Scientists from NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environment Canada have issued a six-month forecast for water levels to be at or above average on Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie into spring of 2016. Lake Ontario water levels are expected to remain close to monthly averages. However, the impacts of the anticipated strong El Niño
and other atmospheric anomalies on the forecast are difficult to predict.
A new paper
appearing online in Atmospheric Environment
coauthored by researchers at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory looked at the climate implications of various proposals for future HFC use that are being discussed this week under the United Nations Montreal Protocol, the global agreement that protects the ozone layer.
The 2015 Antarctic ozone hole area was larger and formed later than in recent years, according to scientists from NOAA and NASA.
On Oct. 2, 2015, the ozone hole expanded to its peak of 28.2 million square kilometers (10.9 million square miles), an area larger than the continent of North America. Throughout October, the hole remained large and set many area daily records.
For centuries, cod was the backbone of New England’s fisheries and a key species in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Today, cod stocks in the gulf are on the verge of collapse, hovering at 3-4 percent of sustainable levels. Even setting tighter limits on fishing has failed to slow this rapid decline. Now a new
concludes that rapid warming of Gulf of Maine waters— warming in the last decade faster than in 99 percent of the global ocean —has reduced the capacity of cod to rebound from overfishing, leading to collapse.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) elected NOAA’s Ko Barrett to serve as one of three vice chairs for the international body. The IPCC was created to review and assess the most recent scientific, technical, and socio-economic information produced worldwide that is relevant to the understanding of climate change.
New NOAA-led research maps the distribution of aragonite saturation state in both surface and subsurface waters of the global ocean and provides further evidence that ocean acidification is happening on a global scale. The study identifies the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, and the upwelling ocean waters off the west coasts of North America, South America and Africa as regions that are especially vulnerable to ocean acidification.
NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO) today announced it has awarded $48 million for 53 new projects. Research will be conducted by NOAA laboratories and operational centers, universities, and other agency and research partners to advance the understanding, modeling, and prediction of Earth’s climate system and to improve decision making.
As part of efforts to enhance its Experimental Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletin, NOAA is offering the HAB Tracker, a new experimental forecasting tool that aims to aid local managers in decision-making on harmful algal blooms (HABs). The experimental tool is available online on NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory (GLERL) website, and incorporates real-time data with modelling to produce daily an updated 5-day forecast of potential bloom distribution and movement.
Since 2002, the Southern Ocean has been removing more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, according to two new studies. These studies, out today in the journals Geophysical Research Letters (GRL)and Science, make use of millions of ship-based observations and a variety of data analysis techniques to conclude that the Southern Ocean has increasingly taken up more CO2 during the last 13 years. That follows a decade from the early 1990s to 2000s, where evidence suggested the Southern Ocean CO2 sink was weakening.
In the lonely reaches of northwestern North Dakota and across the border into Saskatchewan, the vast Bakken oil field hosts extensive activities to extract both crude oil and natural gas. Business is booming—production increased by 30 percent between May 2013 and May 2014. More than a quarter of the total gas produced from the Bakken operations can’t be processed fast enough, though, and the common industry practice is to flare it—burn it off as it is vented to the atmosphere. Jutting 30 feet upward like enormous lit matchsticks, the flares pose a new question for atmospheric scientists: What do the flares put into the air? A new NOAA-led study has produced the first direct measurements of how much black carbon—a major component of airborne particles that are commonly referred to as soot —is emitted by the Bakken flaring operations.