For scientists at NOAA, Earth Day — and every other day of the year — is about getting to the bottom of some of the most pressing questions about the planet we call home: how it works, how it’s changing, and how humans are affecting it.
"Coupling" two NOAA research models improved the accuracy of lake-effect snow forecasts during a recent experiment.
As the Yalobusha River rose around Greenwood, Mississippi, during a major rainstorm in late February, scientists from the Northern Gulf Institute at Mississippi State University deployed a small unmanned plane that took high-resolution images of rising waters and beamed them back in real time to NOAA weather forecasters.
Forecasting hurricane track and intensity, providing decision support for wildfires, issuing warnings for harmful algal blooms: these are just a snapshot of how NOAA’s research over the past year has provided vital services to Americans every day. A newly released NOAA Science Report celebrates NOAA’s research and development, highlighting how NOAA’s research products impact the lives of all Americans.
Michelle McClure, director of the Fishery Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, began work Monday, February 4, 2019, as the new director of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.
An Argo float recently surfaced in the Atlantic Ocean to transmit temperature and salinity measurements from over a mile deep. This float was made in France and launched by German scientists in 2016, and it is one of thousands in the international Argo Program, which just recorded its two millionth profile, marking a major milestone for the 20-year old observation program.
New research on wind behavior in complex terrain, led by NOAA and the U.S. Department of Energy, will improve forecasts for wind energy firms by 15-25 percent, and improve wind forecasts for the entire country.
NOAA scientists flew multiple missions into Hurricane Michael in the days before landfall, closely observing the rapid intensification of the storm. Their tools included a small unmanned aircraft, called the Coyote, which flew into the strongest winds of the eyewall as the storm intensified to a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
NOAA constantly strives to improve its models of our changing environment in order to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers, and other decision makers with reliable information they can act on. But improving models takes time, money, and labor—tight budget constraints make this a challenging feat.
Last spring, Governor Jerry Brown declared an end to California’s historic drought that caused over $5 billion in damage to agriculture as well as substantial impacts to fisheries, infrastructure, human health, and vegetation. The drought was not only severe, but it also spanned the winters of 2015-16 and 2016-17, which had unusual and unexpected precipitation that affected the drought’s evolution.
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.