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NOAA report highlights 2020 climate, weather, ocean research

Launching uncrewed systems to monitor climate and ecosystem changes in the U.S. Arctic, sequencing the genome for endangered marine species, and improving weather forecasts with advances in regional models — these are just a few of NOAA’s scientific achievements in 2020. The newly released 2020 NOAA Science Report highlights the ways these accomplishments — and many more — provide the foundation for vital services that Americans use every day. 

New study shows promise of forecasting meteotsunamis

Photographer's images aid research on rare Great Lakes wave

On the afternoon of April 13, 2018, a large wave of water surged across Lake Michigan and flooded the shores of the picturesque beach town of Ludington, Michigan, damaging homes and boat docks, and flooding intake pipes. Thanks to a local citizen’s photos and other data, NOAA scientists reconstructed the event in models and determined this was the first ever documented meteotsunami in the Great Lakes caused by an atmospheric inertia-gravity wave.

Climate-driven shifts in deep Lake Michigan water temperatures signal the loss of winter

Changes foreshadow impacts on lake ecosystems, fisheries

Climate change is causing significant impacts on the Great Lakes and the surrounding region. As the largest surface freshwater system in the world, the Great Lakes have an enormous impact, seen and unseen, on the more than 34 million people who live within their collective basin. Because of their unique response to environmental conditions, Earth’s large lakes are considered by scientists as key sentinels of climate change. A long-term study published in Nature Communications today from NOAA reveals a warming trend in deepwater temperatures that foreshadows profound ecological change on the horizon. While less visible than the loss in ice cover and increasing lake surface temperatures, this latest index of climate change adds to the growing evidence of climate change impacts in the region. 

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Popular Research News

Fragrant consumer products a key source of ozone-forming pollution in New York City

Fragrant consumer products a key source of ozone-forming pollution in New York City Read more

New research from NOAA finds that fragrant personal care products - the stuff that makes you smell good - are now responsible for a significant amount of the ozone pollution known as smog that plagues major urban areas.

Low-oxygen waters off Washington, Oregon coasts risk becoming large 'dead zones'

Low-oxygen waters off Washington, Oregon coasts risk becoming large 'dead zones' Read more

A large area of poorly oxygenated water is growing off the coast of Washington and Oregon. Scientists say oxygen levels may fall low enough to create "dead zones." 

2020’s Economic Slowdown Provides Opportunity to Investigate Ozone Pollution in the U.S.

2020’s Economic Slowdown Provides Opportunity to Investigate Ozone Pollution in the U.S. Read more

When COVID-19 pandemic began in the US, counties and cities across the nation imposed stay at home orders, closed schools or imposed travel restrictions. From March 2020 onward, many Americans hung up car keys and settled into their homes for work and school. Traffic patterns dramatically changed, and previously smog filled vistas became clearer.

Human activities responsible for rapid increase in Earth's heat

Human activities responsible for rapid increase in Earth's heat Read more

A new study by Princeton University and NOAA researchers has found clear evidence of human influence on Earth’s climate in the past two decades of satellite measurements. “Human activity strongly influenced the positive trend in Earth's energy imbalance, causing a significant increase in the heat stored in the planet,” said Shiv Priyam Raghuraman, the lead researcher on the study. 

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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

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