News

Hurricane Dorian. Image Credit: NOAA.

A new study from scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine & Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) investigates Hurricane Dorian’s track forecast uncertainties.

An Area-I Altius-600 uncrewed aircraft system was deployed from a NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft (N42RF, “Kermit”) into Hurricane Ian by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

An Area-I Altius-600 uncrewed aircraft system was deployed from a NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft (N42RF, “Kermit”) into Hurricane Ian by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

After two weeks at sea, the South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAM) project team completed its first cruise since June 2019! 

After two weeks at sea, the South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAM) project team completed its first cruise since June 2019! 

A recent study authored by five NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) scientists (Lew Gramer, Jun Zhang, Ghassan Alaka, Andrew Hazelton, and Sundararamen Gopalakrishnan) was recently selected out of a variety of publications as a featured paper for EOS Science News by the American Geophysical Union. 

A recent study authored by five NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) scientists (Lew Gramer, Jun Zhang, Ghassan Alaka, Andrew Hazelton, and Sundararamen Gopalakrishnan) was recently selected out of a variety of publications as a featured paper for EOS Science News by the American Geophysical Union. 

Water off the coast. Image credit: NOAA

te of the Climate in 2021 report was released today by the American Meteorological Society, showing greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea levels, and ocean heat content reached record highs in 2021 despite a La Niña event taking place in the Pacific Ocean.

At NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), we are extremely lucky to have many amazing women at the forefront of our science. For Women’s Equality Day, we spoke with some of our lab’s female leaders to learn more about their experiences and challenges, and to hear their valuable advice.

At NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), we are extremely lucky to have many amazing women at the forefront of our science. For Women’s Equality Day, we spoke with some of our lab’s female leaders to learn more about their experiences and challenges, and to hear their valuable advice.

Ice Worm Publication Selected as a Spotlight Paper

A recent study co-authored by Jean Lim, University of Miami CIMAS scientist working with Kelly Goodwin and Luke Thompson at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, has been selected out of a wide array of publications as a spotlight paper in the latest issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The focus of this special feature […]

Hurricane Andrew made landfall on August 24, 1992, near Homestead, Florida, becoming one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in U.S. history. It had an extremely low central pressure of 922 millibars and maximum sustained wind speeds estimated at 165 miles per hour. The storm rapidly intensified less than 36 hours before landfall, leaving most residents less than a day to secure their homes and heed evacuation orders.

Hurricane Andrew made landfall on August 24, 1992, near Homestead, Florida, becoming one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in U.S. history. It had an extremely low central pressure of 922 millibars and maximum sustained wind speeds estimated at 165 miles per hour. The storm rapidly intensified less than 36 hours before landfall, leaving most residents less than a day to secure their homes and heed evacuation orders.

NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) is pleased to announce Dr. Renellys Perez as AOML’s Physical Oceanography Divison’s next deputy director. Renellys officially begins her new position, today, August 15th.

NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) is pleased to announce Dr. Renellys Perez as AOML’s Physical Oceanography Divison’s next deputy director. Renellys officially begins her new position, today, August 15th.

Two scuba divers move a brain coral underwater as part of a rescue operation

A team of coral researchers from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Miami (UM) rescued 43 coral colonies after a sea wall collapsed at Star Island, near Miami Beach. The rapid coral rescue effort occurred at one of NOAA’s regularly monitored research sites. While conducting a routine survey, scientists from […]

Dr. Kelly Goodwin, a microbiologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, recently served as one of the NOAA representatives at the historic signing of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Declaration during the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum 2022. This declaration represents a major milestone towards ocean science diplomacy and a cooperative effort towards a sustainable Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean serves as a valuable resource for many nations and requires widespread cooperation in order to effectively establish a management framework to address climate change, pollution, ocean observation, marine ecosystem conservation, a sustainable ocean economy, and effective aquaculture and fisheries. By signing this declaration, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Argentina, Cabo Verde, South Africa, and the European Union have taken a major step toward protecting the ocean for the communities that rely on it now, as well as in the future.

Dr. Kelly Goodwin, a microbiologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory, recently served as one of the NOAA representatives at the historic signing of the All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Declaration during the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Forum 2022. This declaration represents a major milestone towards ocean science diplomacy and a cooperative effort towards a sustainable Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean serves as a valuable resource for many nations and requires widespread cooperation in order to effectively establish a management framework to address climate change, pollution, ocean observation, marine ecosystem conservation, a sustainable ocean economy, and effective aquaculture and fisheries. By signing this declaration, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Morocco, Argentina, Cabo Verde, South Africa, and the European Union have taken a major step toward protecting the ocean for the communities that rely on it now, as well as in the future.

In partnership with NOAA, Saildrone Inc. is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting. For the first year, two saildrones will track hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

In partnership with NOAA, Saildrone Inc. is deploying seven ocean drones to collect data from hurricanes during the 2022 hurricane season with the goal of improving hurricane forecasting. For the first year, two saildrones will track hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jennifer McWhorter, PhD, started at NOAA AOML in April  2022 as an Oceanographer with the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division. Jennifer’s research spans climate science, physical oceanography, and coral reef ecology to better understand climate threats to reef ecosystems. She is now researching the influence of open ocean processes on mesophotic coral reefs using the biogeochemical Argo array in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jennifer McWhorter, PhD, started at NOAA AOML in April  2022 as an Oceanographer with the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division. Jennifer’s research spans climate science, physical oceanography, and coral reef ecology to better understand climate threats to reef ecosystems. She is now researching the influence of open ocean processes on mesophotic coral reefs using the biogeochemical Argo array in the Gulf of Mexico.

On National Intern Day, AOML is celebrating our largest internship class ever – 30 interns ranging from high school students to post doctoral fellows. They are joining us from schools across the country, from California to Florida, and are researching corals, microbes, hurricanes, air-sea interaction, ocean acidification, communications strategies, and much more. 

On National Intern Day, AOML is celebrating our largest internship class ever – 30 interns ranging from high school students to post doctoral fellows. They are joining us from schools across the country, from California to Florida, and are researching corals, microbes, hurricanes, air-sea interaction, ocean acidification, communications strategies, and much more. 

Twenty Years of Ocean Current Observations for an Improved Understanding of Climate Variability

AOML welcomes Philip Tuchen, Postdoctoral Research Associate. Learn more about his research below. Press release originally published at GEOMAR on June 30th, 2022. Data from one of the longest time series in the tropical Atlantic now publicly available For more than 20 years an observatory at 23°W on the equator has been measuring velocities of […]

After 36 years of federal service as a physical oceanographer, we celebrate the career of  Elizabeth “Libby” Johns as she retires from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML). Libby began her career at NOAA in 1986 when she accepted a position at AOML as an Oceanographer. 

After 36 years of federal service as a physical oceanographer, we celebrate the career of Elizabeth “Libby” Johns as she retires from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML). Libby began her career at NOAA in 1986 when she accepted a position at AOML as an Oceanographer. 

The ocean produces at least half of the world's oxygen, is home to most of Earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. It is what makes life on Earth possible not only for humans, but for all organisms on our planet. 

The ocean produces at least half of the world’s oxygen, is home to most of Earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. It is what makes life on Earth possible not only for humans, but for all organisms on our planet. 

This summer during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) will once again be on the frontlines helping NOAA prepare the public for severe weather. They will also conduct new research on the complex processes of how tropical cyclones form, develop, and dissipate.

This summer during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) will once again be on the frontlines helping NOAA prepare the public for severe weather. They will also conduct new research on the complex processes of how tropical cyclones form, develop, and dissipate.

In a major step forward for monitoring the biodiversity of marine systems, a new study published in Environmental DNA details how Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) researchers are using autonomous underwater robots to sample environmental DNA (eDNA). eDNA allows scientists to detect the presence of aquatic species from the tiny bits of genetic material they leave behind. This DNA soup offers clues about biodiversity changes in sensitive areas, the presence of rare or endangered species, and the spread of invasive species—all critical to understanding, promoting, and maintaining a healthy ocean.

In a major step forward for monitoring the biodiversity of marine systems, a new study published in Environmental DNA details how Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) researchers are using autonomous underwater robots to sample environmental DNA (eDNA). eDNA allows scientists to detect the presence of aquatic species from the tiny bits of genetic material they leave behind. This DNA soup offers clues about biodiversity changes in sensitive areas, the presence of rare or endangered species, and the spread of invasive species—all critical to understanding, promoting, and maintaining a healthy ocean.

GOES Satellite Image of Hurricane Dorian from September 2nd, 2019. Photo Credit: GOES.

Tropical cyclones intensify by extracting heat energy from the ocean surface, making the sea surface temperature under storms crucial for storm development. A recent study by researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory found that large amounts of rain under tropical cyclones can reduce the sea surface cooling induced by them. 

An Argo float floating in the ocean.

The international Argo Program, which includes NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, was recently awarded the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Corporate Innovation Award “for innovation in large-scale autonomous observations in oceanography with global impacts in marine and climate science and technology.”

Although too tiny to be seen by the naked eye, microscopic organisms have a big impact on our planet - supporting fisheries, degrading pollutants, and helping regulate the earth’s climate.  A new study published in Nature Communications employed cutting edge research techniques (collectively referred to as 'omics) to reveal how the ocean’s tiniest creatures respond to changes in the marine environment. This work addressed a number of objectives in the NOAA ‘Omics Strategic Plan, which calls for the characterization of food webs that sustain fisheries and vulnerable species.

Although too tiny to be seen by the naked eye, microscopic organisms have a big impact on our planet – supporting fisheries, degrading pollutants, and helping regulate the earth’s climate. A new study published in Nature Communications employed cutting edge research techniques (collectively referred to as ‘omics) to reveal how the ocean’s tiniest creatures respond to changes in the marine environment. This work addressed a number of objectives in the NOAA ‘Omics Strategic Plan, which calls for the characterization of food webs that sustain fisheries and vulnerable species.

Observations obtained by the Coyote small Uncrewed Aircraft System led to a significant improvement in the analyses of Hurricane Maria’s (2017) position, intensity, and structure, according to new ­research published in the journal Monthly Weather Review. The study by scientists with the University of Miami's Cooperative ­Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) highlights how ­the ­Coyote’s novel near-surface measurements helped to more ­accurately depict ­Hurricane Maria’s inner core, ­demonstrating their ability to improve forecasts.

Observations obtained by the Coyote small Uncrewed Aircraft System led to a significant improvement in the analyses of Hurricane Maria’s (2017) position, intensity, and structure, according to new ­research published in the journal Monthly Weather Review. The study by scientists with the University of Miami’s Cooperative ­Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) highlights how ­the ­Coyote’s novel near-surface measurements helped to more ­accurately depict ­Hurricane Maria’s inner core, ­demonstrating their ability to improve forecasts.

Warning the public of the damaging winds in tropical cyclones is critical for safeguarding communities in harm’s way. A new study by hurricane scientists at AOML is the first to quantify the value added to tropical cyclone intensity forecasts by storm-­following nests. The research, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, demonstrates that storm-­following nests applied to multiple hurricanes in the same forecast cycle can improve intensity predictions by as much as 30%.

Warning the public of the damaging winds in tropical cyclones is critical for safeguarding communities in harm’s way. A new study by hurricane scientists at AOML is the first to quantify the value added to tropical cyclone intensity forecasts by storm-­following nests. The research, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, demonstrates that storm-­following nests applied to multiple hurricanes in the same forecast cycle can improve intensity predictions by as much as 30%.

Have you ever wondered what animals might be present in a particular habitat or traveled through a certain area of the ocean? Scientists are able to use environmental DNA or “eDNA” sampling to help answer those questions. NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) has recently released a new educational video series, “Exploring Environmental DNA” on their website and Youtube channel.

Have you ever wondered what animals might be present in a particular habitat or traveled through a certain area of the ocean? Scientists are able to use environmental DNA or “eDNA” sampling to help answer those questions. NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) has recently released a new educational video series, “Exploring Environmental DNA” on their website and Youtube channel.

Red tide along a white Florida beach

This article is adapted from an article originally published by the University of Miami  Red tides caused by the algae Karenia brevis have become a near annual occurrence along the west coast of Florida, causing widespread ecological and economic harm. A new study analyzed 16 years of oceanographic data from across the West Florida Shelf […]

Iceberg Tara Mission Microbiome feature image

At 20:00 at 64°S in the austral summer month of February, the sun was still high in the sky. It cast a delicate light over the sea surface dotted with icebergs, which ranged from small misshapen chunks to massive angular structures with marbled cliffsides. In January and February 2022, I took part in an Antarctic voyage aboard the French schooner Tara. My participation was part of a partnership between NOAA and AtlantECO, a European-led consortium to characterize, quantify, and model Atlantic Ocean ecosystems.

In a new study published in Nature Communications, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) investigate the projected changes in the seasonal evolution of El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the 21st century under the influence of increasing greenhouse gases. The study found that global climate impacts on temperature and precipitation are projected to become more significant and persistent, due to the larger amplitude and extended persistence of El Niño in the second half of the 21st Century (2051-2100).

In a new study published in Nature Communications, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) investigate the projected changes in the seasonal evolution of El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the 21st century under the influence of increasing greenhouse gases. The study found that global climate impacts on temperature and precipitation are projected to become more significant and persistent, due to the larger amplitude and extended persistence of El Niño in the second half of the 21st Century (2051-2100).

Staghorn coral fragments for heat stress experiment

In a recent study published in the journal Coral Reefs, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) found that staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) fragments exposed to an oscillating temperature treatment were better able to respond to heat stress caused by warming oceans.

A recent study by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) is the first to demonstrate that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) temperature variations in the equatorial Pacific Ocean can help predict Florida Current transport anomalies three months later. The connection between Florida Current transport and ENSO is through ENSO's impact on sea level on the eastern side of the Florida Straits, which plays a dominant role in the Florida Current transport variability on interannual time scales.

A recent study by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) is the first to demonstrate that El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) temperature variations in the equatorial Pacific Ocean can help predict Florida Current transport anomalies three months later. The connection between Florida Current transport and ENSO is through ENSO’s impact on sea level on the eastern side of the Florida Straits, which plays a dominant role in the Florida Current transport variability on interannual time scales.

A new video by the ANGARI Foundation, focuses on the efforts of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorlogical Laboratory coral researchers to document climate-driven impacts–thermal stress, ocean acidification, and ecological changes–at coral reefs in the Dry Tortugas.

A new video by the ANGARI Foundation, focuses on the efforts of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorlogical Laboratory coral researchers to document climate-driven impacts–thermal stress, ocean acidification, and ecological changes–at coral reefs in the Dry Tortugas.

After a year and a half of concerted effort between NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and other NOAA offices, including the Weather Program Office, the Hurricane and Ocean Testbed (HOT) has been successfully launched in the newly designed William M. Lapenta Laboratory, named in memory of the late director of the National Centers for Environmental Protection. This testbed establishes a physical and virtual collaboration space for researchers and forecasters.

After a year and a half of concerted effort between NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and other NOAA offices, including the Weather Program Office, the Hurricane and Ocean Testbed (HOT) has been successfully launched in the newly designed William M. Lapenta Laboratory, named in memory of the late director of the National Centers for Environmental Protection. This testbed establishes a physical and virtual collaboration space for researchers and forecasters.

Shown is the murky brown water of the Mississippi River plume mixing with the dark blue water of the Gulf two days after a rainstorm. Image Credit: NASA’s MODIS

A new study by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) has revealed the alkalinity of river runoff to be a crucial factor for slowing the pace of ocean acidification along the Gulf of Mexico’s northern coast. This valuable, first-time finding may be indicative of ocean carbon chemistry patterns for other U.S. coastal areas significantly connected to rivers.

On December 19th, after nearly six weeks at sea, scientists aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown returned to land and docked in Praia, Cape Verde, completing the PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise.

On December 19th, after nearly six weeks at sea, scientists aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown returned to land and docked in Praia, Cape Verde, completing the PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise.

MIAMI—A new study found that seafloor sediments have the potential to transmit a deadly pathogen to local corals and hypothesizes that sediments have played a role in the persistence of a devastating coral disease outbreak throughout Florida and the Caribbean.

MIAMI—A new study found that seafloor sediments have the potential to transmit a deadly pathogen to local corals and hypothesizes that sediments have played a role in the persistence of a devastating coral disease outbreak throughout Florida and the Caribbean.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML),the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and the Northern Gulf Institute at Mississippi State University have engineered a new instrument that will provide valuable information about the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems. A recently published paper in Hardware X describes the design and creation of a low-cost, open-source sub-surface automated environmental DNA (eDNA) sampler (SASe), for sampling eDNA in the water column. The SASe represents a milestone for AOML as one of the first pieces of technology to go through a rigorous transition process from the desks of scientists in the laboratory, through organizational approval channels, to the wider scientific community with full accessibility to the public.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML),the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and the Northern Gulf Institute at Mississippi State University have engineered a new instrument that will provide valuable information about the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems. A recently published paper in Hardware X describes the design and creation of a low-cost, open-source sub-surface automated environmental DNA (eDNA) sampler (SASe), for sampling eDNA in the water column. The SASe represents a milestone for AOML as one of the first pieces of technology to go through a rigorous transition process from the desks of scientists in the laboratory, through organizational approval channels, to the wider scientific community with full accessibility to the public.

Infographic showing vertical wind shear in a hurricane. Image Credit: NOAA.

The amount of wind shear, i.e., the change of the wind with height, is one of the most commonly used predictors of tropical cyclone intensity change, with large amounts of wind shear generally being unfavorable for intensification. Regardless of the direction of the wind shear, tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin usually have warm, moist air from the environment near the sea surface on their east side (solid red arrows in the images) and cool, dry air from the environment on their west side (solid blue arrows in images).

The active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30, producing 21 named tropical storms (39‑73 mph winds), seven hurricanes (74 mph winds and above), and four major hurricanes (111 mph winds and above). The year will be remembered as the third-most active on record, as well as the third costliest, causing more than $80 billion in damage.

The active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season ended on November 30, producing 21 named tropical storms (39‑73 mph winds), seven hurricanes (74 mph winds and above), and four major hurricanes (111 mph winds and above). The year will be remembered as the third-most active on record, as well as the third costliest, causing more than $80 billion in damage.

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane scientists at AOML sampled multiple storms this summer as the ­Atlantic entered its peak period for hurricane ­formation. From Elsa to Sam, the observations they gathered supported NOAA’s mission of preparing the public for severe weather by providing critical data for ­accurate, up-to-date forecasts.

Trying to predict how coral reefs will respond to warming oceans and a changing climate may be considered a daunting task for scientists. In the face of this challenge, scientists at AOML recently published a study that characterizes the organisms and processes that lead to coral reef accretion (build up) and bioerosion (break down) in the dynamic environments of the Gulf of Panama and Gulf of Chiriqui in the eastern Pacific.

Trying to predict how coral reefs will respond to warming oceans and a changing climate may be considered a daunting task for scientists. In the face of this challenge, scientists at AOML recently published a study that characterizes the organisms and processes that lead to coral reef accretion (build up) and bioerosion (break down) in the dynamic environments of the Gulf of Panama and Gulf of Chiriqui in the eastern Pacific.

A schematic of the major currents feeding the North Atlantic comprising the Northern limb of the AMOC.

In a recently published study in Nature Geoscience, scientists at AOML and international partners quantified the strength and variability of anthropogenic (man-made) carbon (Canth) transport in the North Atlantic Ocean. The study found that buildup of Canth in the North Atlantic is sensitive to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) strength and to Canth uptake at the ocean’s surface.

AOML scientists and partners from an assortment of universities and Cooperative Institutes successfully completed the most comprehensive ocean acidification sampling of the Gulf of Mexico to date with the conclusion of the fourth Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon Cruise, also known as the GOMECC-4 cruise. The research effort aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown began out of Key West, Florida on September 13, 2021 with 25 scientists and graduate students aboard. It ended 39 days later on October 21 with a port stop in St. Petersburg, Florida.

AOML scientists and partners from an assortment of universities and Cooperative Institutes successfully completed the most comprehensive ocean acidification sampling of the Gulf of Mexico to date with the conclusion of the fourth Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon Cruise, also known as the GOMECC-4 cruise. The research effort aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown began out of Key West, Florida on September 13, 2021 with 25 scientists and graduate students aboard. It ended 39 days later on October 21 with a port stop in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The view of a sunset from the deck of the 2021 PIRATA cruise.

In a recent study published in American Geophysical Union (AGU), scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) contributed to an international study that confirmed warming trends and the possibility of increased rates of warming in one of the deepest channels of the Southwest Atlantic ocean, the Vema Channel.

When we look at the state of corals globally, it can be difficult to see a silver lining, but a recent paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science shows hope for corals in unlikely places. In the study, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science compared  the molecular processes of brain corals (Pseudodiploria strigosa) living in urban waters at the Port of Miami with offshore corals at Emerald Reef. They found the urban corals had adapted to challenging conditions that helped them differentiate and consume healthy food particles over diseased organisms.

When we look at the state of corals globally, it can be difficult to see a silver lining, but a recent paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science shows hope for corals in unlikely places. In the study, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science compared the molecular processes of brain corals (Pseudodiploria strigosa) living in urban waters at the Port of Miami with offshore corals at Emerald Reef. They found the urban corals had adapted to challenging conditions that helped them differentiate and consume healthy food particles over diseased organisms.

For the first time ever, Saildrone Inc. and NOAA have used an uncrewed surface vehicle to collect oceanic and atmospheric data from inside the eye of a hurricane. On September 30th, 2021 saildrone 1045 travelled directly into Category 4 Hurricane Sam.

For the first time ever, Saildrone Inc. and NOAA have used an uncrewed surface vehicle to collect oceanic and atmospheric data from inside the eye of a hurricane. On September 30th, 2021 saildrone 1045 travelled directly into Category 4 Hurricane Sam.

Saildrone Inc. and the NOAA have released the first video footage gathered by an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) from inside a major hurricane barreling across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 was directed into the midst of Hurricane Sam, a category 4 hurricane, which is currently on a path that fortunately will miss the U.S. east coast.  SD1045 is battling 50 foot waves and winds of over 120 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, is giving us a completely new view of one of earth’s most destructive forces.

Saildrone Inc. and the NOAA have released the first video footage gathered by an uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) from inside a major hurricane barreling across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Saildrone Explorer SD 1045 was directed into the midst of Hurricane Sam, a category 4 hurricane, which is currently on a path that fortunately will miss the U.S. east coast.  SD1045 is battling 50 foot waves and winds of over 120 mph to collect critical scientific data and, in the process, is giving us a completely new view of one of earth’s most destructive forces.

Image of seafoam at the ocean surface. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

Today, August 25th, the 2020 State of the Climate report was released by the American Meteorological Society, showing 2020 to be one of the hottest years on record since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Even with environmental cooling factors, such as the transition from the El Niño of 2018-2019 to the La Niña of late 2020, global trends indicate the Earth is warming and sea level is rising. Throughout the report, environmental processes that influence climate and these warming trends are documented. 

AOML's newest issue of the Keynotes Newsletter is now live! This issue offers in-depth research highlights about new technology for the 2021 hurricane season, the ocean's role in fueling hurricanes, new uses for Ship of Opportunity Data, new research on heat tolerant corals, eDNA and it's connection to marine food webs, new sargassum tracking tools, recent publications, and more. 

Download the Full Issue.

AOML’s newest issue of the Keynotes Newsletter is now live! This issue offers in-depth research highlights about new technology for the 2021 hurricane season, the ocean’s role in fueling hurricanes, new uses for Ship of Opportunity Data, new research on heat tolerant corals, eDNA and it’s connection to marine food webs, new sargassum tracking tools, recent publications, and more.

Download the Full Issue.

It can be hard to stay upbeat as a marine biologist, especially with the onslaught of existential threats like climate change facing the planet. Coral reefs are arguably the ecosystem that stands to lose the most with respect to climate change, namely because the resident organisms are highly sensitive to elevated temperatures. Furthermore, the limestone-based reef framework itself is diminishing before our eyes due to the accompanying  rise in carbon dioxide levels (which decreases oceanic pH, leading to ocean acidification). That being said, there are corals out there that display resilience, continuing to thrive in habitats that would appear decidedly marginalized to even the untrained eye.

It can be hard to stay upbeat as a marine biologist, especially with the onslaught of existential threats like climate change facing the planet. Coral reefs are arguably the ecosystem that stands to lose the most with respect to climate change, namely because the resident organisms are highly sensitive to elevated temperatures. Furthermore, the limestone-based reef framework itself is diminishing before our eyes due to the accompanying rise in carbon dioxide levels (which decreases oceanic pH, leading to ocean acidification). That being said, there are corals out there that display resilience, continuing to thrive in habitats that would appear decidedly marginalized to even the untrained eye.

Close up photo of Vibrio bacteria

In a recent study published in Lancet Planetary Health, Joaquin Trinanes, a scientist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), uses a new generation of climate, population, and socioeconomic projections to map future scenarios of distribution and season suitability for the pathogenic bacteria, Vibrio. For the first time, a global estimate of the population at risk of vibriosis for different time periods is provided.

Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory are collaborating with NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory to test the Micro-pulse Doppler lidar (Microdop), a small light instrument to measure storm winds from NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter P-3 aircraft to learn if this data can improve hurricane forecasts.

Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory are collaborating with NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory to test the Micro-pulse Doppler lidar (Microdop), a small light instrument to measure storm winds from NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter P-3 aircraft to learn if this data can improve hurricane forecasts.

Featured image for the 2021 International Coral Reef Symposium web story

Coral scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) will be presenting their research at the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) from July 19-23, 2021, which will be held virtually for the first time in the history of the ICRS.

Featured image for the 2021 UN decade web story

In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the time frame of 2021-2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, also known as the “Ocean Decade,” to address the degradation of the ocean and encourage innovative science initiatives to better understand and ultimately reverse its declining health.

North Pacific storm waves as seen from the M/V NOBLE STAR. Photo credit: NWS

The 2021 hurricane season is off to a busy start with five named storms having already formed in the Atlantic Ocean. Recently, Tropical Storm Claudette travelled directly over three ocean observation platforms, providing key ocean data for the initialization of the ocean component for hurricane forecast models.

RV Endeavor as viewed from a small boat. Image credit: NOAA

Researchers from the Physical Oceanography Division of AOML conduct regular hydrographic surveys to monitor the western boundary current system in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. These cruises are a part of the laboratory’s long-running Western Boundary Time Series (WBTS) project and are designed to monitor both the Florida Current, east of Florida in the Florida Straits, and the North Atlantic Deep Western Boundary Current east of the Bahamas in the North Atlantic Ocean. These western boundary currents are important parts of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

A CTD used to collect eDNA samples on the NOAA ship Reuben Lasker

Dr. Nastassia Patin, a Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) scientist working at AOML, recently spent three weeks aboard the NOAA ship Reuben Lasker collecting environmental DNA (eDNA) from water samples in support of the Rockfish Recruitment and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (RREAS).

Brain corals at Florida Garden Banks

A recent study by researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory shows that coral growth observed in symmetrical brain corals (Pseudodiploria strigosa) and mountainous star corals (Orbicella faveolata) in the Flower Garden Banks reefs, in the Gulf of Mexico, are linked to warming sea surface temperatures.

Satellite image of Hurricane Micheal. Image Credit, NOAA.

In a recent study published in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, scientists at AOML identified key ocean features that supported the rapid intensification of Hurricane Michael (2018), despite unfavorable atmospheric conditions for development. The study demonstrates the importance of using realistic ocean conditions for coupled (ocean-atmosphere) hurricane models in order to achieve the most accurate hurricane intensity forecasts.

Saildrone is announcing a new mission to deploy five uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) from the US Virgin Islands in August to gather key data throughout the 2021 Tropical Atlantic hurricane season. The USVs will be equipped with specially designed “hurricane wings” to enable them to operate in extreme conditions. Saildrones are the only USVs capable of collecting this data and are designed to withstand winds over 70 mph and waves over 10 feet, which occur during a hurricane weather system. The five saildrones will sail into the paths of hurricanes to provide valuable real-time observations for numerical hurricane prediction models and to collect new insights into how these large and destructive weather cells grow and intensify.

Saildrone is announcing a new mission to deploy five uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) from the US Virgin Islands in August to gather key data throughout the 2021 Tropical Atlantic hurricane season. The USVs will be equipped with specially designed “hurricane wings” to enable them to operate in extreme conditions. Saildrones are the only USVs capable of collecting this data and are designed to withstand winds over 70 mph and waves over 10 feet, which occur during a hurricane weather system. The five saildrones will sail into the paths of hurricanes to provide valuable real-time observations for numerical hurricane prediction models and to collect new insights into how these large and destructive weather cells grow and intensify.

Scientists at AOML are preparing for the active anticipated 2021 Atlantic hurricane season with the introduction of new observation tools, modeling techniques, and field campaigns to improve hurricane intensity and track forecasts.

Scientists at AOML are preparing for the active anticipated 2021 Atlantic hurricane season with the introduction of new observation tools, modeling techniques, and field campaigns to improve hurricane intensity and track forecasts.

A phytoplankton bloom in the Atlantic Ocean. May 2016

Phytoplankton drifting near the ocean surface play a critical role in marine biogeochemistry, carbon cycling, and ecosystem health. But measuring the activity of these microscopic organisms is challenging. Although scientists rely on ship-based sampling and satellites to quantify their abundance, both methods have limitations. In a study published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences,* Argo profiling floats equipped with biogeochemical sensors, i.e., BGC Argo floats, were used to obtain the first year-long estimates of phytoplankton in the western North Atlantic Ocean.

Coral Outplanting. Image Credit: NOAA

A new study by researchers at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory suggests that outplanting corals, specifically staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) from higher temperature waters to cooler waters, may be a better strategy to help corals recover from certain stressors. The researchers found that corals from reefs with higher average water temperatures showed greater healing than corals from cooler waters when exposed to heat stress.

To help improve the long term survival of nursery raised staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), Ruben van Hooidonk, a coral scientist with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies has developed a new experimental mapping tool i that ranks suitable outplant locations. There are currently at least seven coral nurseries in Florida that cultivate staghorn coral,  representing one of the best opportunities to maintain resilient populations of this species.

To help improve the long term survival of nursery raised staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), Ruben van Hooidonk, a coral scientist with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies has developed a new experimental mapping tool i that ranks suitable outplant locations. There are currently at least seven coral nurseries in Florida that cultivate staghorn coral, representing one of the best opportunities to maintain resilient populations of this species.

Image Credit: UNESCO

In absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), the oceans play a crucial role in regulating the climate, a role yet to be fully understood. However, the oceans’ ability to contribute to climate regulation may decline and even be reversed in the future. The oceans that are now the blue lungs of our planet, could end up contributing to global warming.

In a recent article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, scientists at AOML evaluate the variability of the heat transport in the South Atlantic by developing a new method to measure its changes on a daily basis. This study presents, for the first time, full‐depth, daily measurements of the volume and heat transported by the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in the South Atlantic at 34.5°S based on direct observations.

In a recent article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, scientists at AOML evaluate the variability of the heat transport in the South Atlantic by developing a new method to measure its changes on a daily basis. This study presents, for the first time, full‐depth, daily measurements of the volume and heat transported by the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in the South Atlantic at 34.5°S based on direct observations.

A satellite image of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

In a recently published study, scientists at AOML present 28-year long (1993-2020) estimates of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) volume and heat transports at multiple latitudes by merging in-situ oceanographic and satellite observations. By combining ocean observations with satellite data, they were able to estimate the AMOC volume and heat transports in near real time. These data can be used to validate ocean models, to detect climate variability, and to investigate their impact on extreme weather events.

AOML will be celebrating Earth Day this year with a week-long series of webinars on April 19th-23rd, 2021 from 6:00 p.m-7:00 p.m. AOML’s Virtual Open House will feature NOAA scientists talking about everything from hurricane research to oceanography to coral ecosystems to the new technologies being used to improve our understanding of the world around us. Participants will also get the chance to learn more about what it’s like to be a scientist working with NOAA in the Ask AOML Q&A.

AOML will be celebrating Earth Day this year with a week-long series of webinars on April 19th-23rd, 2021 from 6:00 p.m-7:00 p.m. AOML’s Virtual Open House will feature NOAA scientists talking about everything from hurricane research to oceanography to coral ecosystems to the new technologies being used to improve our understanding of the world around us. Participants will also get the chance to learn more about what it’s like to be a scientist working with NOAA in the Ask AOML Q&A.

Wind streaks and whitecaps on the ocean surface from Hurricane Edouard's 65 kt winds. Image credit: NOAA

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory are now focusing on what happens where the sea meets the atmosphere to help solve the hurricane intensity problem. The place right above where the air meets the sea is called the planetary boundary layer. The ocean drives global weather. By building on past research, scientists have determined that factors in the boundary layer and underlying ocean such as salinity, temperature, currents, wave and wind patterns, precipitation, are crucial to understanding the energy that fuels a hurricane.

Sunset on the beach. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

From the desk of CSI: Miami (Fish Edition): Solving an eDNA mystery. NGI Associate Research Professor Luke Thompson and NGI Postdoctoral Associate Sean Anderson have been studying the environmental DNA (eDNA) left behind by fish at the University of Miami dock (pictured), near the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Florida. When they analyzed the data, while many of the fish species detected were expected for the area, they were surprised by several unexpected species, such as rainbow trout. To help solve this mystery, Luke and Sean sent out a survey to fish biologists with expertise in this region.

From March to May, NGI Postdoctoral Associate Sean Anderson is taking part in two legs of a NOAA Fisheries survey in the Gulf of Mexico on board NOAA Ship Pisces. The NOAA project,

From March to May, NGI Postdoctoral Associate Sean Anderson is taking part in two legs of a NOAA Fisheries survey in the Gulf of Mexico on board NOAA Ship Pisces. The NOAA project, “Environmental DNA Enhancement of Fisheries Independent Monitoring Cruises for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management”, seeks to improve ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) with the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) sequencing. Camera traps (pictured) placed at the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico capture video of passing fish, while bottles collect seawater that the fish have passed through, leaving behind DNA traces.

Close up image of Sargassum.

A recently published paper presents the Sargassum Inundation Report (SIR), a product that uses a satellite-based methodology to monitor from space areas with coastal inundation of pelagic Sargassum in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. The SIR was created as a response to the need to improve the monitoring and management of Sargassum influxes (e.g., coordinate clean-up), which have major economic, social, environmental, and public health impacts.

On February 24, researchers with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory returned to land, docking in Key West after nearly six weeks aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. The scientists were at sea for the PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise, a joint effort between AOML and NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory to maintain an expansion of the PIRATA array of surface moorings into the northern and northeastern sectors of the tropical Atlantic.

On February 24, researchers with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory returned to land, docking in Key West after nearly six weeks aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. The scientists were at sea for the PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise, a joint effort between AOML and NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory to maintain an expansion of the PIRATA array of surface moorings into the northern and northeastern sectors of the tropical Atlantic.

video of Alamo test deployments from the P-3 Hurricane Hunter Aircraft. Video Credit: NOAA AOML.

In January 2021, AOML in partnership with NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) completed the air launch testing of the Air-Launched Autonomous Micro-Observer (ALAMO) profiling float. This testing cleared the ALAMO floats for flight and deployed from the NOAA P3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft during their hurricane reconnaissance missions. The data collected and transmitted by the ALAMO floats will be used to understand the ocean’s interaction with tropical cyclones and improve coupled hurricane forecasting models.

The view of a sunset from the deck of the 2021 PIRATA cruise.

The PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) 2021 cruise aboard NOAA’s Ronald H. Brown has returned home! During their 41 days at sea, the cruise facilitated a collaboration between researchers with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab (AOML) and Fearless Fund, an organization dedicated to ocean solutions, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This collaboration targets the removal of carbon dioxide from ocean waters by the growth and harvest of seaweed biomass, known as Sargassum.

Satellite image showing the Florida Current and eddies.

Scientists at AOML in collaboration with partners at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) have identified Loop Current related anticyclonic eddies along the northwest coast of Cuba in the southern Gulf of Mexico, named “CubAns” (“Cuba anticyclones”). These eddies play an important role in the ocean circulation associated with the Loop Current. This team of scientists is the first to study CubANs.

A new paper published in Monthly Weather Review shows some promise for predicting subseasonal to seasonal tornado activity based on how key atmospheric parameters over the US respond to various climate signals, including El Niño and La Niña activity in the Pacific. In this study, a team of researchers from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and Climate Prediction Center presented an experimental seasonal tornado outlook model, named SPOTter (Seasonal Probabilistic Outlook for Tornadoes), and evaluated its prediction skill.

A new paper published in Monthly Weather Review shows some promise for predicting subseasonal to seasonal tornado activity based on how key atmospheric parameters over the US respond to various climate signals, including El Niño and La Niña activity in the Pacific. In this study, a team of researchers from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and Climate Prediction Center presented an experimental seasonal tornado outlook model, named SPOTter (Seasonal Probabilistic Outlook for Tornadoes), and evaluated its prediction skill.

Over the past 10 years, scientists from all over the world and in the United States have achieved incremental successes in using the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment approach. This approach allows them to build relationships with scientists, stakeholders, and managers and balance the needs of nature and society for current and future generations.

Over the past 10 years, scientists from all over the world and in the United States have achieved incremental successes in using the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment approach. This approach allows them to build relationships with scientists, stakeholders, and managers and balance the needs of nature and society for current and future generations.

Scientists are heading to sea on the R/V Walton Smith to sample areas where red tide blooms are commonly present off the west Florida coast. Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide, forms blooms when elevated concentrations (>100,000 cells per liter) are present in the water. K. brevis produces toxins called brevetoxins that can cause massive fish kills, weaken or kill marine mammals, and (if the toxin becomes aerosolized and inhaled) cause respiratory distress in humans and marine mammals. The team of scientists will be comprehensively sampling a series of transects along the West Florida Shelf.

Scientists are heading to sea on the R/V Walton Smith to sample areas where red tide blooms are commonly present off the west Florida coast. Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide, forms blooms when elevated concentrations (>100,000 cells per liter) are present in the water. K. brevis produces toxins called brevetoxins that can cause massive fish kills, weaken or kill marine mammals, and (if the toxin becomes aerosolized and inhaled) cause respiratory distress in humans and marine mammals. The team of scientists will be comprehensively sampling a series of transects along the West Florida Shelf.

The U.S Army Corps in partnership with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center are testing a new ecological forecasting tool known as the ‘Environmental Information Synthesizer for Expert Systems’ (EISES). This new tool is being tested for the first time in a maintenance dredging project in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a multi-agency collaborative effort to help capture water quality effects which may be associated with dredging operations.

The U.S Army Corps in partnership with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center are testing a new ecological forecasting tool known as the ‘Environmental Information Synthesizer for Expert Systems’ (EISES). This new tool is being tested for the first time in a maintenance dredging project in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a multi-agency collaborative effort to help capture water quality effects which may be associated with dredging operations.

Hurricane Humberto Satellite Image. Photo Credit: NOAA Satellites.

Hurricane scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory have created a new, advanced moving nest model within the Unified Forecast System, the bedrock of NOAA’s weather prediction applications . AOML’s Hurricane Modeling and Prediction Team developed the high resolution moving nest model for the FV3 dynamical core, laying the foundation for next generation advancements in hurricane forecasting.

AOML scientist Evan Forde

February is Black History Month; in celebration we sat down to talk with oceanographer and Miami native, Evan B. Forde. In 1973, Forde began his career at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and in 1979 he became the first African American scientist to participate in research dives aboard a deep-sea submersible. During his career Forde has conducted research across various oceanographic and meteorological disciplines and remains one of the few African American oceanographers in the U.S.

A CTD sits on the deck of the WBTS cruise. 2020

NOAA’s Western Boundary Time Series (WBTS) project, alongside partner projects RAPID and MOCHA, have been awarded the inaugural “Ocean Observing Team Award” by The Oceanography Society (TOS). This award recognizes innovation and excellence in sustained ocean observing for scientific and practical applications. The WBTS/RAPID/MOCHA team is recognized for significantly improving our understanding of Atlantic circulation through the breakthrough design of a basin-wide observing system using endpoint measurements to measure the variability of the overturning circulation across wide areas of the ocean. This design provided continuous, cost-effective measurements that led to a transformation in ocean observing and advances in scientific knowledge.

Originally Published January 25th, 2021 at NOAA.Gov 

“We’re hopeful this new technology, once it can be successfully tested in a hurricane environment, will improve our understanding of the boundary layer and advance NOAA forecast models used in forecasts,” said Joseph Cione, lead meteorologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory Hurricane Research Division. “Ultimately, these new observations could help emergency managers make informed decisions on evacuations before tropical cyclones make landfall.”

Originally Published January 25th, 2021 at NOAA.Gov

“We’re hopeful this new technology, once it can be successfully tested in a hurricane environment, will improve our understanding of the boundary layer and advance NOAA forecast models used in forecasts,” said Joseph Cione, lead meteorologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory Hurricane Research Division. “Ultimately, these new observations could help emergency managers make informed decisions on evacuations before tropical cyclones make landfall.”

On December 11, 2020 researchers with the Global Carbon Project released their annual update for the Global Carbon Budget. Daily global CO2 emissions are estimated to have decreased by a maximum of about 17% by early April 2020 compared to average levels in 2019. About half of this change is due to changes in surface transport, especially road transport, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On December 11, 2020 researchers with the Global Carbon Project released their annual update for the Global Carbon Budget. Daily global CO2 emissions are estimated to have decreased by a maximum of about 17% by early April 2020 compared to average levels in 2019. About half of this change is due to changes in surface transport, especially road transport, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Screenshot of the Global Drifter Program's drifter array map.

The Global Drifter Program’s (GDP) Drifter Data Assembly Center (DAC) at AOML has launched a new interactive map of the global drifter array. This new tool features the ability to zoom and scroll, hover the cursor over drifters to get their identification numbers, and click to see data and metadata including deployment information, manufacturer, and drifter type in an ID card that can be viewed as a high-resolution image with an additional click.

Recently the UN Environment Programme Report on coral bleaching projections for 2020 was published, updating work that was done in 2017 using a previous generation of global climate models to project coral reef bleaching globally. The report shows some interesting new results. Ruben van Hooidonk, a coral researcher at AOML and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, was the lead author of the report.

Recently the UN Environment Programme Report on coral bleaching projections for 2020 was published, updating work that was done in 2017 using a previous generation of global climate models to project coral reef bleaching globally. The report shows some interesting new results. Ruben van Hooidonk, a coral researcher at AOML and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, was the lead author of the report.

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are returning home after a successful journey during the 2020 hurricane season. These gliders were deployed off the coasts of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern U.S. to collect data for scientists to use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are returning home after a successful journey during the 2020 hurricane season. These gliders were deployed off the coasts of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern U.S. to collect data for scientists to use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.

NOAA Hurricane Hunters continue reconnaissance for Tropical Storm Eta, which threatens to bring tropical cyclone hazards to south Florida as it restrengthens over water.

NOAA Hurricane Hunters continue reconnaissance for Tropical Storm Eta, which threatens to bring tropical cyclone hazards to south Florida as it restrengthens over water.

Tasked by the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC), NOAA’s P-3 and G-IV aircraft have conducted reconnaissance for Tropical Storm Eta. Missions are scheduled to proceed through the weekend.

Tasked by the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) and the National Hurricane Center (NHC), NOAA’s P-3 and G-IV aircraft have conducted reconnaissance for Tropical Storm Eta. Missions are scheduled to proceed through the weekend.

In February 2020, the NOAA ‘Omics Strategy was launched. The Strategy was informed by a whitepaper that recently became available on the NOAA Institutional Repository. This document titled NOAA ‘Omics White Paper: Informing the NOAA ‘Omics Strategy and Implementation Plan, identifies NOAA’s priorities in ‘omics research, promotes integration and communication among line offices, and proposes possible solutions to implementation challenges in this quickly advancing sector of research.

In February 2020, the NOAA ‘Omics Strategy was launched. The Strategy was informed by a whitepaper that recently became available on the NOAA Institutional Repository. This document titled NOAA ‘Omics White Paper: Informing the NOAA ‘Omics Strategy and Implementation Plan, identifies NOAA’s priorities in ‘omics research, promotes integration and communication among line offices, and proposes possible solutions to implementation challenges in this quickly advancing sector of research.

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters looks at the relationship between how fast a tropical cyclone intensifies and the amount of ice in the clouds that make up the storm. Hurricane scientists found that tropical cyclones with greater amounts of cloud ice are likely to intensify faster than those with less cloud ice.

A new study published in Geophysical Research Letters looks at the relationship between how fast a tropical cyclone intensifies and the amount of ice in the clouds that make up the storm. Hurricane scientists found that tropical cyclones with greater amounts of cloud ice are likely to intensify faster than those with less cloud ice.

NOAA’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program is funding a new collaborative project between the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) to understand how a changing climate might be influencing commercially important fish stocks. This project will identify key climate and oceanic processes that affect the biology and chemistry of the ocean of relevance to the coastal open ocean species in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Bight, managed by NOAA Fisheries and the regional Fishery Management Councils.

NOAA’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program is funding a new collaborative project between the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) to understand how a changing climate might be influencing commercially important fish stocks. This project will identify key climate and oceanic processes that affect the biology and chemistry of the ocean of relevance to the coastal open ocean species in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Bight, managed by NOAA Fisheries and the regional Fishery Management Councils.

NOAA launched a new National Marine Ecosystem Status web tool, on Monday October 19. This tool shows the status of marine ecosystems across the U.S. It provides easy access to NOAA’s wide range of essential coastal and marine ecosystem data in one location for the first time.

NOAA launched a new National Marine Ecosystem Status web tool, on Monday October 19. This tool shows the status of marine ecosystems across the U.S. It provides easy access to NOAA’s wide range of essential coastal and marine ecosystem data in one location for the first time.

In the Fall of 2019, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) oceanographer Renellys Perez contacted Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and Princeton University oceanographer Sonya Legg to brainstorm how the two labs could increase collaboration. Due to a previous working relationship established with Legg at MPOWIR, a mentoring group created to improve the retention of women in physical oceanography and US CLIVAR, Perez was able to propose a collaborative workshop.

In the Fall of 2019, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) oceanographer Renellys Perez contacted Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) and Princeton University oceanographer Sonya Legg to brainstorm how the two labs could increase collaboration. Due to a previous working relationship established with Legg at MPOWIR, a mentoring group created to improve the retention of women in physical oceanography and US CLIVAR, Perez was able to propose a collaborative workshop.

In a new study published in Atmosphere, hurricane scientists looked at how turbulent mixing in the boundary layer affects the intensity and structure of hurricanes in NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model. They found that turbulent mixing affects where thunderstorms in hurricanes occur, and how fast air flows towards the center of a storm.

In a new study published in Atmosphere, hurricane scientists looked at how turbulent mixing in the boundary layer affects the intensity and structure of hurricanes in NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model. They found that turbulent mixing affects where thunderstorms in hurricanes occur, and how fast air flows towards the center of a storm.

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.

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.

In a recent article published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the history of the Argo program is examined and discussed. The Argo program began in 1998 when a team of international scientists, known as the “Argo Science Team,” proposed the idea for a global array of autonomous floats to obtain temperature and salinity measurements of the upper 2,000 meters of the global ocean. The new array of floats, called Argo, would go on to be endorsed as a pilot program of the Global Ocean Observing System and be used to fill in the large data gaps in ocean observations.

In a recent article published in Frontiers in Marine Science, the history of the Argo program is examined and discussed. The Argo program began in 1998 when a team of international scientists, known as the “Argo Science Team,” proposed the idea for a global array of autonomous floats to obtain temperature and salinity measurements of the upper 2,000 meters of the global ocean. The new array of floats, called Argo, would go on to be endorsed as a pilot program of the Global Ocean Observing System and be used to fill in the large data gaps in ocean observations.

NOAA concludes Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked reconnaissance for Major Hurricane Delta on October 9. The P-3 aircraft took off from Lakeland, FL at 5:00 AM EDT to survey the system’s circulation.

NOAA concludes Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked reconnaissance for Major Hurricane Delta on October 9. The P-3 aircraft took off from Lakeland, FL at 5:00 AM EDT to survey the system’s circulation.

A new study published in Meteorological Applications  finds that changes in the flight track patterns of aircraft flying into storms to collect observations for weather forecast models could positively impact forecasts. Differences in where data is collected within a storm changes the model forecast.

A new study published in Meteorological Applications finds that changes in the flight track patterns of aircraft flying into storms to collect observations for weather forecast models could positively impact forecasts. Differences in where data is collected within a storm changes the model forecast.

NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters continue around the clock monitoring of Hurricane Delta as it traverses the Gulf of Mexico. Overnight flights on October 7 through midday October 8 found that Delta’s circulation is intensifying and expanding in size.

NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters continue around the clock monitoring of Hurricane Delta as it traverses the Gulf of Mexico. Overnight flights on October 7 through midday October 8 found that Delta’s circulation is intensifying and expanding in size.

NOAA aircraft reconnaissance continued for Major Hurricane Delta on October 6, capturing the system’s quick maturation overnight. P-3 and G-IV missions are scheduled every 12 and 24 hours from Lakeland, FL. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) tasked NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters to identify the location and strength of the circulation center, and to survey the atmospheric conditions nearby and ahead of Delta. Instrumentation onboard the aircraft have sampled the system’s development, revealing a 55 knot rapid intensification in just 24 hours.

NOAA aircraft reconnaissance continued for Major Hurricane Delta on October 6, capturing the system’s quick maturation overnight. P-3 and G-IV missions are scheduled every 12 and 24 hours from Lakeland, FL. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) tasked NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters to identify the location and strength of the circulation center, and to survey the atmospheric conditions nearby and ahead of Delta. Instrumentation onboard the aircraft have sampled the system’s development, revealing a 55 knot rapid intensification in just 24 hours.

Aircraft reconnaissance operations began October 5 to investigate the location and strength of Tropical Storm Delta’s circulation. Tasked by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), NOAA’s P-3 aircraft took off at 1 PM EDT from Lakeland, FL.

Aircraft reconnaissance operations began October 5 to investigate the location and strength of Tropical Storm Delta’s circulation. Tasked by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), NOAA’s P-3 aircraft took off at 1 PM EDT from Lakeland, FL.

After a week of daily map discussions led by student forecasters at the University at Albany-SUNY, as part of AOML’s Hurricane Field Program, NOAA interest in Tropical Storm Gamma has resulted in planned reconnaissance missions starting at 5 AM EDT on Saturday, October 3.

After a week of daily map discussions led by student forecasters at the University at Albany-SUNY, as part of AOML’s Hurricane Field Program, NOAA interest in Tropical Storm Gamma has resulted in planned reconnaissance missions starting at 5 AM EDT on Saturday, October 3.

In a recent study published in Science Advances, a team of scientists at AOML led by Denis Volkov used observations and idealized model simulations to explore what caused the abrupt reduction and ensuing recovery of the South Indian Ocean heat and sea level in 2014-2018.

In a recent study published in Science Advances, a team of scientists at AOML led by Denis Volkov used observations and idealized model simulations to explore what caused the abrupt reduction and ensuing recovery of the South Indian Ocean heat and sea level in 2014-2018.

NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters continue reconnaissance for Major Hurricane Teddy, conducting numerous science experiments developed by AOML and its collaborators.

NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters continue reconnaissance for Major Hurricane Teddy, conducting numerous science experiments developed by AOML and its collaborators.

A new study published in Remote Sensing uses radar data from NOAA’s P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft to determine the characteristics a satellite would need to measure the surface wind in a tropical cyclone between areas of heavy rainfall. This study finds that satellites with higher resolution can measure larger regions of heavy rainfall.

A new study published in Remote Sensing uses radar data from NOAA’s P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft to determine the characteristics a satellite would need to measure the surface wind in a tropical cyclone between areas of heavy rainfall. This study finds that satellites with higher resolution can measure larger regions of heavy rainfall.

AOML’s Hurricane Research Division tasked all three NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft to perform science operations into Hurricane Teddy, now a category-3 tropical cyclone and still intensifying in the mid-Atlantic.

AOML’s Hurricane Research Division tasked all three NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft to perform science operations into Hurricane Teddy, now a category-3 tropical cyclone and still intensifying in the mid-Atlantic.

NOAA’s P-3 aircraft wraps up its sequence of missions into Hurricane Sally prior to the system’s eventual landfall along the central Gulf Coast. Tasked by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), its final flight took off on September 15 at 9:30 EDT from Lakeland, FL.

NOAA’s P-3 aircraft wraps up its sequence of missions into Hurricane Sally prior to the system’s eventual landfall along the central Gulf Coast. Tasked by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), its final flight took off on September 15 at 9:30 EDT from Lakeland, FL.

NOAA’s G-IV and two P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft took off from Lakeland, FL at 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM EDT on September 14th to investigate Hurricane Sally’s circulation. AOML scientists providing onboard and remote support for these missions ensure that Tail Doppler Radar, dropsonde, and Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) measurements allow for adequate coverage of the storm environment.

NOAA’s G-IV and two P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft took off from Lakeland, FL at 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM EDT on September 14th to investigate Hurricane Sally’s circulation. AOML scientists providing onboard and remote support for these missions ensure that Tail Doppler Radar, dropsonde, and Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) measurements allow for adequate coverage of the storm environment.

In a new article published in the Journal of Climate, scientists at AOML and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Science, with collaborators at Boston University, Texas A&M, and North Carolina State University, document the role of ocean dynamics in linking Pacific atmospheric variability to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event generation. The results of the study could be used as a potential predictor of ENSO events up to a year in advance.

In a new article published in the Journal of Climate, scientists at AOML and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Science, with collaborators at Boston University, Texas A&M, and North Carolina State University, document the role of ocean dynamics in linking Pacific atmospheric variability to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event generation. The results of the study could be used as a potential predictor of ENSO events up to a year in advance.

A very active peak in this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has prompted NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), and AOML’s Hurricane Research Division to task their G-IV and both P-3 aircraft to investigate multiple storms in the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic.

A very active peak in this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has prompted NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), and AOML’s Hurricane Research Division to task their G-IV and both P-3 aircraft to investigate multiple storms in the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic.

Beach at Sunrise

A new paper appearing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health examines how the presence of children’s open wounds and abrasions during play at the beach may put them at greater risk of skin infections from marine bacteria and other pathogens they encounter. The study finds that children with existing or newly-acquired wounds while at the beach are more susceptible to infection.

NOAA’s P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft completed a flight into Tropical Storm Nana in the Caribbean on the morning of September 2. AOML scientists onboard the aircraft, and from the ground, quality controlled and sent dropsonde and radar data to the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) and National Hurricane Center (NHC) in real time.

NOAA’s P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft completed a flight into Tropical Storm Nana in the Caribbean on the morning of September 2. AOML scientists onboard the aircraft, and from the ground, quality controlled and sent dropsonde and radar data to the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) and National Hurricane Center (NHC) in real time.

A recent paper published in Atmosphere introduces a new update to the Basin-Scale Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF-B) model, which pairs an atmospheric model with an ocean model via new coupling technology to forecast several tropical cyclones simultaneously. This model, shown to improve forecast skill, was developed at AOML in collaboration with NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center and the Developmental Testbed Center.

A recent paper published in Atmosphere introduces a new update to the Basin-Scale Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF-B) model, which pairs an atmospheric model with an ocean model via new coupling technology to forecast several tropical cyclones simultaneously. This model, shown to improve forecast skill, was developed at AOML in collaboration with NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center and the Developmental Testbed Center.

El Nino Satellite Image. Image Credit: NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)

Despite their differences, it is still widely thought that Atlantic Niño is analogous to El Niño in many ways. Specifically, the atmosphere-ocean feedback responsible for the onset of Atlantic Niño is believed to be similar to that of El Niño, a process known as Bjerknes feedback. The near-surface trade winds blow steadily from east to west along the equator. When weaker-than-normal trade winds develop in the western Atlantic basin, downwelling equatorial Kelvin waves propagate to the eastern basin, deepening the thermocline and making it harder for the colder, deeper water to affect the surface.

AOML hurricane scientists coordinated with ground crews stationed in the path of Laura’s trajectory to obtain valuable measurements that captured the structural evolution of major Hurricane Laura upon landfall, while successfully completing all operational mission objectives.

AOML hurricane scientists coordinated with ground crews stationed in the path of Laura’s trajectory to obtain valuable measurements that captured the structural evolution of major Hurricane Laura upon landfall, while successfully completing all operational mission objectives.

AOML hurricane scientists supporting NOAA reconnaissance into Hurricane Laura recognized the onset of rapid intensification when thunderstorms, often referred to as convection, began working its way around the entirety of the storm center.

AOML hurricane scientists supporting NOAA reconnaissance into Hurricane Laura recognized the onset of rapid intensification when thunderstorms, often referred to as convection, began working its way around the entirety of the storm center.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded Tropical Depression 13 to Tropical Storm Laura after yesterday morning’s reconnaissance mission confirmed gale-force surface winds within Laura’s vortex. AOML scientists provided remote support for onboard Tail Doppler Radar and dropsonde data processing and continue to do so for upcoming missions into the system.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded Tropical Depression 13 to Tropical Storm Laura after yesterday morning’s reconnaissance mission confirmed gale-force surface winds within Laura’s vortex. AOML scientists provided remote support for onboard Tail Doppler Radar and dropsonde data processing and continue to do so for upcoming missions into the system.

With peak Atlantic hurricane season fast approaching, AOML scientists begin supporting NOAA Hurricane Hunter missions into Tropical Storm Laura. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) have tasked NOAA’s two P-3 aircraft to investigate the atmospheric conditions associated with the tropical storm.

With peak Atlantic hurricane season fast approaching, AOML scientists begin supporting NOAA Hurricane Hunter missions into Tropical Storm Laura. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) have tasked NOAA’s two P-3 aircraft to investigate the atmospheric conditions associated with the tropical storm.

In a recent study published in the journal Science Advances, oceanographers at AOML  and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies for the first time describe the daily variability of the circulation of key deep currents in the South Atlantic Ocean that are linked to climate and weather. The study found that the circulation patterns in the upper and deeper layers of the South Atlantic often vary independently of each other, an important new result about the broader Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in the Atlantic.

In a recent study published in the journal Science Advances, oceanographers at AOML and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies for the first time describe the daily variability of the circulation of key deep currents in the South Atlantic Ocean that are linked to climate and weather. The study found that the circulation patterns in the upper and deeper layers of the South Atlantic often vary independently of each other, an important new result about the broader Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in the Atlantic.

NOAA’s P-3 Hurricane Hunters concluded their Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked reconnaissance into Tropical Storm Isaias with real-time support from AOML’s Hurricane Research Division. The aircraft took off Monday, August 3 at 5 AM EDT, from Lakeland, Florida.

NOAA’s P-3 Hurricane Hunters concluded their Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked reconnaissance into Tropical Storm Isaias with real-time support from AOML’s Hurricane Research Division. The aircraft took off Monday, August 3 at 5 AM EDT, from Lakeland, Florida.

AOML scientists partnered with the U.S. Air Force 53rd Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” to deploy eight drifting buoys in advance of Tropical Storm Isaias on August 3, 2020 off the Carolina coast, in collaboration with the National Weather Service (NWS), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

AOML scientists partnered with the U.S. Air Force 53rd Reconnaissance Squadron “Hurricane Hunters” to deploy eight drifting buoys in advance of Tropical Storm Isaias on August 3, 2020 off the Carolina coast, in collaboration with the National Weather Service (NWS), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

NOAA’s most recent P-3 mission provided scientists and forecasters with measurements indicating that Tropical Storm Isaias maintains its strength as it contends with an environment that is unfavorable for development. Scientists processed these data in real-time, and weather models used these observations to improve forecast performance.

NOAA’s most recent P-3 mission provided scientists and forecasters with measurements indicating that Tropical Storm Isaias maintains its strength as it contends with an environment that is unfavorable for development. Scientists processed these data in real-time, and weather models used these observations to improve forecast performance.

NOAA reconnaissance continues into Tropical Storm Isaias today after their most recent P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft returns home from its 7-hour mission tasked by the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), which took off at 4:30 AM EDT Saturday, August 1st.

NOAA reconnaissance continues into Tropical Storm Isaias today after their most recent P-3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft returns home from its 7-hour mission tasked by the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), which took off at 4:30 AM EDT Saturday, August 1st.

NOAA’s P-3 aircraft will continue Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked reconnaissance into Hurricane Isaias by penetrating the core of its circulation multiple times in order to obtain the most reliable measurements of its environmental conditions. The aircraft took off from Lakeland, FL Friday at 4:00 PM.

NOAA’s P-3 aircraft will continue Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) tasked reconnaissance into Hurricane Isaias by penetrating the core of its circulation multiple times in order to obtain the most reliable measurements of its environmental conditions. The aircraft took off from Lakeland, FL Friday at 4:00 PM.

NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) has tasked their P-3 Hurricane Hunters for reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Isaias to begin Friday, July 31 at 4:00 AM with additional missions to follow in subsequent days.

NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) has tasked their P-3 Hurricane Hunters for reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Isaias to begin Friday, July 31 at 4:00 AM with additional missions to follow in subsequent days.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to task NOAA's Hurricane Hunter aircraft NOAA43 into Tropical Storm Hanna located in the Gulf of Mexico. AOML radar and dropsonde experts are providing remotely-based data processing in support of these operational missions. The flights are scheduled to continue through Saturday morning, July 25, 2020.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to task NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft NOAA43 into Tropical Storm Hanna located in the Gulf of Mexico. AOML radar and dropsonde experts are providing remotely-based data processing in support of these operational missions. The flights are scheduled to continue through Saturday morning, July 25, 2020.

The National Hurricane Center tasked NOAA's Hurricane Hunter aircraft to investigate Tropical Depression Eight in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday, July 23, 2020.

The National Hurricane Center tasked NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft to investigate Tropical Depression Eight in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday, July 23, 2020.

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are heading to sea this week off the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. to collect data that scientists will use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are heading to sea this week off the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. to collect data that scientists will use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.

NOAA’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation Division and Global Drifter Program recently extended a helping hand to support deployment of commercial Spotter drifters, supported by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. These specialized drifters are designed to measure waves, in addition to winds and sea surface temperature, providing valuable data to scientists to be used in hurricane forecast models.

NOAA’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation Division and Global Drifter Program recently extended a helping hand to support deployment of commercial Spotter drifters, supported by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. These specialized drifters are designed to measure waves, in addition to winds and sea surface temperature, providing valuable data to scientists to be used in hurricane forecast models.

Image from the P-3 Hurricane Hunter Aircraft of Hurricane Harvey. Photo Credit: NOAA.

A recent study published in the journal Atmosphere evaluated for the first time, how well NOAA’s regional hurricane model was able to forecast the location and amount of devastating rainfall in 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. The Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model predicted the realistic total rainfall and the location of the maximum rainfall of Hurricane Harvey, which were the most devastating impacts of the storm’s landfall in coastal Texas.

Originally Published Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at NOAA NESDIS

As we move through the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, you will no doubt hear a lot about the Saharan Air Layer—a mass of very dry, dusty air that forms over the Sahara Desert during the late spring, summer and early fall. This layer can travel and impact locations thousands of miles away from its African origins, which is one reason why NOAA uses the lofty perspective of its satellites to track it.

Originally Published Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at NOAA NESDIS

As we move through the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, you will no doubt hear a lot about the Saharan Air Layer—a mass of very dry, dusty air that forms over the Sahara Desert during the late spring, summer and early fall. This layer can travel and impact locations thousands of miles away from its African origins, which is one reason why NOAA uses the lofty perspective of its satellites to track it.

Coastal communities surrounding the northern Caribbean Sea have experienced an abundance of brown algae, known as pelagic Sargassum, washing up along their beaches since 2011. In a recent study conducted by AOML scientists, it was found that Sargassum beaching predictions can be improved by accounting for windage in models.

Coastal communities surrounding the northern Caribbean Sea have experienced an abundance of brown algae, known as pelagic Sargassum, washing up along their beaches since 2011. In a recent study conducted by AOML scientists, it was found that Sargassum beaching predictions can be improved by accounting for windage in models.

The New Tools Revolutionizing Vibrio Science

According to AOML scientists, the advancements made in genomics and whole genome sequencing has completely redefined the understanding of Vibrio. These advances have helped provide a clearer picture of how bacteria spread, emerge, and cause disease. Vibrio is a genus of bacteria that has a strong affinity for the environmental conditions in freshwater and marine […]

In a recent article published in Geophysical Research Letters, AOML and CIMAS scientists investigated U.S. rainfall variability, focusing on the late summer to mid-fall (August-October) season. The main goal of the study was to identify potential predictors of U.S. precipitation during August-October and to explore the underlying physical mechanisms.

In a recent article published in Geophysical Research Letters, AOML and CIMAS scientists investigated U.S. rainfall variability, focusing on the late summer to mid-fall (August-October) season. The main goal of the study was to identify potential predictors of U.S. precipitation during August-October and to explore the underlying physical mechanisms.

An AOML coral researcher uses a photo mosaic to locate a bleached coral head on a reef in the Florida Keys. Image credit: NOAA

AOML is proud to recognize the recent achievements of our outstanding scientists who were recently awarded the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for outstanding contributions which have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of NOAA. Kelly Goodwin was honored for her Leadership in the development of the Omics program in NOAA. Ian and Derek are honored for their contributions to addressing Stoney Coral Tissue Loss Disease in the FL Keys.

CIMAS coral researcher Stephanie Rosales is exploring how physical habitat changes impact corals. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

New research on stony coral tissue loss disease reveals similar “bacterial signatures” among sick corals and nearby water and sediments for the first time. Results hint at how this deadly disease might spread, and which bacteria are associated with it, on Florida’s Coral Reef.

Leticia Barbero (University and Miami and NOAA AOML), chief scientist on the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast Carbon Cruise, holding a sample from the CTD.

New NOAA and partner research comparing ocean acidification around North America shows that the most vulnerable coastal waters are along the northern part of the east and west coasts. While previous research has looked at specific regions, the new study appearing in Nature Communications, is the first in-depth comparison of ocean acidification in all North American coastal ocean waters.

The Florida Keys Integrated Assessment (IEA) team, led by AOML in partnership with managers and scientists from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, launched a new Ecosystem Status Report web tool on May 13th. The IEA approach aims to balance the needs of nature and society through Ecosystem-Based Management. It provides scientific knowledge of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary ecosystem to scientists, policy makers and resource managers. 

The Florida Keys Integrated Assessment (IEA) team, led by AOML in partnership with managers and scientists from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, launched a new Ecosystem Status Report web tool on May 13th. The IEA approach aims to balance the needs of nature and society through Ecosystem-Based Management. It provides scientific knowledge of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary ecosystem to scientists, policy makers and resource managers. 

Recently, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) explored the physical causes between U.S. tornado activity and the Madden-Julian Oscillation. In a study recently published in the Journal of Climate (Kim et al., 2020), they showed that a series of key atmosphere-ocean processes are involved in the remote impact of Madden-Julian Oscillation on U.S. tornado activity.

Recently, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) explored the physical causes between U.S. tornado activity and the Madden-Julian Oscillation. In a study recently published in the Journal of Climate (Kim et al., 2020), they showed that a series of key atmosphere-ocean processes are involved in the remote impact of Madden-Julian Oscillation on U.S. tornado activity.

NOAA’s unique science mission benefits every American life every day in positive ways, including keeping Americans safer and contributing to greater US economic growth than ever before. In the next 50 years, NOAA will advance innovative research and technology, answer tough scientific questions, explore the unexplored, inspire new approaches to conservation, and continue its proud legacy of science, service, and stewardship.

NOAA’s unique science mission benefits every American life every day in positive ways, including keeping Americans safer and contributing to greater US economic growth than ever before. In the next 50 years, NOAA will advance innovative research and technology, answer tough scientific questions, explore the unexplored, inspire new approaches to conservation, and continue its proud legacy of science, service, and stewardship.

At the 2020 international Ocean Sciences meeting, AOML microbiologist Kelly Goodwin helped NOAA unveil a new strategy for how the agency will dramatically expand its use of ‘Omics in the coming years. The ‘Omics strategy is one of four blueprints NOAA premiered that will guide transformative advancements in the quality and timeliness of its science, products, and services. 

At the 2020 international Ocean Sciences meeting, AOML microbiologist Kelly Goodwin helped NOAA unveil a new strategy for how the agency will dramatically expand its use of ‘Omics in the coming years. The ‘Omics strategy is one of four blueprints NOAA premiered that will guide transformative advancements in the quality and timeliness of its science, products, and services. 

Dr. Leticia Barbero is a chemical oceanographer at NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami. In her role, she works with AOML to study the carbon dioxide system in the ocean, specifically ocean acidification in the coastal waters of the  U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Leticia Barbero is a chemical oceanographer at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami. In her role, she works with AOML to study the carbon dioxide system in the ocean, specifically ocean acidification in the coastal waters of the  U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Satellite image of Hurricane Micheal. Image Credit, NOAA.

In a recently published study, AOML hurricane researchers used multiple computer model forecasts to gain a better understanding of how Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in the panhandle of Florida with winds up to 162 mph, rapidly intensified despite strong upper-level wind shear which usually weakens hurricanes. By contrasting two sets of forecasts, the study found that Michael only rapidly intensified when rainfall completely surrounded Michael’s center, and when the eye of the storm itself was located in nearly the same place at different heights.

In honor of Women’s History Month, NOAA Research recently featured AOML microbiologist, Kelly Goodwin, in an article which gives readers a look inside the daily life of a researcher.  Kelly is a co-chair of the task force that’s laying out the plan to implement NOAA’s Omics Strategy, one of four science and technology strategies that aim to guide transformative advancements in the quality and timeliness of NOAA science, products and services.

In honor of Women’s History Month, NOAA Research recently featured AOML microbiologist, Kelly Goodwin, in an article which gives readers a look inside the daily life of a researcher.  Kelly is a co-chair of the task force that’s laying out the plan to implement NOAA’s Omics Strategy, one of four science and technology strategies that aim to guide transformative advancements in the quality and timeliness of NOAA science, products and services.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

A photo shows a cloudy seascape and deep ocean waters. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

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.

A photo of coral gables waterway

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.

Photo credit: NOAA, AOML.

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.

Estimated observations of chlorophyll with simulated observations from satellite and 1000 BGC-Argo floats.

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. 

Photo of Sargassum Floating in Open Water. Photo Credit: Credit: NOAA Teacher at Sea Program, NOAA Ship OREGON II

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.

Students engage with our scientists to learn about AOML's carbon labs

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!

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.

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.

Every year the Global Carbon Project publishes an authoritative observation based Global Carbon Budget detailing the annual release of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and the uptake by the terrestrial biosphere and oceans. In 2018 the global carbon emissions were still increasing, but their rate of increase had slowed. Global carbon emissions are set to grow more slowly in 2019, with a decline in coal burning offset by strong growth in natural gas use worldwide. 

Every year the Global Carbon Project publishes an authoritative observation based Global Carbon Budget detailing the annual release of fossil fuel carbon dioxide and the uptake by the terrestrial biosphere and oceans. In 2018 the global carbon emissions were still increasing, but their rate of increase had slowed. Global carbon emissions are set to grow more slowly in 2019, with a decline in coal burning offset by strong growth in natural gas use worldwide. 

Diagram that shows the interactions, exchange, and circulation of carbon dioxide within the ocean, identifying where satellite-based Earth observations are likely to play a leading role in expanding understanding and capability: (1) atmospheric measurements at the ocean surface; (2) quantifying gas, momentum, and heat atmosphere–ocean exchange processes; (3) capturing near-surface gradients in the water; and (4) measuring internal circulation and surface transport. Image from Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

The ability to predict Earth’s future climate relies upon monitoring efforts to determine the fate of carbon dioxide emissions. For example, how much carbon stays in the atmosphere or becomes stored in the oceans or on land? The oceans in particular have helped to slow climate change as they absorb and then store carbon dioxide for thousands of years.

AOML’s hurricane scientists and friends celebrated the last regularly scheduled tropical weather discussion of the year on October 18. While an AOML crew gathered data in Tropical Storm Nestor, those on the ground gathered for Aloha Friday. AOML hosted the daily discussions throughout hurricane season to review storm activity in the Atlantic and Pacific basins. This year’s discussions were presented by scientists and students from AOML, the National Hurricane Center, and an assortment of universities and cooperative institutes. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

AOML’s hurricane scientists conducted multiple airborne missions into several tropical systems that formed in the Atlantic in September and October. The data gathered in Humberto, Jerry, pre-Karen, Lorenzo, and Nestor improved track and intensity forecasts, aiding NOAA’s efforts to prepare vulnerable communities for severe weather. The missions also supported research to better understand how tropical cyclones form, intensify, and dissipate, as well as supported efforts to validate satellite measurements of these storms.

Ian Enochs presenting in experimental reef lab. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

November 19 – 21, 2019, AOML hosted a three day external review to evaluate the quality, performance, and relevance of our research portfolio. NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research conducts these reviews every five years to gauge the effectiveness of the research portfolios of all the labs, and also to forge new partnerships for research and collaborations across NOAA. Feedback received after the completion of the lab review will help set new priorities for AOML. The 2019 AOML review featured presentations from each science division, lightning talks from scientists, a poster session, lab tours, and an early career luncheon. We also had the pleasure of hosting Deputy NOAA Administrator Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet at the opening of the review. 

The most dangerous part of the hurricane is the eyewall close to the ocean. It’s where the storm draws energy from heat in the water, which influences how strong - and how quickly - the storm will develop. It’s also where the strongest winds lurk.Direct and continuous observations of the lower eye-wall would help forecasters understand critical information about the storm’s development. NOAA P-3 “Hurricane Hunters” routinely fly through hurricane eyewalls to gather storm data, but avoid flying close to the ocean because conditions are too hazardous.

The most dangerous part of the hurricane is the eyewall close to the ocean. It’s where the storm draws energy from heat in the water, which influences how strong – and how quickly – the storm will develop. It’s also where the strongest winds lurk.Direct and continuous observations of the lower eye-wall would help forecasters understand critical information about the storm’s development. NOAA P-3 “Hurricane Hunters” routinely fly through hurricane eyewalls to gather storm data, but avoid flying close to the ocean because conditions are too hazardous.

Ian Enochs, pictured with his wife and son, awarded with the DOC Silver Medal Award.

AOML coral ecologist, Ian Enochs, was recently awarded with the Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award for his leadership in developing and implementing the Sub-Surface Automated Sampler (SAS).  The DOC Silver Medal is awarded to federal employees for exceptional performance characterized by noteworthy contributions which have a direct and lasting impact.

Coral Biopsy

A new study by coral researchers from the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory suggests that the physical oceanographic habitat characteristics-such as, temperature, light availability, and water flow, of corals, may influence microbe communities and health of coral reefs.  The results showed a link between physical habitat and coral microbiology in coral reefs in southeast Florida. 

A macroplankton trawl equipped with Deep Vision, a camera system that gathers continuous images of passing organisms, is brought on deck after gathering fish from the mesopelagic zone.

Dr. Luke Thompson, a Northern Gulf Institute Assistant Research Professor at AOML, sailed aboard the Norwegian icebreaker RV Kronprins Haakon in May as part of a research effort focused on characterizing species that dwell in the mesopelagic zone—the region of the ocean 200–1000 meters below the surface. The cruise was undertaken to explore the potential for developing a new fishery based on ­mesopelagic fish.

Catastrophic Hurricane Dorian will be long remembered as one of the Atlantic basin’s most powerful landfalling hurricanes.  NOAA Hurricane Hunters measured Dorian’s intensification from a weak tropical storm in the Caribbean to one of the Atlantic’s fiercest hurricanes.  The data they gathered were vital to protecting life and property, supporting NOAA’s efforts to warn vulnerable communities of approaching severe weather through accurate forecasts.

Catastrophic Hurricane Dorian will be long remembered as one of the Atlantic basin’s most powerful landfalling hurricanes.  NOAA Hurricane Hunters measured Dorian’s intensification from a weak tropical storm in the Caribbean to one of the Atlantic’s fiercest hurricanes.  The data they gathered were vital to protecting life and property, supporting NOAA’s efforts to warn vulnerable communities of approaching severe weather through accurate forecasts.

A photo showing air pockets of Sargassum seaweed

AOML researchers released an assortment of GPS equipped drifters into the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea to study how ocean currents and winds play a role in the distribution of Sargassum.  With the data obtained from the sargassum drifters along with satellite data from the University of South Florida, AOML researchers now have the ability to distribute weekly experimental Sargassum Index Reports. 

AOML hurricane researchers capture Hurricane Dorian’s eye during rapid Intensification. Photo Credit: NOAA.

NOAA researchers have been working around the clock to collect vital data during Hurricane Dorian which is being used to improve present and future forecasts to protect and save vulnerable lives and property. Using technology aboard the NOAA Hurricane Hunter P-3 aircraft, AOML hurricane researchers were able to document the rapid intensification of Dorian as it approached the Bahamas.

Picture of O. faveolata colony synchronously releasing gamete bundles approximately 3.5 hours after sunset

Last week AOML and CIMAS coral researchers, Graham Kolodziej, Anderson Mayfield, and Derek Manzello, entered the ocean off of the Upper Florida Keys to collect tiny floating balls being released from the protected mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata). Taking place shortly after moonrise, the spawning process is a visually beautiful part of the circle of life for corals, releasing gametes into the ocean water to become fertilized and eventually settle to create new corals stony coral colonies.

An eAUV that will be used to detect algal blooms in the Great Lakes.

Two underwater robots will be gliding throughout the western Lake Erie basin this week, as NOAA and its partners at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) test technology to autonomously monitor and measure the toxicity of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes. 

Image showing Canal leading to Biscayne Bay

An analysis of 20 years of water quality data shows that Biscayne Bay, a NOAA Habitat Focus Area off southeast Florida, is degrading, as scientists have identified early warning signs that could help inform managers to prevent a regime shift of the bay’s ecosystem.In a recent study published in Estuaries and Coasts, scientists from NOAA and partner organizations detected an increasing trend in chlorophyll and nutrient levels from 48 monitoring stations throughout Biscayne Bay.

View from the window, tropical storm Hermine. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

AOML Director Dr. John Cortinas has been elected to become a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Fellows are elected for their “­outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or ­related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their ­applications during a substantial ­period of years.” John has been member of the American Meteorological Society since 1983, supporting the organization as an associate editor for the journals Weather and Forecasting and Monthly Weather Review. Additionally, John has served as the AMS Chairperson of the Minority Scholarship Committee, a member of the Board on Women and Minorities, and as a member of the Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee. 

A NOAA ocean glider begins a dive

Four ocean gliders set off to sea this week to bring back data that scientists hope will improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.The robotic, unmanned gliders are equipped with sensors to measure the salt content (salinity) and temperature as they move through the ocean at different depths.  The gliders, which can operate in hurricane conditions, collect data during dives down to a half mile below the sea surface, and transmit the data to satellites when they surface.  

Evan Forde, an AOML oceanographer, was named the Federal ­Employee of the Year for Community Service at the 54th annual South Florida ­Federal ­Executive Board’s banquet on June 21st. For more than 30 years, Evan has volunteered hundreds of hours annually to creating/enhancing public education and youth opportunities.

AOML oceanographer Evan B. Forde was named the Federal ­Employee of the Year for the Service to the Community category at the 54th annual South Florida Federal ­Executive Board’s banquet on June 21st.  For over 30 years Forde has volunteered hundreds of hours per year to creating/enhancing public education and spoken to over 70,000 South […]

Celebrity Flora is the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. Image: Celebrity Cruises

A unique collaboration between Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd (RCL) and the University of Miami’s (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is amassing an incredibly valuable dataset highlighting the intricate connection between the ocean, atmosphere and climate. Over the past 20 years UM has benefited from many scientific collaborators in this endeavor, most importantly, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contributing their own scientific expertise and scientific equipment.

An image of Hurricane Harvey 2017

Hurricane season is officially upon us and researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory are excited about new model developments and innovative technology to improve hurricane forecasting.  AOML’s deputy director, Molly Baringer, briefed Congresswomen Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Shalala on May 30th, 2019 about the science behind the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook and advancements led by AOML and other NOAA offices in the field of hurricane forecasting.

Dr. Luke Thompson (center) is congratulated by OAR Assistant Administrator Craig McLean (left) and Stuart Levenbach of NOAA’s Office of the Under Secretary/ Administrator (right) at the OAR Awards Ceremony in Silver Spring, Maryland on March 12.

Dr. Luke Thompson, a Northern Gulf Institute professor with AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division, and AOML coauthor Kelly Goodwin are the recipients of an Outstanding Scientific Paper Award from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) for their landmark paper entitled A communal catalogue reveals Earth’s multiscale microbial diversity. The paper was selected by OAR as the top FY-2018 science article in the Oceans and Great Lakes category. Thompson et al. (2017)* presents an analysis of microbial samples collected by hundreds of researchers worldwide for the Earth Microbiome Project. The paper serves as both a reference database and a framework for incorporating data from future studies, advancing the characterization and understanding of Earth’s microbial diversity

Dr. John Cortinas, new director of NOAA AOML

John Cortinas, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality, today was named the new director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami. He will begin the new position on July 8.“John Cortinas brings proven vision and leadership experience in NOAA to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory where he will lead the lab’s basic and applied research to improve the prediction of severe storms and deliver an enriched scientific understanding of our oceans for all of NOAA,” said Craig McLean, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.

Deputy Director of AOML, Dr. Molly Baringer.

Authors: Heidi Van Buskirk Date: 5/31/19 Each year Miami Today publishes The Best of Miami edition to highlight people and organizations from multiple fields that make a difference in the community. The special edition articles focus on the best in each respective field from arts and culture to health and medicine to international business and role […]

NOAA scientists stand next to an eAUV equipped with a 3rd Generation Environmental Sample Processor before deployment.

Scientists from NOAA and the Monterey Bay Research Institute (MBARI) are teaming up on June 3-4, 2019 to conduct a complex mission which will integrate acoustic measurements and autonomous sample collection for analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA).  Through these efforts NOAA scientists hope to develop faster and cheaper ecosystem assessment methods, ensure sustainable fisheries and broaden our understanding of life in the oceans.

National Park Service staff visit the newly deployed ocean acidification buoy in Fagatele Bay, in the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

NOAA and partners have launched a new buoy in Fagatele Bay within NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the waters around a vibrant tropical coral reef ecosystem. “This new monitoring effort in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean will not only advance our understanding of changing ocean chemistry in this valuable and vibrant coral ecosystem but will also help us communicate these changes to diverse stakeholders in the Pacific Islands and across the United States,” said Derek Manzello, coral ecologist with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory.

Image of AOML's Temperature Sensors arranged on tabletop

Researchers with AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division have entered into a collaborative agreement with Reef Check Foundation to deploy an AOML-designed temperature sensor at coral reef sites around the world. Measuring only six inches in height, the inexpensive, highly-accurate sensors will greatly enhance efforts to more precisely monitor small-scale temperature fluctuations that occur at reefs over time and at various depths.

Subsurface Automated Samplers on the reef. Photo Credit, NOAA.

AOML researchers have taken an innovative approach to studying the changing carbonate chemistry of seawater at shallow coral reef sites. Using 3D printing technology made possible by the new Advanced Manufacturing and Design Lab at AOML, researchers with the Acidification, Climate, and Coral Reef Ecosystems Team, or ACCRETE, have created a water sampler in-house.

Sea Level Feedback on AMOC

The global mean sea level rise caused by ocean warming and glacier melting over landforms such as Greenland is one of the most alarming aspects of a shifting global climate. However, the dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere further influence sea level changes region by region and over time. For example, along the U.S. East Coast, a pronounced acceleration of sea level rise in 2010-2015 was observed south of Cape Hatteras, while a deceleration occurred up North.  These patterns provide background conditions, on top of which shorter-period (and often stronger) weather-driven sea level fluctuations compound what coastal communities directly experience day by day. Therefore, to develop or improve regional sea level predictions, it’s important to identify these patterns and explore how they change over time.

Scientists lift a CTD rosette on board to collect ocean carbon samples. image credit: Nicolas Gruber, ETH, Switzerland

The new research published by NOAA and international partners in Science finds as carbon dioxide emissions have increased in the atmosphere, the ocean has absorbed a greater volume of emissions. Though the volume of carbon dioxide going into the ocean is increasing, the percentage of emissions — about 31 percent — absorbed by it has remained relatively stable when compared to the first survey of carbon in the global ocean published in 2004.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating the meaning and value of NOAA-related science and research to non-scientific audiences. The award is named in honor of Dr. Daniel L. Albritton, a retired OAR scientist, who proved to be one of the most effective communicators of NOAA research and related science.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating the meaning and value of NOAA-related science and research to non-scientific audiences. The award is named in honor of Dr. Daniel L. Albritton, a retired OAR scientist, who proved to be one of the most effective communicators of NOAA research and related science.

Hurricane Lane's Stadium Eyewall Effect shows clouds surrounding the P3 against a stark blue sky.

AOML hurricane researchers supported nearly all of the 50 missions NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew into eight tropical systems in 2018’s hurricane season, collecting data to help improve forecasts for future storms. The final flight into Hurricane Lane would make history for several reasons. Hurricane Lane was part of NOAA’s first hurricane deployment out of Hawaii, and one of those flights was led by the first all-female science crew on the flying laboratory. For Women’s History Month, we are proud to highlight this milestone and recognize the members of the first all-female science crew on a hurricane flight.

Global meridional overturning circulation (GMOC) revisited. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML/.

Ocean tracers such as heat, salt and carbon are perpetually carried by the global meridional overturning circulation (GMOC) and redistributed between hemispheres and across ocean basins from their source regions. The GMOC is therefore a crucial component of the global heat, salt and carbon balances.

In a new article accepted for publication in the Geophysical Research Letters, Ricardo Domingues (CIMAS University of Miami & NOAA/AOML) and his coauthors explored the observed rapid sea level rise along the U.S. East Coasts during 2010-2015, which is linked to extensive flooding and

In a new article accepted for publication in the Geophysical Research Letters, Ricardo Domingues (CIMAS University of Miami & NOAA/AOML) and his coauthors explored the observed rapid sea level rise along the U.S. East Coasts during 2010-2015, which is linked to extensive flooding and “sunny day” flooding (or nuisance flooding) events in large urban areas including Norfolk, Baltimore, Charleston, and Miami, among others.

Photo of research being done on Red Tide from the R/V Walton Smith. Photo Credit: NOAA AOML.

AOML recently led a multi-agency (NOAA/AOML, NOAA/SEFSC, State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, NOAA/NESDIS, University of South Florida, MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, and University of Miami) research cruise to study the effects of Southwest Florida’s ongoing red tide. To address such a complex problem as red tide, the cruise brought together a diverse team of experts consisting of commercial fishermen, oceanographers, systems ecologist, phytoplankton ecologist, and fish population biologist. This cruise allowed researchers to take a holistic approach to characterize the extent of the red tide and its impacts. The goal of the cruise was to understand why these blooms happen to better inform effective future response measures and hopefully improve Florida’s resilience to these coastal events. 

Beach at Sunrise

Few accessible places represent Earth’s natural beauty quite like our beaches, but looks can be deceiving if there is a bacterial outbreak or contamination from offshore activities. Not being able to see these contaminants puts families at risk of exposure if they aren’t properly warned. The BEACHES project (Beach Exposure And Child Health Study), a collaboration between the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and AOML, along with the Universities of Arkansas and Texas, aims to pair child behavioral science with microbiology to address exposure risk of beachgoers.

Study area with shaded colors representing the ocean depths in meters from the ETOPO1 dataset. The thin black line denotes the eastern portion of the SAMBA mooring line; the black crosses and red squares represent the tall mooring and CPIES positions, respectively. The annually averaged sea-surface temperature values for 2015 from the ODYSSEA dataset are plotted with colored contours.

In a recent article published in the journal “Ocean Science”, Marion Kersale (CIMAS, PhOD) collaborated with scientists from South Africa and France to explore the buoyancy and velocity changes due to eddies, dipoles, and current filaments in the Cape Basin using two observational systems that are part of the South Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation Basin-wide Array (SAMBA) at 34.5°S.

eAUV post-deployment. Photo Credit: NOAA.

In a collaborative effort between NOAA, the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, research merging robotics with biochemistry will give us a detailed, three-dimensional picture of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie in near real-time and take water samples for genomic analysis. The end goal is a Harmful Algal Bloom forecast to help managers make decisions about environmental health and public safety pertaining to the lake. AOML’s own Dr. Kelly Goodwin is participating in the project to help with instrument and sample recovery.

GOES-16 Satellite Image Micheal

AOML drives improvements to hurricane forecasts by leveraging expertise in tropical cyclone observations, research, and modeling. Our numerical weather modeling team uses HWRF to test new technology and advance hurricane prediction through data collection, assimilation, and experimental modeling.

Closeup of a CTD instrument. Photo Credit: NOAA.

From August 6th to the 10th, AOML researchers, in partnership with the University of Miami and the University of South Florida, embarked on a cruise to investigate water quality along South Florida’s coasts. Two teams alternated to complete 24-hour sampling and data collection.

Sunset image from the Walton Smith in Miami, Florida. Photo Credit: NOAA.

 In August 2018, a team of biological oceanographers and ecologists set sail on the R/V Walton Smith to sample the waters of Biscayne Bay & Florida Bay. AOML has conducted regular interdisciplinary observations of south Florida coastal waters since the early 1990’s. We spoke with Chris Keble, the lead scientist for AOML’s South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Research project, to learn more.

Ubaldo Lopez of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez prepares to launch NOAA ocean gliders in the summer of 2017 off Puerto Rico.

NOAA will soon launch a fleet of 15 unmanned gliders in the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean this hurricane season to collect important oceanic data that could prove useful to forecasters. “If you want to improve prediction of how hurricanes gain strength or weaken as they travel over the ocean, it’s critical to take the ocean’s temperature and measure how salty it is,” said Gustavo Goni, an oceanographer at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory who is helping lead the glider research. “Not just at the surface, which we measure with satellites, but down into deeper layers of ocean waters.”

Alyssa and Austin at Sunset. Photo Credit Kelly Montero, NOAA.

AOML researchers recently participated in the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Research Cruise, a survey of south Florida’s coastal waters on June 22-26 aboard the R/V Savannah. These cruises have investigated coastal water quality in south Florida since the late 1990s. The science crew collected samples to measure nutrients, plankton, productivity, chlorophyll a, and dissolved inorganic carbon. They also recorded salinity and temperature to help monitor ecosystem restoration efforts in south Florida. These cruises have an additional focus on lower trophic level dynamics downstream from the Shark River on the southwest Florida shelf.

Florida Coral Disease April 2018

NOAA contributed to a study published today in the journal Nature that compares the upward growth rates of coral reefs with predicted rates of sea-level rise and found many reefs would be submerged in water so deep it will hamper their growth and survival. The study was done by an international team of scientists led by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. 

Global Drifter in Water Mt. Rainer

NOAA’s Global Drifter Program is a globally collaborative research project that provides near real-time marine data for the world. It allows us to record data for weather forecasts, track decadal patterns, and pinpoint inter-annual climate variations like El Nino Southern Oscillation. Global drifters provide observational verification for weather models, calibrate satellite observations, and collect and transfer new data about the ocean temperature, currents and barometric pressure.

Cruise team board aboard the Ronald H. Brown. Photo Credit: NOAA.

NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown continues to make its way around the world deploying many devices to observe the ocean. These platforms measure temperature, salinity, and ocean currents. This creates a network of ocean data that can be used to understand its physical dynamics and help us understand and anticipate change in weather, climate, and even ecosystems.

Argo Deployment 2017

Staff with the US Argo Data Acquisition Center (DAC) at AOML marked an important milestone this past February by processing the one millionth profile from Argo floats. The DAC team has been processing and quality controlling all of the raw data obtained from US-deployed Argo floats since 2001, with about 90,000 temperature-salinity profiles processed annually since 2007. These profiles have provided the global scientific community with an unprecedented record of the evolving state of the upper ocean, advancing understanding of the ocean’s role in world climate.

Different shades of blue ocean on IO7. Photo Credit: NOAA.

Below the surface of our ocean there is another, smaller world that moves fast and breathes in and out with the ocean. Zooplankton communities likely create the fastest source of sinking carbon to the deeper ocean, and studying this process can help us understand more about the carbon cycle and how it affects us. Victoria Coles, Scientist aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown, can tell you more in her post “Biome Beneath the Surface.”

A beautiful sunrise I got to see while waiting for my turn at the rosette. Photo Credit: NOAA.

The NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown is taking scientists across the Indian Ocean on a research cruise to study the ocean’s chemistry, water temperature, and other physical dynamics. Holly Westbrook, a RSMAS scientist aboard the Ronald H. Brown talks about life on a research cruise. Close quarters, beautiful sunrises, and making friends- sub the lab coats for sunglasses!

A full view of instruments attached to the platform. The LADCPs are the yellow instruments and the battery pack is the large cylinder sitting in front of the downlooker LADCP. Photo Credit: NOAA.

NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown is taking scientists across the Indian Ocean on a research cruise to understand more about our ocean’s chemistry, temperature, and physical processes. The newest Live Science update follows Amanda Fay as she uses a Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (LADCP) to measure the speed of the water through the water column. When the instrument is lowered to depth, sound is sent out and reflected back from particles in the water, giving a complete profile of water column movement. To find out more about how this works in action, visit the GO-SHIP I07N Cruise blog post.

View from the botanical gardens in Victoria. Photo Credit: NOAA.

Scientists aboard the Ronald H. Brown for the GO-SHIP cruise arrive at port for some welcomed R&R in the Seychelles Islands, a chain of rocky islands northeast of Madagascar. Read more about the experience.

Drifter Station Open House 2018

May 10-12, 2018, AOML partnered with our colleagues on Virginia Key to welcome south Florida students and families to a NOAA Open House! The interactive scientific experience centered around three NOAA entities: AOML, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Miami Weather Forecast Office, as well as the University of Miami Rosenstiel School,  MAST Academy, and the ANGARI Foundation. Over the three-day event, 859 guests learned more about the federal agency that provides daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, climate monitoring, fisheries management, coral monitoring, and coastal restoration.

The interactive experience rotated from the NOAA facilities on Virginia Key, to the University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s Experimental Fish Hatchery and SUSTAIN research facility. Participants also visited the MAST Academy Land SHARC and Weather on Wheels mobile outreach programs, and learned about weather forecasting from NOAA weather forecasters.

ANGARI VR Film to Premiere at NOAA. Photo Credit: ANGARI.

The premiere of Generation Ocean: Coral Reefs is open to the public and will take place during NOAA’s Open House this Saturday, May 12th, from 10 am – 3 pm at AOML, 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL. During the Open House, attendees will be able to not only experience the premiere of ANGARI Foundation’s new 360/VR film, but will also have the opportunity to meet NOAA scientists, tour the facilities, and learn about hurricanes, corals, fisheries, weather, and more.

R/V MIARI. Photo Credit: JAMSTEC.

Scientists aboard the Ronald H. Brown for the GO-SHIP engage in international collaboration to monitor carbon dioxide dynamics to understand how the oceans help the Earth regulate its temperature. JAMSTEC and NOAA have a long history of international collaboration, find out more about it on the GO-SHIP Blog.

How does the ocean move, and how can you tell? Katey Williams aboard the GO-SHIP I07 Cruise is tracking Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) through gas chromatography to study how water masses migrate through the ocean. Find out more on the GO-SHIP I07N Blog.

How does the ocean move, and how can you tell? Katey Williams aboard the GO-SHIP I07 Cruise is tracking Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) through gas chromatography to study how water masses migrate through the ocean. Find out more on the GO-SHIP I07N Blog.

CTD Descending, Photo Credit NOAA

NOAA Scientists, along with partnering institutions have embarked on a two-month research cruise in the Western Indian Ocean to monitor the ocean basins from coast to coast and top to bottom to find out how the ocean has evolved over the past 23 years. The Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) 107N cruise is sending live updates from the Indian Ocean. Check out the post to find out what it’s like aboard a NOAA research vessel. Here are some photos of CTD operation and deployment by one of our partnering scientists, Yashwant Meghare.

Cheeca Moasaic Comparison

A recent study by AOML and partners identified coral communities at Cheeca Rocks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary that appear to be more resilient than other nearby reefs to coral bleaching after back to back record breaking hot summers in 2014 and 2015 and increasingly warmer waters. This local case study provides a small, tempered degree of optimism that some Caribbean coral communities may be able to acclimate to warming waters.

AOML scientists, Hosmay Lopez and his colleagues used observations as well as model simulations of 20th Century climate and 21st Century projections to show that the occurrence of heat waves in the U.S. are on the rise and will continue to do so in the coming decades. This research was recently published in Nature Climate Change.

AOML scientists, Hosmay Lopez and his colleagues used observations as well as model simulations of 20th Century climate and 21st Century projections to show that the occurrence of heat waves in the U.S. are on the rise and will continue to do so in the coming decades. This research was recently published in Nature Climate Change.

R/V Ronald H. Brown

Existing observations show that Indian Ocean surface water temperatures have been increasing since the 1970’s. But has the deep ocean warmed? Have the regional concentrations of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, or nutrients changed? Has the western Indian Ocean become more acidic? These and more questions will be addressed by scientists after the completion of this cruise.

Surface drifter being deployed. Image credit: NOAA

Researchers from AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division recently deployed three surface drifters and ten special spot trace drift buoys, all contributed by NOAA, in the Caribbean Sea to help to identify the site of where an Argentine Air Force C-54E Skymaster aircraft crashed in 1965. The data gathered by the drifters will help back track the possible location of the lost aircraft based on the location of life vests recovered during search operations after the crash. These deployments are part of a larger effort in support of the Argentine Air Force and search and rescue operations professionals from the US, Costa Rica, Panama and Argentina to locate the remains of the flights. Mr. Jose Rivera of NOAA, Captain Marcelo Covelli from Perfectura Naval Argentina and Licenciado Mariano Torres Garcia, representing the Argentine Air Force, are closely coordinating the 4th Expedition in the Caribbean Sea to locate the remains of TC48 and its 68 crew members on April 2018.

Major Heatwave Clusters (1900-2010). Image Credit NOAA.

Climate projections for the twenty-first century suggest an increase in the occurrence of heat waves. However, the time at which externally forced signals of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) emerge against background natural variability (time of emergence (ToE)) has been challenging to quantify, which makes future heat-wave projections uncertain. In a new article published in Nature Climate Change (Lopez et al., 2018), Hosmay Lopez and his team combine observations and model simulations under present and future forcing to assess how internal variability and ACC modulate US heat waves.

Pete Mangelsdorf of Raytheon, Kelly Ryan and Joe Cione of NOAA/AOML accepting the Laureate Award. Image credit: NOAA

NOAA/AOML hurricane scientists attended the Aviation Week and Science Technology Laureate Awards in Washington D.C. to receive Aviation Week magazine’s prestigious Laureate award for Dual Defense Use. The NOAA/Raytheon team was recognized for using Coyote Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) during missions into Hurricane Maria, to help track and model hurricanes.

Joe Cione with Coyote

NOAA AOML scientists attended the Aviation Week and Science Technology Laureate Awards in Washington D.C. to receive Aviation Week magazine’s prestigious Laureate award for Dual Defense Use. The NOAA/Raytheon team was recognized for using Raytheon Coyote Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to track and model hurricanes.

AOML oceanographers Christopher Meinen and Molly Baringer participated in the development of a new thirteen-year-long record of the daily Atlantic ocean overturning that has recently been released. This project is a collaboration between a large team of researchers at NOAA, at the University of Miami ,and at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, United Kingdom.

AOML oceanographers Christopher Meinen and Molly Baringer participated in the development of a new thirteen-year-long record of the daily Atlantic ocean overturning that has recently been released. This project is a collaboration between a large team of researchers at NOAA, at the University of Miami ,and at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, United Kingdom.

A new analysis of heat wave patterns appearing in Nature Climate Change focuses on four regions of the United States where human-caused climate change will ultimately overtake natural variability as the main driver of heat waves. Climate change will drive more frequent and extreme summer heat waves in the Western United States by late 2020’s, the Great Lakes region by mid 2030’s, and in the northern and southern Plains by 2050’s and 2070’s, respectively.

“These are the years that climate change outweighs natural variability as the cause of heat waves in these regions,” said Hosmay Lopez, a meteorologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and lead author of the study. “Without human influence, half of the extreme heat waves projected to occur in the future wouldn’t happen.”

A new analysis of heat wave patterns appearing in Nature Climate Change focuses on four regions of the United States where human-caused climate change will ultimately overtake natural variability as the main driver of heat waves. Climate change will drive more frequent and extreme summer heat waves in the Western United States by late 2020’s, the Great Lakes region by mid 2030’s, and in the northern and southern Plains by 2050’s and 2070’s, respectively.

“These are the years that climate change outweighs natural variability as the cause of heat waves in these regions,” said Hosmay Lopez, a meteorologist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and lead author of the study. “Without human influence, half of the extreme heat waves projected to occur in the future wouldn’t happen.”

Following a buoyancy lesson, the kids were tasked with building their own buoy. The winning buoy held more than 33 golf balls! Image credit: NOAA

Each year, AOML scientists have the opportunity to bring their children to work, where they are taught about different aspects of the research being performed within the three divisions of AOML. This year, the children partook in lessons and activities in the subjects of buoyancy, density, ocean currents and circulation, marine debris, ecosystem based management, and ocean observations.

CARICOOS Team

Scientists strategically deployed the gliders during the peak of hurricane season, from July through November 2017, collecting data in regions where hurricanes commonly travel and intensify. The gliders continually gathered temperature and salinity profile data, generating more than 4,000 profiles to enhance scientific understanding of the air-sea interaction processes that drive hurricane intensification.

Pirata Buoys on the back of the R/V Ronald H. Brown. Special thanks to the Crew of the Ronald H. Brown for capturing the Scientists at Sea. Photo Credit: NOAA.

The manuscript “An enhanced PIRATA data set for tropical Atlantic ocean-atmosphere research”, by Greg Foltz, Claudia Schmid, and Rick Lumpkin, was accepted for publication in Journal of Climate. It describes a new set of daily time series (ePIRATA) that is based on the measurements from 17 moored buoys of the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA).

Plankton samples collected in a successful plankton tow. Image credit: NOAA

AOML scientists recently returned from the first cruise of 2018. As part of the South Florida Project, regional surveys over the southwest Florida shelf and the Florida Keys reef tract are routinely performed aboard the R/V F.G. Walton Smith on a bimonthly basis, to keep a watchful eye over sensitive marine habitats found in the region. Sampling methodologies include discrete sampling and flow through measurements of water quality and chemistry, and biological oceanographic parameters.

Researchers at AOML, NESDIS CoastWatch, and the University of Miami are currently exploring how the distribution of marine debris is affected by both ocean currents and wind. During a recent experiment, scientists deployed several prototype drifters in the Florida Current off the coast of Miami to simulate commonly found debris of varying weights and shapes. These drifters carry GPS transmitters that provide their location four times per day. 

Researchers at AOML, NESDIS CoastWatch, and the University of Miami are currently exploring how the distribution of marine debris is affected by both ocean currents and wind. During a recent experiment, scientists deployed several prototype drifters in the Florida Current off the coast of Miami to simulate commonly found debris of varying weights and shapes. These drifters carry GPS transmitters that provide their location four times per day. 

PIRATA Array

Researchers at NOAA AOML have released a new tropical Atlantic data set that includes several enhancements to improve data accuracy and data collection in the tropical Atlantic. The new data set is called enhanced PIRATA, or ePIRATA, and provides continuous records of upper-ocean temperature, salinity, and currents, together with meteorological data such as winds, humidity, and solar radiation. ePIRATA should prove valuable in better analyzing ocean and atmospheric processes in the tropical Atlantic.

PIRATA, the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic, is a multinational observation network, established to improve knowledge and understanding of ocean-atmosphere variability in the tropical Atlantic. It is a joint project of Brazil, France and the United States of America, motivated by fundamental scientific issues and by societal needs for improved prediction of climate variability and its impact on the countries surrounding the tropical Atlantic basin. PIRATA provides measurements at 18 locations throughout the tropical Atlantic

Decadal Modulations of Global Monsoons and Extreme Weather Events by SAMOC. Image Credit: NOAA AOML.

There have been many efforts to understand the role of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) as a potential predictor of decadal climate variability, motivated partly by its inherent relationship with North Atlantic sea surface temperature. In contrast, there is currently limited knowledge about the underlying mechanisms that govern the South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAMOC) variability and how it might feedback into climate, partly due to the small number of direct observations in this ocean basin.

Interannual-to-Decadal Variability of the SAMOC. Image Credit: NOAA AOML.

Recent studies have suggested the possibility of the southern origin of the Atlantic MHT anomalies. These studies have used General Circulation Models (GCMs) to demonstrate covariability between the South Atlantic MOC (SAMOC) and the Southern Hemisphere westerlies at interannual to longer time scales. However, it has been pointed out that the sensitivity of the SAMOC to the changes in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies depends critically on the representation of mesoscale eddies in those models.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Lost Years

The behavior and movement of sea turtles during their first few years at sea, known as the ‘lost years’, remains largely a mystery. Researchers from NOAA-AOML, NOAA Fisheries, University of Central Florida, and Projecto TAMAR recently collaborated on a study to explore the mechanisms of dispersal in Brazilian loggerhead turtles, to fill in some of these important early life history gaps. A previous study conducted in the Gulf of Mexico debunked the historic belief that young sea turtles rely solely on riding currents as a passive mechanism of dispersal. This latest study uncovers new drivers behind the travels of young sea turtles, suggesting there may be more of an ecological implication behind their behavior than previously realized.

Panel of experts, from left to right: Laura Bracken, Dr. Rolando Santos Corujo, Dr. Chris Kelble, Dr. Tiffany Troxler, Matthew Smith and Xavier Cortada. Image credit: NOAA

This past Saturday, December 2nd, the FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society and FIU Sea Level Solutions Center hosted their “Changing Waters” event: an innovative science-art event focused on the issue of sea level rise. The event featured a science panel with experts from a variety of disciplines in addition to musical and theatrical performances inspired by the global rise of sea levels and the search for solutions. AOML researcher and oceanographer Chris Kelble sat on the panel, sharing his unique knowledge of water quality in Biscayne Bay and the impact of sea level rise in South Florida’s coastal communities.

Scientist in Antartica

In an effort to better understand our microbiomes, scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) took part in a massive global research collaboration known as the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), which recently released the first reference database, or atlas, of microbes covering the planet. This guide, released online in Nature today, will allow scientists to collaborate on studies and catalogue microbial diversity at an unprecedented scale.