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Ocean & Earth Sciences

Extensive deep coral reefs in Hawaiʻi harbor unique species and high coral cover

A team of 16 researchers, including several from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has completed a comprehensive investigation of deep coral reef environments, known as mesophotic coral ecosystems, throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago. The study, published in the open-access journal PeerJ, spanned more than two decades and involved a combination of submersibles operated by the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻi Undersea Research …

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Historical records may underestimate global sea level rise

New research published in Geophysical Research Letters shows that the longest and highest-quality records of historical ocean water levels may underestimate the amount of global average sea level rise that occurred during the 20th century. Philip Thompson, associate director of the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Level Center in the UH MānoaSchool of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, led the …

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Symposium on climate displacement, migration and relocation to be held in Honolulu

Residents in Hawaiʻi, Alaska and the Pacific Islands are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change, and moving to a safer location is one of many adaptation responses that communities are considering. A symposium in Honolulu this December aims to address legal and policy challenges and questions surrounding climate displacement and relocation. The effects of climate change, especially …

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UH and Conservation International dive on unexplored seamounts near Hawaiʻi

The Pacific Ocean has by far the largest number of seamounts, distinct features of volcanic origin that rise off the seafloor but do not break the surface, of any ocean on the planet. Earlier this month, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) teamed up with the non-profit group Conservation International (CI) to dive on seamounts near Hawaiʻi—two of which have …

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Environmental Protection Agency awards $132,000 to graduate student for coral reef research

Chris Wall, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa marine biology doctoral candidate was selected for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowship program. With this honor, Wall received a $132,000 award to support his research on the impacts of near-shore stressors, such as nutrient pollution, and global stressors, such as rising seawater temperature, on coral reefs. “While …

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Indian Ocean sea level on the rise according to new study

A new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that sea level rise in the northern Indian Ocean rose twice as fast as the global average since 2003. This represents a stark contrast to the previous decade when the region experienced very little sea level rise at all. The science team led by Philip Thompson, associate director of the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Level …

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Past climate change swings orchestrated early human migration waves out of Africa

A small group of Homo sapiens left Africa around 100,000 years ago in a series of astronomically-paced slow migration waves and arrived for the first time in southern Europe around 80,000-90,000 years ago, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. These results by a team of researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa challenge prominent anthropological models that assume a single …

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UH and Tohoku University collaborate for disaster sciences

A partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Tohoku University, one of Japan’s top research universities is redefining disaster science. The collaboration began shortly after the March 2011 disaster events that struck Japan, including the powerful earthquake that triggered a devastating tsunami. The UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences and the School of Ocean and Earth Science Technology’s Hawaiʻi Sea Grant program have been working with Tohoku ever …

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Unexpected changes in high-level equatorial winds surprise scientists

One of the most repeatable, predictable phenomena of atmospheric winds threw scientists for a loop February 2016 by breaking its long-standing routine. However, a study published last week in Science presents a mechanism to explain this unexpected and unprecedented disruption. The international group of atmospheric scientists was led by Scott Osprey of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the …

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UH Water Resources Research Center receives nearly $1M for water sustainability project

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the investment of $26.6 million by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) into 45 projects that will spur innovative conservation initiatives on both rural and urban farms across the country. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) received nearly $1 million of this funding to conduct a three-year research project focusing on …

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