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.
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)!
This winter has brought multiple rounds of devastating severe weather to the southeastern U.S., with more than 200 reported tornadoes and 14 fatalities. To better understand the deadly storms in this region, scientists will conduct research as they travel through seven states in the second year of one of the largest and most comprehensive severe storm field projects to date.
A new report from the U.N., which includes key scientific contributions from NOAA and international partners, confirms that the recovery of Earth’s protective ozone layer is on track, and that the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that guides the phase-out of ozone-destroying chemicals, has had the additional benefit of slowing global warming.
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.
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.
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.