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Recent Posts by AOML Communications

Pods Away! New Autonomous Data Pods Will Provide Low-Cost, Reliable Data Retrieval

AOML is preparing to deploy two autonomous data pod systems with Pressure Inverted Echo Sounders near the eastern boundary of the North Atlantic during March 2020.  This will be the first full scale operational deployment of data pods, with a goal of providing a low-cost solution for the sustained Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation monitoring without the continuous use of a research vessel. 

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Glider School, Class Is in Session!

AOML scientists recently traveled to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, respectively, to train members of the CARICOOS and ANAMAR ocean glider teams in the removal and installation of science sensors in the fleet of AOML underwater gliders. 

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Out at Sea With Our Heads in the Clouds

AOML is deploying drifting buoys as part of a large multinational project that aims to improve our current understanding of the complicated interactions between the air and sea which create shallow convective clouds.  NOAA scientists are interested in studying shallow cloud and air-sea interactions because of their influence on global conditions from temperature and precipitation to more extreme weather events.

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Nutrients Entering Biscayne Bay: Tracking the Source with New Technology

AOML scientists are collaborating with partners from the Northern Gulf Institute of the University of Mississippi, and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies to tackle increasing nutrient levels throughout Biscayne Bay. A previous study detected the slow but steady eutrophication and warned of a regime shift towards murky algal dominated waters if better water quality management practices were not implemented.

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Active 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30 but not before churning out 18 named storms, including catastrophic Hurricane Dorian. Throughout the season, AOML’s hurricane scientists were at the forefront of NOAA’s efforts to prepare vulnerable communities for severe weather.

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Argo Biogeochemical Sensors Poised to Enhance Ocean Observing Capability

Scientists are now looking to expand their observing capabilities to include the biology and chemistry of the oceans, currently available globally from ocean color satellites that measure chlorophyll, indicating algal blooms at the ocean surface. A recent paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology by AOML postdoctoral scientist Cyril Germineaud of the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and colleagues shows that in close synergy with ocean color satellites, a global array of biogeochemical sensors complementing the existing core Argo network could revolutionize our knowledge of the changing state of primary productivity, ocean carbon cycling, ocean acidification, and the patterns of marine ecosystem variability from seasonal to interannual time scales. 

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Chasing Sargassum: New Insights on Coastal Sargassum Invasions

The ways in which Sargassum has invaded the tropical Atlantic have been a mystery, but we may now have an answer. A new study in Progress in Oceanography, led by researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), identifies possible mechanisms and pathways by which Sargassum entered and flourished in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean.

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The HWRF Hurricane Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) for High-Resolution Data: The Impact of Airborne Doppler Radar Observations in an OSSE

Within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Hurricane Research Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory has developed the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Ensemble Data Assimilation System (HEDAS) to assimilate hurricane inner-core observations for high-resolution vortex initialization. HEDAS is based on a serial implementation of the square root ensemble Kalman filter. HWRF is configured with a horizontal grid spacing of 9/3 km on the outer/inner domains. In this preliminary study, airborne Doppler radar radial wind observations are simulated from a higher-resolution (4.5/1.5 km) version of the same model with other modifications that resulted in appreciable model error. A 24-h nature run simulation of Hurricane Paloma was initialized at 1200 UTC 7 November 2008 and produced a realistic, category-2-strength hurricane vortex. The impact of assimilating Doppler wind observations is assessed in observation space as well as in model space. It is observed that while the assimilation of Doppler wind observations results in significant improvements in the overall vortex structure, a general bias in the average error statistics persists because of the underestimation of overall intensity. A general deficiency in ensemble spread is also evident. While covariance inflation/relaxation and observation thinning result in improved ensemble spread, these do not translate into improvements in overall error statistics. These results strongly suggest a need to include in the ensemble a representation of forecast error growth from other sources such as model error. 

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Join Us! NOAA Open House 2020

NOAA is turning 50!  The federal science agency that provides daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, fisheries management, and coastal restoration, is celebrating by opening its doors to the south Florida community with a free open house on April 25th, 2020 from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.  What better way to celebrate Earth Day than seeing science in action with friends and family!

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TACOS Program Hits 25,000th Profile Milestone!

TACOS has added 10 acoustic current meters to the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) buoy, moored at 4N, 23W.  Profile measurements are taken every 1-10 minutes, depending on depth.  Prior to the addition of the TACOS upper ocean observations in March 6, 2017 velocity profiles were only collected at this location during shipboard surveys.  These measurements are important because ocean currents influence temperature, salinity, and air-sea fluxes in the tropical North Atlantic, which affect weather, climate, and fisheries of the surrounding continents.

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