If you’ve ever sailed aboard a ship in the ocean, or checked a weather report before heading to the beach, then you are one of many millions of people who benefit from ocean observations. NOAA collects ocean observations and weather data to provide mariners with accurate forecasts of seas, coastal weather forecasts and regional climate predictions. Partnerships are essential to maintaining a network of free-floating, data-gathering buoys known as drifters. NOAA’s latest partner is not your typical research or ocean transportation vessel: the six sailboats and crew currently racing around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race.
A global report released this week on changing carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land environment draws heavily from data and observations by NOAA research scientists and their partners. For the first time, the annual assessment by the Global Carbon Project uses data obtained from autonomous instruments installed by NOAA scientists on its ships and other ships of opportunity and moorings to determine the variability of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean.
The Southern Ocean that encircles Antarctica lends a considerable hand in keeping Earth's temperature hospitable by soaking up half of the human-made carbon in the atmosphere and a majority of the planet's excess heat. Yet, the inner workings — and global importance — of this ocean that accounts for 30 percent of the world's ocean area remains relatively unknown to scientists, as observations remain hindered by dangerous seas.
NOAA and university researchers believe they have found a climate signal related to a specific phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation that could be linked to, and possibly serve as a predictor of, massive tornado outbreaks.
Researchers from NASA, NOAA, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and others are launching a three-year mission to better understand what makes hurricanes intensify or weaken, and what factors steer the destructive storms.
NOAA researchers will be using several innovative tools, techniques, and research results during the 2012 hurricane season to continue to improve hurricane forecasting. Read our 2012 hurricane research news briefs to learn more.
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.