From warmer ocean temperatures to longer and more intense droughts and heat waves, climate change is affecting our entire planet. Scientists at NOAA have long worked to track, understand and predict how climate change is progressing and impacting ecosystems, communities and economies.
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.
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.
Congress voted on January 1, 2021 to reauthorize and strengthen the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, a 23-year old program created by Congress to facilitate ocean-related partnerships between federal agencies, academia and industry to advance ocean science research and education.The reauthorization passed Congress as an amendment included in Section 1055 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
The National Sea Grant College Act was reauthorized and amended by Congress and signed by President Donald J. Trump on December 18, 2020. The reauthorization, titled the “National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2020,” includes several updates to Sea Grant’s authorizing legislation. The Act serves as a guiding framework upon which Sea Grant operates and serves America’s coastal and Great Lakes communities.
From predicting smoke movement from massive wildfires, to investigating how marine life is responding to a quieter ocean, 2020 was a big year for NOAA science. As this unprecedented year draws to a close, we’re looking back at some of our biggest research endeavors in 2020. Here are 5 of our most-read stories from the last year.
A new book published by the American Geophysical Union provides first detailed examination of how climate change may influence El Niño and La Niña.
Over the past several years, Sea Grant has funded many research projects. Last year, Sea Grant established several collaborative teams focused on bringing together diverse aquaculture stakeholders, advancing specific aspects of the industry, and informing future national investments by Sea Grant. Funding for existing projects is ongoing. This year, Sea Grant provided supplemental funds to each of the state Sea Grant programs to expand work and take on new aquaculture projects at the local level. National investments also included rapid response funds to each Sea Grant state program to address aquaculture needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new, fine-scale modeling approach developed by NOAA and CIRES scientists now projects that there will still be enough high-elevation snow by the middle of the 21st Century to support - according to federal biologists - the denning habits of one iconic North American mountain-dweller, the wolverine.
While NOAA has had to cancel many of its planned research surveys in Alaska, it has been able to conduct a number of scaled-back research surveys in 2020. One such survey that will be finishing up this week is in the Arctic and was conducted on board NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson to collect critical data supporting a long time series involving many scientific partners.
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.