Pacific Ocean

Gwenn Hennon demonstrates experiment aboard the RV Kilo Moana

Eavesdropping on the Ocean’s Mighty Microorganisms

Now, nearing the end of our three-week cruise of the North Pacific off Hawaii, we are working to understand how these tiny bacteria connect and communicate with one another.

by |July 13, 2017
Tara Clemente, Rob Palomares, Time Burrell, Ryan Tabata and Paul Den Uyl pulling samples from the depths of the North Pacific

Deep thoughts from the Deep Blue Sea

The sea is a deep blue, so clear that you might think it was devoid of life. We have seen only a few seabirds circling the ship and playing in the air currents we generate. We haven’t seen any whales or sharks, only an occasional flying fish taking to the air in front of our bow wake. In this apparent desert, microbial life is king.

by |July 6, 2017
Gwen Hennon

Racing time to Explore Ocean Ecosystems: A Mother’s Work

Scientists like myself are in a race against time to understand the fundamental drivers of ocean ecosystems before climate change pushes them towards a new unknown state.

by |June 22, 2017
The Liona seamount.

A Front Row Seat on the Ocean Floor

Ocean scientists are, in their hearts, explorers. Our group aboard the R/V Atlantis may be more infected with the exploration bug than most. The first goal of our expedition makes that clear: We aim to map regions of the seafloor never before seen by human eyes.

by |November 15, 2016
With the right mix of nutrients, carbon-capturing phytoplankton grow quickly, creating blooms visible from space. (Robert Simmon and Jesse Allen/NASA)

Iron Fertilization Won’t Work in Equatorial Pacific, Study Suggests

Over the past half-million years, the equatorial Pacific Ocean has seen five spikes in the amount of iron-laden dust blown in from the continents. In theory, those bursts should have turbo-charged the growth of carbon-capturing algae, but a new study shows that the excess iron had little to no effect.

by |May 16, 2016
From the bridge of the R/V/ Falkor, looking out at Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai. Photo: Colleen Peters

From Top to Bottom: Scientists Map a New Island Volcano

One of the earth’s newest islands exploded into view from the bottom of the southwest Pacific Ocean in January 2015, and scientists sailing around the volcano this spring have created a detailed map of its topography.

by |May 4, 2016
cheesy sunset picture resized

On the Surface, Feeling Further Away from the Ocean than Ever

My German colleague and I could conceptualize five kilometers horizontally—the same as her bike ride to work, the same as the first ever race I ran. Neither of us could quite grasp what flipping 5 kilometers 90 degrees might mean, as our pump continued on its 3-hour vertical journey to that depth.

by |February 8, 2016
manganese

In Isolation, Community

Being aboard a ship is isolating—but for a scientist, it’s not lonely.

by |January 19, 2016
jun_15_sst_anom CROP

The Extreme Pacific Climate Now

The climate over the tropical Pacific is in an extreme state at the moment. That explains some of the extreme anomalies affecting the United States right now. It also gives us a window through which we can glimpse how even more dramatic and long-term climates of the distant past might have worked.

by |July 14, 2015
Field work guide map, Earth Institute, Lamont-Doherrt Earth Observatory

An Interactive Map of Scientific Fieldwork

Earth Institute scientists explore how the physical world works on every continent — over and under the arctic ice, in the grasslands of Mongolia, on volcanoes in Patagonia, over subduction zones in Papua New Guinea, and on the streets of New York City.

by |May 7, 2012