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Ocean & Earth Sciences

UHM ranked 15th university in the world for earth and environmental science


The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa is ranked the 15th university in the world for earth and environmental science according to this year’s Nature Index. Anchored by the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), UHM ranked higher than nearly 8,000 other institutions. The Nature Index ranks institutions based on the number of research papers published in Nature and a ...

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UH researchers return with latest El Nino data from the central equatorial Pacific

Science party in the R/V Falkor control room. Credit: Carlie Weiner, SOI.

The timing could not have been more perfect for this expedition. Kelvin Richards, oceanographer at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and his team took full advantage of the strong El Niño conditions during the three-week research cruise in the central equatorial Pacific completed yesterday. The expedition aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel (R/V) Falkor left Majuro, Marshall Islands in ...

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Explore ocean depths with live feed from expedition

Areas NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will be visiting during its 2015 expedition to marine protected areas in the Pacific. (Credit: NOAA)

Starting this month, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer began two months of dives using unmanned remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, to explore marine protected areas in the central Pacific Ocean. Anyone with an internet connection can virtually explore the deep sea with scientists and researchers from their computer or mobile device. Live streaming video is available during each and every dive. “Given ...

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UHM scientists explore the frontiers of coral reef management

Coral polyps comprise a coral colony. (photo credit: Robert Richmond)

In a new study, released in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Marine Science, a team of international researchers explore the frontiers in natural and social science research—recommending actions that have the potential to build stronger support for reef management and improve the efficacy of conservation efforts. The scientists identify ways to more accurately diagnose stressors affecting reef health, approaches to ...

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Parental experience may help coral offspring survive climate change

Adult coral (Pocillopora_damicornis) and larvae (~1 millimeter). (credit: Hollie Putnam and Beth Lenz)

A new study from scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) reveals that preconditioning adult corals to increased temperature and ocean acidification resulted in offspring that may be better able to handle those future environmental stressors. This rapid trans-generational acclimatization may be able to “buy time” for corals in the race against climate ...

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Marine debris drift model simulates MH370 crash site and flow paths

IPRC model showing predicted movement of crash debris.

  The International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) within SOEST has used the Marine Debris Drift Model developed by SOEST researchers Nikolai Maximenko and Jan Hafner to simulate the pathways of debris from the likely crash site of MH370 in the Indian Ocean.  Building upon the model the developed to predict the movement of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Maximenko and ...

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Bacteria affects sand more than seawater


Sewage-contaminated coastal waters can lead to stomach aches, diarrhea and rashes for those who accidentally swallow harmful microbes or come into contact with them. New research recently published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Environmental Science and Technology sheds light on why fecal contamination affects sand more than water. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Associate Professor of Civil and ...

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Ritidian Point wave buoy redeployed to serve Guam communities


On July 17, 2015, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) redeployed its wave buoy outside ofRitidian Point with the support of the U.S. Coast Guard. The yellow buoy is located about 4 miles offshore and will now continue to send information on wave height, direction, period, and sea surface temperature. The reinstalled buoy off Ritidian Point joins the existing ...

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New tool forecasts high sea levels and potential flooding on Kwajalein Atoll


A new Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) tool is now available that forecasts the potential occurrence of high sea levels and wave inundation for the most populated segments of Kwajalein Atoll. The forecast is updated hourly and accessible to the public on the PacIOOS website. “Due to the low elevation of the Marshall Islands, communities are vulnerable to flooding ...

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Protecting the deep sea: a call for balancing mining and ecosystem sustainability

A new species from a new order of Cnidaria collected at 4,100 meters in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) that lives on sponge stalks attached to nodules. Photo credit: Craig Smith and Diva Amon, ABYSSLINE Project.

Thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface lies a hidden world of undiscovered species and unique seabed habitats—as well as a vast untapped store of natural resources including valuable metals and rare-earth minerals. Technology and infrastructure development worldwide is dramatically increasing demand for these resources, which are key components in everything from cars and modern buildings to computers and smartphones. ...

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