Climate change is causing significant impacts on the Great Lakes and the surrounding region. As the largest surface freshwater system in the world, the Great Lakes have an enormous impact, seen and unseen, on the more than 34 million people who live within their collective basin. Because of their unique response to environmental conditions, Earth’s large lakes are considered by scientists as key sentinels of climate change. A long-term study published in Nature Communications today from NOAA reveals a warming trend in deepwater temperatures that foreshadows profound ecological change on the horizon. While less visible than the loss in ice cover and increasing lake surface temperatures, this latest index of climate change adds to the growing evidence of climate change impacts in the region.
NOAA scientists project the maximum Great Lakes ice cover for 2021 will be 30 percent, higher than last year’s maximum of 19.5 percent, but part of a long-term pattern of declining ice cover likely driven by climate change.
Congress voted on January 1, 2021 to reauthorize and strengthen the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, a 23-year old program created by Congress to facilitate ocean-related partnerships between federal agencies, academia and industry to advance ocean science research and education.The reauthorization passed Congress as an amendment included in Section 1055 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
The National Sea Grant College Act was reauthorized and amended by Congress and signed by President Donald J. Trump on December 18, 2020. The reauthorization, titled the “National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2020,” includes several updates to Sea Grant’s authorizing legislation. The Act serves as a guiding framework upon which Sea Grant operates and serves America’s coastal and Great Lakes communities.
The giant methane cloud spotted by satellite over the U.S. Southwest that made national headlines in 2014 wasn’t a persistent, undiscovered “hotspot” as first thought, but the result of a nightly atmospheric condition and topography that trapped industrial and natural emissions of the potent greenhouse gas near the ground in the basin overnight, according to new research published in the journal Elementa by CIRES and NOAA.
On December 10, 2020, the NOAA Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB) will hold its 18th meeting. With the June 2020 release of the National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, ocean exploration is in the spotlight. During the December meeting, the OEAB will make recommendations to the administration for advancing ocean exploration over the next 6-12 months. It will do so with five new members on board.
The social and economic impacts of COVID-19 have battered small- and medium-sized enterprises, putting millions of jobs in the U.S. at risk. And a year rife with natural disasters has not done the many already struggling businesses any favors.
Editor's note: AGU released the following story by science writer Rachel Fritts on October 13, 2020 on NOAA-led research.
New research reveals temperatures in the deep sea fluctuate more than scientists previously thought and a warming trend is now detectable at the bottom of the ocean.
The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration (OER) has released the NOAA OER Deepwater Exploration Mapping Procedures Manual to describe the office’s approach to deepwater ocean exploration acoustic mapping. OER is sharing this manual as a contribution to broader cross-agency efforts to develop standard ocean mapping protocols and to serve as a guide for other interested public and private entities conducting deepwater mapping and exploration.
While NOAA has had to cancel many of its planned research surveys in Alaska, it has been able to conduct a number of scaled-back research surveys in 2020. One such survey that will be finishing up this week is in the Arctic and was conducted on board NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson to collect critical data supporting a long time series involving many scientific partners.
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.