Friday, March 27, 2015
Studying the air above oil and gas production areas in the western United States

Friday, March 20, 2015

Studying the air above oil and gas production areas in the western United States

Vast regions west of the Mississippi River are under development for oil and gas extraction, and the associated equipment has become a familiar sight on any cross-country road trip or flight.  But while one focus is on what comes out of the ground, NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) researchers and their colleagues are studying what escapes to the air—and how it is transformed in the atmosphere and affects air quality and climate.  The scientists are using a suite of state-of-the-art chemical instruments aboard a research aircraft this spring in the NOAA-led Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX 2015) field campaign, to study the atmospheric effects of energy production in the western United States.
Round-the-world sailors help NOAA gather data in Southern Ocean to improve forecasts

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Round-the-world sailors help NOAA gather data in Southern Ocean to improve forecasts

If you’ve ever sailed aboard a ship in the ocean, or checked a weather report before heading to the beach, then you are one of many millions of people who benefit from ocean observations. NOAA collects ocean observations and weather data to provide mariners with accurate forecasts of seas, coastal weather forecasts and regional climate predictions. Partnerships are essential to maintaining a network of free-floating, data-gathering buoys known as drifters. NOAA’s latest partner is not your typical research or ocean transportation vessel: the six sailboats and crew currently racing around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race.

 

Sea Grant agent works with Arctic communities to study bowhead whales

Monday, March 09, 2015

Sea Grant agent works with Arctic communities to study bowhead whales

In Alaska’s Bering Strait and Arctic regions, there are dozens of Alaskan Native tribes, many of whom depend on the marine environment for food, as they have in some cases for thousands of years.  In this world more foreign to most Americans than many other countries (and bigger than many too) works exactly one NOAA Oceanic & Atmospheric Research Sea Grant extension agent: Gay Sheffield.

Sea level spiked for two years from New York to Newfoundland

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sea level spiked for two years from New York to Newfoundland

Sea levels from New York to Newfoundland jumped up about four inches in 2009 and 2010 because ocean circulation changed, a University of Arizona-led team, in collaboration with NOAA scientists, reports in an upcoming issue of Nature Communications
Research identifies hot spots for addressing ocean acidification risks to US shellfisheries

Monday, February 23, 2015

Research identifies hot spots for addressing ocean acidification risks to US shellfisheries

We caught up with Dwight Gledhill, deputy director of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, and one of the 17 authors of a perspective published today in Nature Climate Change on vulnerability of U.S. shellfisheries to ocean acidification.
NOAA’s growing weather observations database goes into full operations

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NOAA’s growing weather observations database goes into full operations

More robust observational data gives weather forecasters better information to develop a forecast. But data from so many different sources – 64,000 – is not easily integrated. That’s where scientists at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory came in to develop the system called the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System (MADIS) to make this wealth of data more accessible and usable.  This research project successfully transitioned into operations by NOAA’s National Weather Service in late January. It is another example of NOAA’s work to strengthen the effectiveness of the National Weather Service to provide environmental intelligence to communities and businesses, enabling them to become ready, responsive and resilient in the face of extreme weather, water and climate events.
Methane leaks from three large U.S. natural gas fields in line with federal estimates

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Methane leaks from three large U.S. natural gas fields in line with federal estimates

Tens of thousands of pounds of methane leak per hour from equipment in three major natural gas basins that span Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, according to airborne measurements published today by a NOAA-led team of scientists. But the overall leak rate from those basins is only about one percent of gas production there—lower than leak rates measured in other gas fields, and in line with federal estimates.

NOAA’s investments in weather models and partnerships paying off

Friday, January 30, 2015

NOAA’s investments in weather models and partnerships paying off

As the Northeast digs out from this week’s blizzard, a new NOAA-led effort to improve the forecasting of such high impact weather events is reaching an important early benchmark. One of the first major improvements - upgrading the resolution of three global forecast models -- has already shown its effectiveness. One of these models, the newly upgraded Global Forecast System (GFS) model, provided one of the most precise forecasts of the track, intensity, precipitation, and distribution of the Nor’easter. The other research models provided important forecast information, as well.
Craig McLean named new leader for NOAA Research

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Craig McLean named new leader for NOAA Research

Today, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D, announced that Craig McLean, deputy assistant administrator for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), has been selected to head the office, which is responsible for NOAA’s research enterprise, including laboratories and programs across the country.

Rivers in the sky

Friday, January 16, 2015

Rivers in the sky

Yes, there are rivers in the sky!  Atmospheric rivers, to be exact, are narrow bands of moisture that regularly form above the Pacific Ocean and flow towards North America’s west coast, drenching it in rain and packing it with snow.   These rivers, which transport more water than the Amazon or the Mississippi, have a far-reaching impact - even on the food you may be eating today.

With this week’s  January 14 sailing of NOAA’s largest ship, the Ronald H. Brown, a major investigation of atmospheric rivers named CalWater 2015 is now underway.

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