NSF awards contract to carry OOI into the next decade and beyond

The School of Oceanography's Deb Kelley in the control room at the UW.

The National Science Foundation announced that it has awarded a coalition of academic and oceanographic research organizations a five-year, $220 million contract to operate and maintain the Ocean Observatories Initiative. The coalition, led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, with direction from the NSF and guidance from the OOI Facilities Board, will include the University of Washington, Oregon State University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 

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UW polar scientists advised NASA on upcoming ICESat-2 satellite

Satellite in dark sky hovering above Earth.

NASA launched a new satellite this month that will measure elevation changes on Earth with unprecedented detail. In the air, it will track shifts in the height of polar ice, mountain glaciers and even forest cover around the planet. Two University of Washington polar scientists — Jamie Morison, a polar oceanographer at UW’s School of Oceanography, and Benjamin Smith, a glaciologist at the Applied Physics Lab — advised the ICESat-2 mission that launched Sept. 

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Shift in large-scale Atlantic circulation causes lower-oxygen water to invade Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Gulf of St. Lawrence has warmed and lost oxygen faster than almost anywhere else in the global oceans. The broad, biologically rich waterway in Eastern Canada drains North America’s Great Lakes and is popular with fishing boats, whales and tourists. A new study led by the University of Washington looks at the causes of this rapid deoxygenation and links it to two of the ocean’s most powerful currents: the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current. 

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Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term

snow mobile on a field of white ice and snow

A region of West Antarctica is behaving differently from most of the continent’s ice: A large patch of ice there is thickening, unlike other parts of West Antarctica that are losing ice. Whether this thickening trend will continue affects the overall amount that melting or collapsing glaciers could raise the level of the world’s oceans. A study led by the University of Washington has discovered a new clue to this region’s behavior: A volcano under the ice sheet has left an almost 6,000-year record of the glacier’s motion. 

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