UW Today

oceanography


November 21, 2016

How to monitor global ocean warming – without harming whales

map with stripes

Tracking the speed of internal tides offers a cheap, simple way to monitor temperature changes throughout the world’s oceans.


October 24, 2016

Nanometer-scale image reveals new details about formation of a marine shell

circular core with spikes radiating out

Oceanographers used tools developed for semiconductor research to view the formation of a marine shell in the most detail yet, to understand how organisms turn seawater into solid mineral.


October 5, 2016

Atlantic Ocean’s slowdown tied to changes in the Southern Hemisphere

blue maps of oceans with colored arrows

Unlike in the movies, and in some theories of climate change, the recent slowdown of Atlantic Ocean circulation is not connected with the melting of the Arctic sea ice. Instead, it seems to be connected to shifts around the southern tip of Africa.


September 29, 2016

UW gets NOAA grant to begin testing new forecast for toxic shellfish

animation of model

UW oceanographers are working on a system that will act like a ‘weather forecast’ for Pacific Northwest harmful algal blooms.


Ocean conditions contributed to unprecedented 2015 toxic algal bloom

map with animal icons

A study led by researchers at the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration connects the unprecedented West Coast toxic algal bloom of 2015 to the unusually warm ocean conditions — nicknamed “the blob” — in winter and spring of that year.


July 25, 2016

Marine carbon sinking rates confirm importance of polar oceans

white dots on blue background

Polar oceans pump organic carbon down to the deep sea about five times as efficiently as subtropical waters, because they can support larger, heavier organisms. The finding helps explain how the oceans may function under climate change.


June 22, 2016

Ocean forecast offers seasonal outlook for Pacific Northwest waters

colored maps of Pacific Northwest coast

A new study evaluates the performance of a seasonal forecast, developed by researchers at the UW and NOAA, that predicts conditions over the coming months in the Pacific Northwest marine environment.


June 16, 2016

UW’s large research vessel, R/V Thomas G. Thompson, gets a midlife overhaul

graphic of boat

The R/V Thomas G. Thompson, the 274-foot-long research vessel operated by the University of Washington, has spent 25 years carrying researchers, students and teachers out to sea. The ship has collected material from the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches and braved storms near Antarctica. This week, the ship will begin a yearlong stay in…


June 6, 2016

See, hear and study the deep sea: Ocean Observatories Initiative data now live

camera illuminating seafloor

Data is now streaming from the deep sea, thanks to an observatory installed in this region by the University of Washington as part of a larger National Science Foundation initiative to usher in a new age of oceanographic research.


May 30, 2016

Deep, old water explains why Antarctic Ocean hasn’t warmed

global map red at top, blue at bottom

The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places on Earth to experience human-driven climate change, because of its unique ocean currents.


May 25, 2016

UW, NOAA deploy ocean robot to monitor harmful algal blooms off Washington coast

The box surround by purple contains an automated laboratory that will analyze seawater for algal species and toxin. Researchers deployed it May 23 about 13 miles off Washington's coast.

Oceanographers from the UW and NOAA deployed a new tool that will automatically test for harmful algal blooms and help warn of when they could hit local beaches.


May 10, 2016

UW part of NOAA-led cruise to study West Coast ocean acidification

colored map shwoing the 16 stops

University of Washington students, faculty and staff are part of the fifth West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise that will investigate changes to ocean chemistry from Baja to British Columbia. The ship left Thursday from San Diego to begin sampling on Mexico’s northern coast. It will stop May 21 at San Francisco’s Exploratorium Pier, then travel…


March 30, 2016

Tracking ‘marine heatwaves’ since 1950 – and how the ‘blob’ stacks up

Picture graph

A tally of Northern Hemisphere marine heatwaves since 1950 shows that prolonged warm periods have recurred regularly in the past, but are being pushed into new territory by climate change.


March 17, 2016

Galapagos lakes reveal tropical Pacific climate since Biblical times

three people on water

University of Washington oceanographers track 2,000 years of El Niño history, showing that it can shift in strength for centuries at a time.


November 12, 2015

Oceans — and ocean activism — deserve broader role in climate change discussions

Joshua Cinner, at Australia's James Cook University, interviews fishermen in Papua New Guinea about adapting to changing social and environmental conditions.

When President Barack Obama visited the shrinking Exit Glacier in September, he pointed to a very obvious sign of our warming planet literally at his feet. Less visible, but perhaps more indelible, signs of changing climate lie in the oceans. A University of Washington researcher argues in the journal Science that people — including world…


July 8, 2015

Seafloor hot springs a significant source of iron in the oceans

seafloor topography with colored water above

A two-month voyage tracking a deep current flowing from one of the most active underwater volcanoes proves that iron released from hydrothermal vents travels thousands of miles, providing a significant source of iron to support life in the broader oceans.


June 25, 2015

UW researcher helping pinpoint massive harmful algal bloom

researcher looking into microscope

A UW research analyst who monitors harmful algae in Washington state is aboard a federal research vessel surveying a massive bloom that stretches from California up to Canada.


June 4, 2015

Warmer, lower-oxygen oceans will shift marine habitats

shark in the water

Warming temperatures and decreasing levels of dissolved oxygen will act together to create metabolic stress for marine animals. Habitats will shift to places in the ocean where the oxygen supply can meet the animals’ increasing future needs.


May 27, 2015

Invisible helpers of the sea: Marine bacteria boost growth of tiny ocean algae

mosaic made out of different shaped diatoms

Using seawater collected in Seattle, Whidbey Island and other sites, UW oceanographers show that just as with plants on land, a common species of ocean diatom grows faster in the presence of helpful bacteria.


May 19, 2015

UW’s Deborah Kelley publishes atlas of seafloor volcanoes and deep-ocean life

book cover with photo of tall pillars

Oceanographer Deborah Kelley is one of the lead authors of a first-of-its-kind atlas of the deep sea, titled “Discovering the Deep.”


November 21, 2014

UW-made tool displays West Coast ocean acidification data

hands holding oysters

A new tool developed at the UW displays real-time ocean acidification data for the open ocean and protected bays, helping shellfish growers and scientists see changes in water chemistry.


October 9, 2014

Migrating animals’ pee affects ocean chemistry

school of fish

Tiny animals migrating from the ocean’s surface to the sunless depths helps shape our oceans. During the daylight hours below the surface the animals release ammonia, the equivalent of our urine, that plays a significant role in marine chemistry, particularly in low-oxygen zones.


September 19, 2014

Join expedition online: UW students help install cabled deep-sea observatory

octopus near instrument

UW students have had a unique experience off the coast of Washington and Oregon helping scientists and engineers complete construction of the world’s largest deep-ocean observatory.


September 11, 2014

UW-built sensors to probe Antarctica’s Southern Ocean

person with float

Floating sensors built at the UW will be central to a new $21 million effort to learn how the ocean surrounding Antarctica influences climate.


September 4, 2014

Predicting when toxic algae will reach Washington and Oregon coasts

animation of currents

Better understanding of how a deadly algae grows offshore and gets carried to Pacific Northwest beaches has led to a computer model that can predict when the unseen threat will hit local beaches.


August 7, 2014

Ocean’s most oxygen-deprived zones to shrink under climate change

map

Predictions that the lowest-oxygen environments in the ocean will get worse may not come to pass. UW research shows climate change, by weakening the trade winds, will shrink these extremely low-oxygen waters.


July 16, 2014

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice

person on ice

An international team has placed sensors on and under Arctic sea ice to monitor this season’s retreat. Scientists hope to understand the physics of the ice edge in order to predict summer conditions in the Arctic Ocean.


June 16, 2014

Ferries for science: Instrument will monitor flow in Puget Sound

graphic of boat and hump

The UW, the state Department of Ecology and Washington State Ferries are working together to get a better understanding of water circulation in Puget Sound.


March 13, 2014

Tethered robots tested for Internet-connected ocean observatory

people on boat deploying instrument

The UW this fall will complete installation of a huge high-tech ocean observatory. Dozens of instruments will connect to power and Internet cables on the seafloor, but the observatory also includes a new generation of ocean explorers: robots that will zoom up and down through almost two miles of ocean to monitor the water conditions and marine life above.


February 26, 2014

Whales, ships more common through Bering Strait

whale

A three-year survey of whales in the Bering Strait reveals that many species of whales are using the narrow waterway, while shipping and commercial traffic also increase.


February 24, 2014

Vitamin water: Measuring essential nutrients in the ocean

researchers on boat

Oceanographers have found that archaea, a type of marine microbe, can produce B-12 vitamins in the ocean.


October 8, 2013

UW, local company building innovative deep-sea manned submarine

Image of submersible

The UW, Boeing and an Everett company are building a carbon-fiber submersible that will carry five passengers almost 2 miles deep.


September 18, 2013

Cables, instruments installed in the deep sea off Pacific Northwest coast

instrument on seafloor

In a seven-week cruise this past summer, oceanographers and students laid 14 miles of extension cable and installed about a dozen instruments for a historic deep-sea observatory.


September 9, 2013

Breaking deep-sea waves reveal mechanism for global ocean mixing

wave

Oceanographers for the first time recorded an enormous wave breaking miles below the surface in a key bottleneck for global ocean circulation.


May 20, 2013

Amazon River exhales virtually all carbon taken up by rain forest

photo on boat

A study published this week in Nature Geoscience shows that woody plant matter is almost completely digested by bacteria living in the Amazon River, and that this tough stuff plays a major part in fueling the river’s breath.


May 13, 2013

Using earthquake sensors to track endangered whales

fin whale

Oceanographers are using a growing number of seafloor seismometers, devices that record seafloor vibrations, to carry out inexpensive and non-invasive studies of endangered whales.


April 12, 2013

Tsunami debris could be found in Washington’s annual beach cleanup

photo of person and dock

The annual beach cleanup may turn up new items from the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan more than two years ago and sent objects to the Washington coast.


December 12, 2012

Award recognizes UW oceanographer’s talent for engaging public

Drumheller Fountain and Gerberding Hall on the UW campus.

The American Geophysical Union has presented its top prize for engaging the public in science to UW’s John Delaney.


December 10, 2012

Armbrust shares $35 million to investigate tiniest ocean regulators

statue of George Washington on UW campus

Oceanographer Ginger Armbrust has received a multi-million dollar award to spend as she wishes on her research into ocean microbes and their role in regulating ocean environments and our atmosphere.


October 2, 2012

UW scientists team with Coast Guard to explore ice-free Arctic Ocean — with slideshow

first year ice

UW scientists are teaming with the U.S. Coast Guard to study the new frontier in the Arctic Ocean opened up with the melting ice.



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