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

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded $8.2 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 is part of a $15.5 million grant to four U.S. institutions that will help add four years to the record being assembled by the observatory.

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Climate Change Could Threaten Sea Snails in Mid-Atlantic Waters

Climate change could threaten the survival and development of common whelk – a type of sea snail – in the mid-Atlantic region, according to a study led by scientists at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The common, or waved, whelk (Buccinum undatum) is an important commercial species that has been harvested for decades in Europe and Canada for bait and human consumption. Its habitat within the mid-Atlantic region is one of the Earth’s fastest warming marine areas and annual fluctuations in the bottom temperature are among the most extreme on the planet due to unique oceanographic conditions.

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Simulations Show Effects of Buoyancy on Drift in Florida Current

Acquiring a better understanding for how objects drift in the ocean has importance for many uses, but most models lack a systematic approach. One new effort looks to provide a clearer alternative. Researchers have released the results from an experiment aimed at tracking different objects as they drift in the Florida Current. Using satellite data, the group developed a new model for how objects drift. They discuss their work in this week’s Physics of Fluids.

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Global Cooling After Nuclear War Would Harm Ocean Life

A nuclear war that cooled Earth could worsen the impact of ocean acidification on corals, clams, oysters and other marine life with shells or skeletons, according to the first study of its kind.

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Scientists Find Far Higher than Expected Rate of Underwater Glacial Melting

Tidewater glaciers, the massive rivers of ice that end in the ocean, may be melting underwater much faster than previously thought, according to a Rutgers co-authored study that used robotic kayaks. The findings, which challenge current frameworks for analyzing ocean-glacier interactions, have implications for the rest of the world’s tidewater glaciers, whose rapid retreat is contributing to sea-level rise.

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For now, river deltas gain land worldwide

Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and colleagues found that delta areas worldwide have actually gained land in the past 30 years, despite river damming. However, recent land gains are unlikely to last throughout the 21st century due to expected, accelerated sea level rise. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature.

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