Over the next four months, NOAA scientists will launch unmanned ocean vehicles, called Saildrones, from the Arctic to the tropical Pacific Ocean to help better understand how changes in the ocean are affecting weather, climate, fisheries and marine mammals. The wind and solar-powered research vehicles that resemble a sailboat will travel thousands of miles across the ocean, reaching some areas never before surveyed with such specialized technology.
Ocean acidification is spreading rapidly in the western Arctic Ocean in both area and depth, potentially affecting shellfish, other marine species in the food web, and communities that depend on these resources, according to new research published in Nature Climate Change by NOAA, Chinese marine scientists and other partners.
At first glance they might be mistaken for toys, but these remote-controlled devices aren’t for play. Unmanned aircraft and watercraft are being put to work by NOAA scientists to gather astonishing new data from our wildlands and waterways.
Analysis of nearly three decades of air samples from Alaska’s North Slope shows little change in long-term methane emissions despite significant Arctic warming over that time period, according to new research published in Geophysical Research Letters.
The journal Nature Geoscience published a paper by Tom Delworth and his colleagues examining how a natural atmospheric force--the North Atlantic Oscillation--may be changing ocean currents in the North Atlantic. Among other impacts, the stronger ocean currents increase the amount of heat flowing toward polar areas, which could speed up Arctic ice melt and affect how hurricanes form. We asked Delworth a few questions about his study:
The record heat baking Alaska is poised to smash a host of climate records in 2016, including the earliest snowmelt date at NOAA’s Barrow Observatory, the northernmost point in the nation.
Spring came early this year, breaking several records at the top of the world in Barrow, Alaska, according to a new report that combines observations from NOAA, the North Slope Borough and a scientist who has tracked an Arctic bird for the last four decades.
New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044.
Testing new scientific technology is a risky business. In the case of two Saildrones released in the eastern Bering Sea over a month ago, the risk has led to big rewards. Equipped with a suite of scientific sensors, the unmanned surface vehicles are performing beyond researchers’ expectations during their first test run in cold waters. Each Saildrone has collected over 40 million measurements over the course of the planned 2.5 month test mission.
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.