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NOAA's Sargassum FAQ

A commonly found floating algae known as “Sargassum” has inundated the coastlines of the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean since 2011. These alga float at the sea surface, where they can aggregate to form large mats in the open ocean.  A 2020 study led by researchers at AOML shows how Sargassum entered and flourished in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean. A tool based on that research, known as the Sargassum Inundation Report (SIR) has been developed to help managers deal with these periodic inundations.

First NOAA GO-SHIP Cruise In 5 Years Departs To Study Unique Atlantic Basin

30-years of ocean observations provide view into long-term ocean trends

On March 6, a team of scientists on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown departed from Suape, Brazil for a 55-day cruise to the northerly waters of Reykjavik, Iceland. With 150 planned stops along this cruise track known as A16N, measurements of heat, freshwater, carbon, oxygen, and nutrients will be taken from the ocean’s surface to the seafloor, sometimes reaching depths greater than 5,000 meters (3.1 miles)! 

NOAA cruise supports vital climate and weather data flow

Researchers with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, and partners set sail from Bridgetown, Barbados aboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown on November 1st, 2022. Over the next 40 days, the crew and scientists recovered and redeployed key moorings in the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA), deployed an additional mooring, and serviced two equatorial PIRATA buoys in support of the PIRATA Northeast Extension project and broader PIRATA objectives. They also conducted a number of research projects on the ocean and atmosphere that advance our understanding of carbon absorption in the ocean and atmospheric pollution.

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Popular Research News

Atmospheric Rivers: What are they and how does NOAA study them?

Atmospheric Rivers: What are they and how does NOAA study them? Read more

You may have heard of atmospheric rivers in the news lately due to the intense rainfall and flooding along the U.S. West Coast. These naturally occurring air currents can bring both severe disruption and great benefit through the heavy rain and mountain snows that contribute to regional water supply. NOAA studies atmospheric rivers to improve forecasting capabilities as well as to improve our understanding of atmospheric river impacts on communities and the physical environment. 

One facility makes a big contribution to Salt Lake’s winter brown cloud

One facility makes a big contribution to Salt Lake’s winter brown cloud Read more

The 2.4 million people who live along Utah’s Wasatch Front experience some of the most severe winter particulate matter air pollution in the nation. Now, analysis of measurements taken during NOAA research flights in 2017 indicates that emissions from a single source, a magnesium refinery, may be responsible for a significant fraction of the fine particles that form  the dense winter brown clouds that hang over Salt Lake City.

When volcanoes roar: protecting the public and tracking long-term climate impacts

When volcanoes roar: protecting the public and tracking long-term climate impacts Read more

2022 was a busy year for volcanic eruptions with Hawaii's Mauna Loa and Kilaeau erupting simultaneously, along with Mount Semeru, Indonesia and the Hunga undersea volcano in Tonga. While the United States Geological Survey is the primary agency that monitors volcanic activity in the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) oversees safety systems for tsunamis and other volcano-related threats, as well as studies the impact of volcanic gasses on our global climate. 

Towering wildfire clouds have big impacts on the stratosphere

Towering wildfire clouds have big impacts on the stratosphere Read more

Smoke from wildfire-generated thunderstorms has greater impacts on the stratosphre, lasts longer and acts differently than scientists previously thought, a new research paper in the journal Science concludes.  

Low ice on the Great Lakes this winter

Low ice on the Great Lakes this winter Read more

Ice coverage has reached a record low in the Great Lakes for this time of year. 

 

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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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