The Southern Ocean that encircles Antarctica lends a considerable hand in keeping Earth's temperature hospitable by soaking up half of the human-made carbon in the atmosphere and a majority of the planet's excess heat. Yet, the inner workings — and global importance — of this ocean that accounts for 30 percent of the world's ocean area remains relatively unknown to scientists, as observations remain hindered by dangerous seas.
Alan Leonardi, Ph.D., a physical oceanographer and meteorologist who has served as deputy director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab (AOML), has been named director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER). Leonardi is slated to begin on Oct. 6.
Using undersea robots, satellites and high-speed Internet to send live video from the seafloor to audiences ashore, a team of NOAA-led marine archeologists discovered a ship’s chronometer where time has stood still for about 200 years at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
From April 12-30, members of the public are invited to join NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer as it explores deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. “Virtual ocean explorers” will have the chance to see canyons, deep-sea coral communities, and shipwrecks dating to the early 1800s via live video transmitted from the deep seafloor.
More than 100 explorers, scientists, government officials, academics, and industry leaders who attended the inaugural ‘Ocean Exploration 2020: A National Forum,’ in July, have proposed the future of American ocean exploration. NOAA and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., hosted the Forum, and released a report this week examining the future of ocean exploration through a coordinated federal effort involving multiple agencies in collaboration with the private sector.