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.
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.
The Energy Department today announced $2.5 million for a new project to research the atmospheric processes that generate wind in mountain-valley regions. This in-depth research, conducted by Vaisala of Louisville, Colorado, will be used to improve the wind industry’s weather models for short-term wind forecasts, especially for those issued less than 15 hours in advance. With access to better forecasts, wind energy plant operators and industry professionals can ensure wind turbines operate closer to maximum capacity, leading to lower energy costs for consumers.
New research published in Marine Policy from the first Alaska-focused study on public understanding and awareness of ocean acidification risk shows that Alaskans are three times more aware of ocean acidification than Americans in general. However, Alaskans have difficulty seeing ocean acidification as an immediate risk, and the direct risks to Alaska’s fisheries are still not well understood. The research, “Gauging perceptions of ocean acidification in Alaska,” can be read online.
Nearly 10 years ago, the world woke the day after Christmas to news of the most deadly tsunami in recorded history. Triggered by an underwater earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, took the lives of nearly 240,000 unwarned people in four hours and displaced 1.7 million people in over 14 countries.
Over the last 10 years, NOAA scientists have worked to dramatically improve tsunami warning and forecasts that can and have helped the nation and the world.
Scientists at the Army Corps of Engineers, Environment Canada, and NOAA recently documented a record-setting surge in water levels on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron that began in January 2013, and has continued through November 2014. The United States and Canadian federal agencies expect water levels to stay near or above average on all of the Great Lakes over the next six months.
According to a new NOAA-sponsored study, natural oceanic and atmospheric patterns are the primary drivers behind California's ongoing drought. A high pressure ridge off the West Coast (typical of historic droughts) prevailed for three winters, blocking important wet season storms, with ocean surface temperature patterns making such a ridge much more likely. Typically, the winter season in California provides the state with a majority of its annual snow and rainfall that replenish water supplies for communities and ecosystems.
Several NOAA scientists will present information on climate research and new tools to build greater resiliency to climate change at a meeting on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru, that will run from December 1-12.
Today NOAA Sea Grant is announcing new grants totaling $2.6 million for 15 projects to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes aquaculture. Through university, state and other partnerships, Sea Grant Programs will supplement the federal funding with an additional $1.4 million in non-federal matching funds, bringing the total investment to about $4 million for new national projects in 2014. These new research projects are in addition to multi-year extension and technology transfer projects selected in FY13.
NOAA today announced the appointment of 13 members to a new federal Ocean Exploration Advisory Board that will provide guidance to NOAA and the nation on the exploration of our ocean.