The answer is important for understanding how the Earth system is responding to climate change.
NOAA scientists collect critical ice and atmospheric data in the Arctic, use innovative approaches to track ocean acidification, build elegant climate and ecosystem models - and so much more. That work leads to more accurate weather forecasts and an overall deeper understanding of the intricacies of our planet.
New research from NOAA and partners analyzing data from deep-diving ocean robots and research cruises shows that the coldest, near-bottom South Pacific waters originating from Antarctica are warming three times faster than they were in the 1990s.
Weather conditions were ripe for a big ozone hole this year. But declining levels of ozone-depleting chemicals kept it to near-average size.
For more than two decades, Elizabeth Hunke has worked at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to design, create and improve a model used to predict sea ice extent, thickness and movement in both the Arctic and Antarctica. From the beginning, Hunke understood that collaboration was the key to improving this model. At a time when sea ice prediction is needed more than ever, NOAA, the Navy and other agencies are working together to extend sea ice prediction from days to decades.
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.