, and consistent, the ocean’s waves can be used to power navigation buoys. Researchers have developed sphere-based triboelectric nanogenerators that can be incorporated directly into navigational buoys to provide electricity from ocean waves.

CSU Researchers Award $1.1 Million in Sea-Level Rise Research Funding to Assist California

Three research projects studying sea-level rise received a total of $1.1 million in funding from California State University Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) and California Sea Grant. The grant supports 11 researchers and 20 students from six CSU campuses.

Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise from Antarctic Melting is Possible with Severe Global Warming

The Antarctic ice sheet is much less likely to become unstable and cause dramatic sea-level rise in upcoming centuries if the world follows policies that keep global warming below a key 2015 Paris climate agreement target, according to a Rutgers coauthored study. But if global warming exceeds the target – 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – the risk of ice shelves around the ice sheet’s perimeter melting would increase significantly, and their collapse would trigger rapid Antarctic melting. That would result in at least 0.07 inches of global average sea-level rise a year in 2060 and beyond, according to the study in the journal Nature.

Corals Carefully Organize Proteins to Form Rock-Hard Skeletons

Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who championed the theory of evolution, noted that corals form far-reaching structures, largely made of limestone, that surround tropical islands. He didn’t know how they performed this feat. Now, Rutgers scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, shows for the first time that several proteins are organized spatially – a process that’s critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Viral ‘Pandemics’ in Oceans

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 6, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick microbial oceanographer Kay D. Bidle is available for interviews on the persistent and profound impact of viral infections on algae in the oceans. These infections influence the Earth’s carbon cycle, which helps…

Overfishing of Atlantic Cod Likely Did Not Cause Genetic Changes

Overfishing likely did not cause the Atlantic cod, an iconic species, to evolve genetically and mature earlier, according to a study led by Rutgers University and the University of Oslo – the first of its kind – with major implications for ocean conservation.

How Does Plastic Debris Make Its Way Into Ocean Garbage Patches?

Researchers in the U.S. and Germany decided to explore which pathways transport debris to the middle of the oceans, causing garbage patches, as well as the relative strengths of different subtropical gyres and how they influence long-term accumulation of debris. In Chaos, they report creating a model of the oceans’ surface dynamics from historical trajectories of surface buoys. Their model describes the probability of plastic debris being transported from one region to another.

Microplastic Sizes in Hudson-Raritan Estuary and Coastal Ocean Revealed

Rutgers scientists for the first time have pinpointed the sizes of microplastics from a highly urbanized estuarine and coastal system with numerous sources of fresh water, including the Hudson River and Raritan River. Their study of tiny pieces of plastic in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary in New Jersey and New York indicates that stormwater could be an important source of the plastic pollution that plagues oceans, bays, rivers and other waters and threatens aquatic and other life.

Fishes Contribute Roughly 1.65 Billion Tons of Carbon in Feces and Other Matter Annually

Scientists have little understanding of the role fishes play in the global carbon cycle linked to climate change, but a Rutgers-led study found that carbon in feces, respiration and other excretions from fishes – roughly 1.65 billion tons annually – make up about 16 percent of the total carbon that sinks below the ocean’s upper layers.

Bacteria and Algae Get Rides in Clouds

Human health and ecosystems could be affected by microbes including cyanobacteria and algae that hitch rides in clouds and enter soil, lakes, oceans and other environments when it rains, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.

Important Climate Change Mystery Solved by Scientists

Scientists have resolved a key climate change mystery, showing that the annual global temperature today is the warmest of the past 10,000 years – contrary to recent research, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Nature. The long-standing mystery is called the “Holocene temperature conundrum,” with some skeptics contending that climate model predictions of future warming must be wrong. The scientists say their findings will challenge long-held views on the temperature history in the Holocene era, which began about 12,000 years ago.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Rutgers Legal Expert Available to Discuss Environmental, Climate Change Priorities

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 21, 2021) – Rutgers University Professor Cymie R. Payne, an expert on United States and international environmental laws, is available for interviews on how the administration of President Biden can strengthen laws and regulations and efforts to…

Big Differences in How Coral Reef Fish Larvae are Dispersed

How the larvae of colorful clownfish that live among coral reefs in the Philippines are dispersed varies widely, depending on the year and seasons – a Rutgers-led finding that could help scientists improve conservation of species. Right after most coral reef fish hatch, they join a swirling sea of plankton as tiny, transparent larvae. Then currents, winds and waves disperse them, frequently to different reefs.

How to Identify Heat-Stressed Corals

Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study.

COVID-19 Pandemic had Big Impact on Commercial Fishing in Northeast

With restaurants and supply chains disrupted due to the global coronavirus pandemic, two-fifths of commercial fishermen surveyed from Maine through North Carolina did not go fishing earlier this year, according to a Rutgers study that also documented their resilience and adaptation. Of those who kept fishing, nearly all reported a decline in income compared with previous years, according to the survey of 258 fishers in the Northeast published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Planning Ahead Protects Fish and Fisheries

Conservation of fish and other marine life migrating from warming ocean waters will be more effective and also protect commercial fisheries if plans are made now to cope with climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Science Advances.

Atmospheric Rivers Help Create Massive Holes in Antarctic Sea Ice

Warm, moist rivers of air in Antarctica play a key role in creating massive holes in sea ice in the Weddell Sea and may influence ocean conditions around the vast continent as well as climate change, according to Rutgers co-authored research. Scientists studied the role of long, intense plumes of warm, moist air – known as atmospheric rivers – in creating enormous openings in sea ice. They focused on the Weddell Sea region of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, where these sea ice holes (called polynyas) infrequently develop during the winter.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss 10 Ways to Adapt to Coastal Flooding

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 14, 2020) – Rutgers coastal expert Vanessa Dornisch is available for interviews on 10 steps residents can take to prepare for sea-level rise and adapt to increased coastal flooding. Dornisch, coastal training program coordinator at the…

Marine animals live where ocean is most ‘breathable,’ but ranges could shrink with climate change

Research shows that many marine animals already inhabit the maximum range of breathable ocean that their physiology allows. The findings are a warning about climate change: Since warmer waters harbor less oxygen, stretches of ocean that are breathable today for a species may not be in the future.

Ocean Algae Get “Coup de Grace” from Viruses

Scientists have long believed that ocean viruses always quickly kill algae, but Rutgers-led research shows they live in harmony with algae and viruses provide a “coup de grace” only when blooms of algae are already stressed and dying. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, will likely change how scientists view viral infections of algae, also known as phytoplankton – especially the impact of viruses on ecosystem processes like algal bloom formation (and decline) and the cycling of carbon and other chemicals on Earth.

New paper addresses mix of contaminants in Fukushima wastewater, highlights risks of dumping in ocean

Ten years after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, radiation levels have fallen in all but the waters closest to the plant. But a new hazard exists and is growing every day in the number of storage tanks on land surrounding the power plant that hold contaminated wastewater.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Soil Compaction, Healthy Yards

New Brunswick, N.J. (June 23, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Steven Yergeau is available to discuss the causes of soil compaction and how to correct it to foster healthy yards. Soil compaction can impact lawns and gardens and cause…