UW Today

oceanography


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.


September 24, 2012

New York Times blog features UW scientist at sea

thomson

The New York Times’ Scientist at Work blog is featuring posts from Jim Thomson, an oceanographer at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, as he seeks big waves in the North Pacific.


July 26, 2012

Underwater ‘electrical outlets’ put in place for cabled ocean observatory project

1A marks the first node installed, at Hydrate Ridge. 1C and 1D indicate the Endurance Array site. The placeholder node, in the middle of the Juan de Fuca Plate, is 5A. Node drawings courtesy of L-3 MariPro.

The first U.S. cabled ocean observatory reached a milestone on July 14 with the installation of a node 9,500 feet deep off the coast of Oregon. Like a giant electrical outlet on the seafloor that also provides Internet connectivity, the node was spliced into a network of cable segments totalling some 560 miles that were…


July 22, 2011

The cable has landed: Ocean science history in the making — with slideshow

The two cables of the Regional Scale Nodes observatory involve a northern segment (pink) to Axial Seamount and a southern segment (mostly green) to Hydrate Ridge with a loop back on the continental shelf. Circles represent nodes where it will be possible to connect sensors and instruments to the cable.

Submarine cables for the nations first regional cabled ocean observatory, a project led by the University of Washington, made landfall last week on the Oregon coast.


January 11, 2010

Microbe understudies await their turn in the limelight

On the marine microbial stage, there appears to be a vast group of understudies only too ready to step in when


December 17, 2009

Scientists witness for first time magma streaming from volcano in deep ocean

For the first time scientists have seen molten lava flowing from a deep-ocean seafloor volcano.


August 21, 2008

Underwater scout: New robot searches out best locations for components of undersea lab

Once launched, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Sentry operates without being tethered to the ship. It is preprogrammed for the areas it is to map but can operate independently to navigate around cliffs, basins and other terrain it encounters.

Like a deep-sea bloodhound, Sentry — the newest in an elite group of unmanned submersibles able to operate on their own in demanding and rugged environments — has helped scientists pinpoint optimal locations for two observation sites of a pioneering seafloor laboratory being planned off Washington and Oregon.


January 31, 2008

Lost City pumps life-essential chemicals at rates unseen at typical black smokers

Hydrocarbons — molecules critical to life — are being generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.


May 24, 2007

New hires, planning under way for proposed $130 million ocean observatory

Peter Barletto, who has more than three decades of experience with submarine cable systems and networks, started work at the University of Washington Monday, joining the project team tasked with developing detailed engineering specifications for a cabled underwater research facility to be built off the coast of Washington and Oregon.


November 2, 2006

UW students on the case (and on the ship) researching problems in Puget Sound

While the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was running a six-part series on problems plaguing Puget Sound, UW undergraduates, graduate students and faculty were at work on board the UW’s 274-foot research vessel gathering information needed to help puzzle out some of the sound’s most pressing problems.


May 25, 2006

Proposed budget includes money for cabled observatory off Washington

With $150 million in President Bush’s proposed budget to install a cabled seafloor observatory off Washington and Oregon, a planning session is being convened June 5 for UW faculty and departments to learn how they might take advantage of this new facility for earth and ocean research and education.


October 13, 2005

HDTV, live from the seafloor

With clever engineering and being in the right spot, under the right satellite, UW oceanographers working with Computing & Communications and the ResearchChannel became the first team in the world to broadcast high-definition video from the seafloor to selected sites around the world Sept.


March 10, 2005

Life in ‘Lost City’

The hydrothermal vents were miles from where anyone could have imagined.



Next page