Today, NOAA and its partners released the first federal strategic plan to guide research and monitoring investments that will improve our understanding of ocean acidification, its potential impacts on marine species and ecosystems, and adaptation and mitigation strategies.
New NOAA research has revealed unprecedented changes in ocean carbon dioxide in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last 14 years, influencing the role the oceans play in current and projected global warming and ocean acidification. Natural variability has dominated patterns in ocean CO2 in this region, but observations now show human activity contributes to increasing CO2 levels.
Over the last five days beginning on March 16, 2014, carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This is nearly two months earlier than last year when the concentration of this greenhouse gas was first recorded above 400 parts per million on May 9, at the historic NOAA observatory.
We caught up with James Butler, Ph.D., Director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, to ask about what it means that we reached this milestone earlier than last year. To track carbon dioxide concentrations daily click here.
With NOAA funding, Ben Koziol, a CIRES researcher in NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, and partners, have built OpenClimateGIS, a new tool that will aid resource managers and others in the interpretation of climate data at the regional level. Today, Koziol and his collaborator, University of Michigan professor Richard Rood, will attend the launch of the White House’s Climate Data Initiative. Their new software, still in development, is showing promise for serving many sectors, including storm water planning (sewers get overwhelmed by intense rainfalls, which are on the rise in some areas) and emergency planning around dangerous heat waves (also on the rise in some areas).
While people along our nation’s coast experience rising sea levels, residents along the Great Lakes – the Earth’s largest lake system – are adapting to the opposite problem: chronic low water levels and a receding shoreline.
In a perspective now running in Science magazine, Drew Gronewold, a hydrologist at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, says “the record low water levels in Lake Michigan-Huron in the winter of 2012 to 2013 raise important questions about the driving forces behind water level fluctuations and how water resource management planning decisions can be improved.”