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.
In late February, as the Southern Plains and Gulf Coast suffered through an unusually strong blast of wintry weather, weather talk turned to the polar vortex and the possibility that the extreme cold was yet another example of weather-gone-wild due to global warming.
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 NOAA study published in Nature Geosciences takes a new look at faint, old smoke and finds that it is just as important an influence on the climate as the thick plumes produced by active fires.
NOAA has launched a wide-ranging research effort to investigate the impact of reduced vehicle traffic, air travel, shipping, manufacturing and other activities on Earth’s atmosphere and oceans due to the response to COVID-19.
Picture a calm, sunny day at a tropical beach. You look out at the ocean and in the distance a flotilla of small white clouds sails close to the waves. It’s ideal weather and typical of many days in the tropical Atlantic. However, scientists don’t fully understand how these ubiquitous clouds (a type of “shallow convective cloud”) form and impact the ocean, and it represents one of the largest uncertainties in predicting climate change.
An expedition to the central Arctic will give scientists the first opportunity to study the dramatic changes sweeping across the top of the world for an entire year.
A sooty cloud generated by a 2017 firestorm provided an ideal opportunity for researchers to test a climate model that simulated the lifetime of that soot in the stratosphere.
NOAA's SOS Explorer Mobile, an app for personal mobile devices, tells earth science stories by playing visually stunning movies on a virtual globe.
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.