School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Gates HD Under H2O video image

How to train your coral

Coral bleaching is a huge threat to the planet's coral reefs. Instead of dwelling on the doom and gloom of the future oceanic conditions that corals are facing, Ruth Gates of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) is using cutting edge technology to try to understand the processes at work deep inside coral tissues. Click on the image or title to watch the video.

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SOEST in the News

Climate predictabilty model image Extending climate predictability beyond El Niño

Tropical Pacific climate variations and their global weather impacts may be predicted much further in advance than previously thought, according to a report by researchers from the IPRC and their colleagues. The source of this predictability lies in the tight interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere and among the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Oceans. Such long-term tropical climate forecasts are useful to the public and policy makers. “We found that, even three to four years after starting the prediction, the model was still tracking the observations well,” says Yoshimitsu Chikamoto, IPRC researcher and and lead author of the study. “This implies that central Pacific climate conditions can be predicted over several years ahead.”

Read more about it in the UH System News and EurekAlert!. Image courtesy of Y. Chikamoto / IPRC; click on it to see the full version.

Photo of scuba diver and coral How to train your coral

One of the very real and immediate impacts of climate change is widespread death of the living corals that make up the building blocks of reefs. Warming oceans are the main cause in a threat to corals known as coral bleaching. When water temperatures are too high, symbiotic plants that live inside the tissues of healthy corals suddenly leave, causing a once colorful animal to turn stark white. If the warm temperatures persist, and the coral remains without its partner plants long enough, the coral will die. HIMB researcher Ruth Gates is working to find a solution: her lab focuses on understanding the processes that happen inside living corals in hopes of understanding how we might be able to help these animals survive the conditions of the future.

Read more about at Huffington Post, and watch the video on our video page. Image courtesy of HD Under H2O; click on it to see the full version.

Drone image That’s not a drone, that’s a researcher

For the average consumer, drones might just be toys, but for businesses, researchers, and government agencies, especially in Hawai‘i, they’re the latest tool helping them work more quickly, safely, and economically. Craig Glenn, a professor of Geology and Geophysics (G&G), and his graduate student Joseph Kennedy are using them in their research on fresh groundwater entering the ocean. Using advanced thermal infrared imaging collected by drone-mounted sensors, they’re looking at tiny differences in coastal water temperatures, which they can then use to pinpoint where groundwater enters the ocean, how long it took to get there, and how it — and anything in it like waste, chemicals, or fertilizer — impacts marine ecosystems and reefs.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Civil Beat and the Government Executive. Image courtesy of J. Rushin / Civil Beat; click on it to see the full version

Please visit SOEST in the News: 2015 for archived news articles, with links to previous years.

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