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.
Sometimes to understand the present, it takes looking to the past. That’s the approach coastal researchers, supported by the NOAA Climate Program Office Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) Program, are taking to pinpoint the causes of extreme sea level changes.
New research by NOAA and a visiting scientist from India shows that warming of the Indo-Pacific Ocean is altering rainfall patterns from the tropics to the United States, contributing to declines in rainfall on the United States west and east coasts.
Our planet has been baking under the sun this summer as temperatures reached the hottest ever recorded and heat waves spread across the globe. While the climate continues to warm, scientists expect the frequency and intensity of heat waves to increase. However, a commonly overlooked aspect is the spatial size of heat waves, despite its important implications.
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.
During winter 2018 the sea ice in the Bering Sea reached record-low levels thanks to persistent warm southerly winds. These conditions caused the ice to retreat to the northern reaches of the 800,000 square mile body of water.
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.
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.