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.
Novosibirsk, Russia, situated in the middle of the largest country in the world with no ocean or coastline in sight, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of tsunamis. However, for tsunami modeler, Dr. Vasily Titov, Novosibirsk was the birthplace of his career in tsunami research.
NOAA researchers set out this week on a two-week mission to fly over the Arctic to measure how much the ice has melted over the summer and gauge the speed of this fall’s refreezing of sea ice. This is the second year in a row scientists have flown above Arctic waters. Data gathered from both years is testing a hypothesis that increased summer heat stored in the newly sea-ice free areas of the Arctic Ocean lead to surface heat fluxes in autumn that are large enough to have impacts on atmospheric temperature, humidity, wind and cloud distributions.
A global report released this week on changing carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land environment draws heavily from data and observations by NOAA research scientists and their partners. For the first time, the annual assessment by the Global Carbon Project uses data obtained from autonomous instruments installed by NOAA scientists on its ships and other ships of opportunity and moorings to determine the variability of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean.
Ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska’s valuable commercial fisheries and subsistence way of life, according to new NOAA-led research that will be published online in Progress in Oceanography.