Oceanus

This magazine provides research, news and features in oceanography, coastal research, marine life, deep-ocean exploration, ocean technology and policy and the ocean's role in climate.

Articles from Vol. 49, No. 3, Fall

A Conversation With: Matt Charette: Underground and Overlooked: Groundwater Is the Hidden Link in the Planet's Water Cycle
Matt Charette has been pulling off the floorboards in Earth's basement to reveal a hidden plumbing system that pumps water into the ocean. Rivers carry most of the rain that falls on land back to the sea. But some water percolates into underground...
Cool Coral Refuges in a Warmer World
Global-scale climate models predict that ocean temperatures will rise nearly 3[degrees]C (5.4[degrees]F) in the central tropical Pacific Ocean by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. Warmer waters often cause corals to "bleach"...
Deep-Sea Corals Felt Impacts of Deepwater Horizon Spill
Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) helped find strong evidence that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had impacts on deep-sea coral communities in the Gulf of Mexico. The study, published in March 2012 in Proceedings of the...
Deep-Sea Detectives: Follow the Trail to Unravel a Seafloor Mystery
It all started when Dan Lizarralde went to the gulf of California in 2002 to explore a spreading center at the bottom of the Guaymas basin where two of Earth's tectonic plates are moving apart. Lizarralde, a geophysicist at Woods Hole Oceanographic...
Fast Times for Clunky Old Sea Cables
Marshall Swartz's lab is a Santa's workshop of engineering gadgetry. Computer keyboards and circuit boards spill from cardboard boxes. Cables, wires, and an assortment of tools hang from wall hooks. Ocean instruments needing repair are stacked in cases...
Follow the Carbon
"Carbon is the currency of life," said David Griffith, a marine chemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). "Where carbon is coming from, which organisms are using it, how they're giving off carbon themselves--these things say a lot about...
New Insights into How Whales Hear
For decades, scientists have known that dolphins and other toothed whales have specialized fats in their heads that efficiently convey sound waves from the ocean to their internal ears. But until now, the hearing systems of their toothless cousins,...
Rain, Rivers, and the Fate of Civilizations
The Harappans may be the most advanced ancient civilization that most Westerners have never heard of. They flourished in the Indus River basin on the Indian subcontinent around the same time the Egyptians were building the pyramids along the Nile and...
River Quest: Sampling the World's Rivers to Assess Our Planet's Health
Max Holmes and Bernhard Peucker-Ehrenbrink spend a lot of time upriver--one day bundled in a parka on the icy banks of the Fraser River in Canada, another day paddling in small dugout canoes called pirogues through jungles along the steamy Congo River....
Serendipitously Snagged from the Seafloor
Magma erupting at the seafloor often forms "pillow" lava. Molten rock at 2,200[degrees]F hits 35[degrees]F seawater, and "within a fraction of a second, a glassy skin forms on the lava surface, encapsulating a blob of lava," said WHOI volcanologist...
Shifting Sand and Strategy
The best-laid plans of scientists often go awry when they actually get into the field. "That's when designing an experiment becomes adapting an experiment," said Peter Traykovski, an oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)....
Storms, Floods, & Droughts: The Delicately Balanced Cycle That Transports Water around the Globe Is Intensifying
The source of the rain that filled your town reservoir, or flooded your nearby river, or never arrived to water your crops, is most likely the ocean. The ocean contains 97 percent of the free water on Earth, and it acts like a massive water pump....
The Glacial Chronicles: Graduate Student Benjamin Linhoff Spent Several Months over the Past Two Summers Studying a Glacier at a Remote Camp on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Here Are Excerpts from His Blog Describing Life and Work There
Leaving home--April 28, 2011 "Do I need a gun?" "No, polar bears are fairly rare in this part of Greenland." "Fairly rare?" Dr. Jemma Wadham, one of our expedition leaders, laughed and told me not to worry. They hadn't seen am bears in...
The Retreat of the Gualas Glacier
Like many mountain glaciers, the Gualas Glacier in the Patagonian region of Chile has retreated fast during the past century in the lace of climate change. But not only for the reason you'd first suspect. The glacier's retreat--5.5 miles over the...
The Rivers No One Sees: Can Corals Record Groundwater Flow into the Ocean?
Meagan Gonneea travels around the world to measure groundwater. When her children ask why, it's time to take a trip to a local beach and dig a hole in the sand. "They see that there's water in that hole," Gonneea said. "I say, 'Well, it's actually...
The Vitamin [B.Sub.12] Claw
Scientists have revealed a key cog in the biochemical machinery that allows algae at the base of the ocean food chain to thrive. They discovered a previously unknown protein in algae that grabs vitamin [B.sub.12], an essential but scarce nutrient,...
Under Polar Sea Ice, a Spectacular Bloom
Scientists have discovered a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath ice-covered Arctic waters. Until now, sea ice was thought to block sunlight and limit the growth of microscopic marine plants living under the ice. The abundance of phytoplankton...
WHOI Celebrates Opening of New Lab
Scientists and engineers moved in August into the newest laboratory at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)--a 27,000-square-foot, "green'-designed building that provides space for major efforts to create long-term ocean observatories. The...
WHOI'S New Ship: Neil Armstrong
The nation's newest research vessel will be named the R/V Neil Armstrong, after the renowned astronaut and first person to set foot on the moon. The ship will be operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). "We are honored," said WHOI...
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