News

ocean surface with waves and blue sky

Just in! A new study, which analyzed mooring observations and hydrographic data, found the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) abyssal limb in the North Atlantic has weakened over the past two decades contributing to sea level rise in the region. 

NOAA G-IV aircraft flying overhead with blue sky and clouds in the background

In a groundbreaking new study, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists unveiled a significant advancement in hurricane tracking and forecasting. The study, named “The G-IV Inner Circumnavigation: A Story of Successful Organic Interactions Between Research and Operations at NOAA,” discusses how scientists across NOAA are improving hurricane forecasts through the effective use of NOAA […]

Chris Kelble, Ph.D. will serve as a Federal Coordinating Lead Author on first-ever National Nature Assessment (NAA).

Chris Kelble, Ph.D. will serve as a Federal Coordinating Lead Author on first-ever National Nature Assessment (NAA).

NOAA CORPS OFFICER ANNA GASKILL AT THE HELM of a massive marine vessel in the cockpit with a white interior and massive windows aligned the walls peering out onto the blue ocean outside, she wears a blue uniform and stands smiling with a coworker and officer to her right with dark hair, glasses and the same blue outfit

Meet NOAA Corps Officer,  LTJG Anna Gaskill In honor of Women’s History Month, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) spoke with our NOAA Corps Officer, LTJG Anna Gaskill, about her career at NOAA and her advice for women considering opportunities with the NOAA Corps. Anna currently serves as the AOML Operations Manager, primarily coordinating […]

Kayelyn Simmons sits at the desk with three screens in front of her, she examines the one immediately right displaying a photomosaic on the screen with the variety of colors of the coral reef

In honor of Black History Month, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) spoke with Oceanographer Kayelyn Simmons, PhD, about her role at AOML and what Black History Month means to her. Kayelyn is a federal oceanographer at AOML, leading benthic habitat characterization studies using 3D mapping with the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division. Her […]

Two NOAA scientists deploy a large CTD into the ocean.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) are gearing up for a busy season at sea with three research cruises departing in the month of February. The A13.5 Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program (GO-SHIP) cruise, the I08S GO-SHIP cruise, and the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) Northeast Extension cruise will all depart in February to collect samples from the surface to the depths of the ocean and improve our understanding of ocean circulation, carbon uptake, biological conditions, and climate variability. 

Congratulations to AOML’s 2024 Department of Commerce Medal winners! AOML is proud to recognize the achievements of our outstanding scientists for their vital contributions to better understand the Earth systems and protecting our nation.

Congratulations to AOML’s 2024 Department of Commerce Medal winners! AOML is proud to recognize the achievements of our outstanding scientists for their vital contributions to better understand the Earth systems and protecting our nation.

Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and its transport of heat can affect climate and weather patterns, regional sea levels, and ecosystems. A new study led by Ivenis Pita, a University of Miami PhD student working at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory/ the Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), is the first to estimate the AMOC and heat transport at 22.5°S in the South Atlantic, demonstrating the importance of sustained in situ observations to monitor the state of the AMOC. 

Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and its transport of heat can affect climate and weather patterns, regional sea levels, and ecosystems. A new study led by Ivenis Pita, a University of Miami PhD student working at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory/ the Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), is the first to estimate the AMOC and heat transport at 22.5°S in the South Atlantic, demonstrating the importance of sustained in situ observations to monitor the state of the AMOC. 

Scientists and R/V Pelican crew members recover the second of two sediment traps from a depth of 600 meters from the sea surface.

A team of scientists from AOML, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the University of South Carolina retrieve a sediment trap from the Gulf of Mexico, spending months processing and examining the flurry of microscopic shells and environmental DNA (eDNA) of biological debris collected by the trap, known as “marine snow.” This collaborative NOAA–USGS research project uses these sediment trap samples to investigate the biological carbon pump, the ocean’s role in removing atmospheric carbon, and climate change patterns.

Congratulations to Lev Looney, a University of Miami graduate student working at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), for surpassing his 1,000th student through the Skype a Scientist program! 

Congratulations to Lev Looney, a University of Miami graduate student working at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), for surpassing his 1,000th student through the Skype a Scientist program! 

Three scientists and ocean engineers in orange lifejackets keep the CTD steady as it leans with the boat in rough seas while the other scientist cleats the CTD with a long rope, we see big waves and the sunset below a sky of cloud

A groundbreaking new study spanning more than a decade and hundreds of miles of the Florida Coral Reef demonstrates the key role benthic communities play in reducing the impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems, specifically Ocean Acidification.

12 Days of AOML Research

Happy Holidays to all!  As we close out 2023, join us as we look back at some of our top research highlights this year! From responding to heat waves to setting records and launching new tech, our dedicated team continues to push the boundary in an effort to support NOAA’s mission to build a climate-ready […]

John Cortinas, Uli Rivera, Francis Bringas, Molly Baringer standing together in front of American and NOAA flags.

AOML scientists, staff, and team members were recognized this year for their outstanding contributions and dedication to NOAA’s mission. The following individuals and teams are recipients of prestigious awards that acknowledge their dedication to sharing our mission and initiatives with the community, fostering deeper connections and leaving a lasting, positive impact on the lives of those we […]

ocean surface with waves and blue sky
According to the newest Global Carbon Budget report, global emissions continue to rise and must be significantly reduced to meet global climate targets and avoid severe and deleterious effects of climate change. In 2023, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are expected to reach 419.2 ppm, an estimated 51% above pre-industrial levels, with 36.8 billion metric [...]
NOAA Satelite image of hurricanes Franklin and Idalia near the Southeastern United States

November 30th marks the official end to the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. Scientists and forecasters from across NOAA pushed boundaries as they worked throughout this active season to conduct crucial tropical cyclone research that will strengthen our ability to forecast future tropical cyclone development and better protect those most affected.

On a beautiful calm day, the SeaTrac, a thin yellow vessel roughly the shape of a stand up paddleboard, glides aong the glassy waters of the Great Lakes, easily navigating the shallows with trees and jetties of rocks beyond it and a sea bordering the skies somewhere that we can barely define.

For engineers and scientists, sometimes failure means progress. When developing a new technology, the process is to field test, fail, tweak, and test again, each time failing a little less and learning what does and does not work until – finally – they get it right. On August 5, 2023, scientists from NOAA’s Great Lakes […]

Aerial photo of coastline with trees, sandy beach, and ocean water

NOAA announced $4.2 million in funding awarded to a collaborative project entitled the Florida Regional Ecosystems Stressors Collaborative Assessment (FRESCA), co-led by NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami, and involving seven different academic and research institutions.

ocean surface with waves and blue sky
The new National Climate Assessment report finds that the impacts of weather extremes — exacerbated by climate change — are far-reaching across every region of the United States. However, the report also finds that rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating adaptation can limit further warming and protect lives and property from many climate risks. [...]
Craig McLean and Gustavo Goni with Hurricane Glider. Photo Credit: NOAA

After over 25 years of federal service as a physical oceanographer, we celebrate the career of Dr. Gustavo Goni as he retires from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML). Gustavo began his career at AOML in 1991 when he accepted a Research Associate position with the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies. Gustavo began his federal career with NOAA in 1997 as an oceanographer with the Physical Oceanography Division of AOML. In May 2009, he became the Director of the Division, a position he held until March 2021.

small gray Altius uncrewed aircraft system model in the foreground with the P-3 aircraft in the bsckground

NOAA hurricane researchers successfully deployed a new uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) into Tropical Storm Tammy (2023) near an uncrewed surfance vehicle, saildrone, to measure parts of the storm too dangerous for humans to go. The Altius 600 UAS was launched from the NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory during missions into the storm in coordination with the saildrone researchers and pilots.

NOAA hurricane researchers successfully deployed a new uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) into Tropical Storm Tammy (2023) to measure parts of the storm too dangerous for humans to go. The Black Swift Technologies S0™ UAS was launched from the NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory during missions into the storm as it strengthened and headed closer to the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.

NOAA hurricane researchers successfully deployed a new uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) into Tropical Storm Tammy (2023) to measure parts of the storm too dangerous for humans to go. The Black Swift Technologies S0™ UAS was launched from the NOAA WP-3D Orion Hurricane Hunter aircraft by scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory during missions into the storm as it strengthened and headed closer to the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.

Shaun Dolk throwing a drifter over the side of a ship.

The Global Drifter Program at AOML has a new ERDDAP, or Environmental Research Division Data Access Program, server that is now publicly available and hosts both hourly and 6-hour quality-controlled interpolated drifter datasets. This new scientific data server uses free and open-source software created by the Environmental Research Division of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

NOAA Satelite image of hurricanes Franklin and Idalia near the Southeastern United States

As Hurricanes Franklin and Idalia strengthened in late August, NOAA scientists collected critical data from the air, sea surface, and underwater to enhance forecasts and increase scientific knowledge.  In less than two weeks, a fleet of strategically placed oceanographic instruments gathered temperature, salinity, and surface wind speed data, while NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft repeatedly flew […]

State of the climate 2022 cover photo

Today, September 6, the 2022 State of the Climate report was released by the American Meteorological Society, showing greenhouse gas concentrations, global sea levels, and ocean heat content reached record highs in 2022. 

Severe flooding in a neighborhood. Photo Credit: NOAA

Sea level rise is one of the most challenging consequences of global warming. A new collaborative study led by Dr. Denis Volkov from NOAA-AOML and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies found that Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) induced changes in basin-wide ocean heat content are influencing the frequency of floods along the United States southeastern coast. 

Sunset photo: The sun dips to the surface of the glassy blue ocean with few white clusters of clouds. The ship is taken fromthe side of a vessel as we can see the boat's hull along the left edge of the photo, a niskin bottle sampler being lowered into the ocean over the side almost next to the sun.

A landmark study published last week demonstrates that the ocean’s role as a carbon sink and its ability to store anthropogenic, or human-caused, carbon may be weakening. A collaboration among international researchers led by Jens Daniel Müller, Ph.D. (ETH Zurich), this study captures a snapshot of three decades of global interior ocean measurements to determine […]

A large amount of Sargassum inundation on a Miami Beach. Photo Credit: UM

In a new study, scientists from NOAA, University of South Florida, Florida International University, University of Miami, and LGL Ecological Associates, compared wind information alongside Sargassum Inundation Risk (SIR) maps against citizen science reports of inundation in the coasts of Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, and Caribbean regions. With present SIR maps, inundation is considered as more likely if large densities of satellite-detected Sargassum are near a coast. The scientists in the study found that shoreward wind velocity used in conjunction with SIR indicators greatly improves the agreement with coastal observations of Sargassum beaching compared to SIR indicators alone. Including wind metrics in SIR maps will allow for improved understanding of Sargassum trajectories in coastal areas for forecast purposes. 

Ian Enochs floats above completely bleached Cheeca Rocks

The growing concerns of coral bleaching due to the ongoing marine heatwave across South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the greater Caribbean led scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Lab (AOML) to return to Cheeca Rocks on July 31st and August 1st, 2023.

On National Intern Day, AOML is celebrating our largest internship class ever of 36 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, all within our 4 divisions:

On National Intern Day, AOML is celebrating our largest internship class ever of 36 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, all within our 4 divisions:

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

Congratulations to AOML scientist, Dr. Hosmay Lopez, for receiving the 2022 Federal Employee of the Year award for the Scientific category at the 58th annual South Florida Federal Executive Board’s awards program. Hosmay was recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of how El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events will evolve with global warming, with significant implications for how residents of South Florida will experience climate change over the next several decades.

This summer marks AOML’s tenth ­consecutive year of gathering underwater glider observations during the Atlantic hurricane season. The project began in 2014 with two gliders deployed off Puerto Rico to study the ocean’s role in tropical cyclone ­development and intensification. Since then, glider observations have become an ­integral part of the data ­gathered ­annually to improve tropical ­cyclone forecasts, as well as ­better understand how the ocean and ­atmosphere ­interact during the ­passage of tropical ­cyclones.

This summer marks AOML’s tenth ­consecutive year of gathering underwater glider observations during the Atlantic hurricane season. The project began in 2014 with two gliders deployed off Puerto Rico to study the ocean’s role in tropical cyclone ­development and intensification. Since then, glider observations have become an ­integral part of the data ­gathered ­annually to improve tropical ­cyclone forecasts, as well as ­better understand how the ocean and ­atmosphere ­interact during the ­passage of tropical ­cyclones.

A marine heatwave has spread across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean with temperatures ranging between one and three degrees Celsius (~2-4.5˚F) above average. Ocean temperatures around south Florida are the warmest on record for the month of July (dating back to 1981). Marine heatwaves are not unprecedented, but their influence on tropical storm development and coral reef health, as well as the persistence of the current heatwave, are among the causes for concern. 

A marine heatwave has spread across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean with temperatures ranging between one and three degrees Celsius (~2-4.5˚F) above average. Ocean temperatures around south Florida are the warmest on record for the month of July (dating back to 1981). Marine heatwaves are not unprecedented, but their influence on tropical storm development and coral reef health, as well as the persistence of the current heatwave, are among the causes for concern. 

The Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System (HAFS) “moving nest

AOML’s Hurricane Modeling Group was founded in 2007 to advance hurricane forecast models through development and targeted research. From inception, the team has worked to improve NOAA’s hurricane modeling systems; first with the legacy Hurricane Weather Research Forecast (HWRF) model, and now with its transition to the next generation model, Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System (HAFS).

Only a few weeks into summer, Coral Program Interns Lorelei Ing, Taylor Gill, Zachary Zagon and Kenzie Cooke have been hard at work as they process coral samples and perform DNA extractions in preparation for ‘Omics analyses that will help to better understand how the genetic structure of corals influences their resilience to environmental stressors. The Coral Program falls within the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division (OCED) at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML).

Only a few weeks into summer, Coral Program Interns Lorelei Ing, Taylor Gill, Zachary Zagon and Kenzie Cooke have been hard at work as they process coral samples and perform DNA extractions in preparation for ‘Omics analyses that will help to better understand how the genetic structure of corals influences their resilience to environmental stressors. The Coral Program falls within the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division (OCED) at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML).

A very active 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season: this satellite image shows three tropical storms - Katia, Irma and Jose - churning in the Atlantic at the same time. Image credit: NOAA.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) found that Atlantic Niño, the Atlantic counterpart of the Pacific El Niño, increases the formation of tropical cyclones off the coast of West Africa, also known as Cape (Cabo) Verde hurricanes. The study published in Nature Communications is the first to investigate the links between Atlantic Niño/Niña and seasonal Atlantic tropical cyclone activity and the associated physical mechanisms.

NOAA and partners are improving hurricane forecasting by harnessing the power of new technologies and working to coordinate these technologies to predict hurricane track, intensity, and rapid intensification. 

NOAA and partners are improving hurricane forecasting by harnessing the power of new technologies and working to coordinate these technologies to predict hurricane track, intensity, and rapid intensification. 

On May 9, a team of scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown arrived at their final destination in Reykjavik, Iceland following 55 days at sea. The team of 50 scientists and 28 crew members followed a track through the North Atlantic, from Brazil to Iceland, referred to as the A16N transect, and successfully completed 150 stations, collecting over 3,000 samples from the Atlantic’s surface to the seafloor, giving scientists a holistic snapshot of the Atlantic Ocean basin.

On May 9, a team of scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown arrived at their final destination in Reykjavik, Iceland following 55 days at sea. The team of 50 scientists and 28 crew members followed a track through the North Atlantic, from Brazil to Iceland, referred to as the A16N transect, and successfully completed 150 stations, collecting over 3,000 samples from the Atlantic’s surface to the seafloor, giving scientists a holistic snapshot of the Atlantic Ocean basin.

A new river chemistry and discharge dataset for U.S. coasts has been released. A recent publication by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), Northern Gulf Institute (NGI), and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) provides a river chemistry and discharge dataset for 140 U.S. rivers along the West, East, and Gulf of Mexico coasts, based on historical records from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This dataset will be very useful for regional ocean biogeochemical modeling and carbon chemistry studies. 

A new river chemistry and discharge dataset for U.S. coasts has been released. A recent publication by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), Northern Gulf Institute (NGI), and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) provides a river chemistry and discharge dataset for 140 U.S. rivers along the West, East, and Gulf of Mexico coasts, based on historical records from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This dataset will be very useful for regional ocean biogeochemical modeling and carbon chemistry studies. 

NOAA researchers, pilots, and crew in their blue flight suits stand in front of a NOAA G-IV Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

Researchers at NOAA seek new techniques to advance hurricane forecasts to better protect life and property. In preparation for the upcoming 2023 hurricane season, which begins June 1, scientists are accelerating the use of small uncrewed aircraft technologies and the collocation of observational ocean assets, among other advancements. Here are five ways that NOAA researchers are improving hurricane track and intensity forecasts:

NOAA Corps officers on the bridge of NOAA vessel, Nancy Foster, navigating out at sea.

The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps is one of the nation’s eight uniformed services and its officers are an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). With approximately 330 officers and growing, the NOAA Corps supports nearly all of NOAA’s programs and missions. The combination of commissioned service and scientific expertise makes these officers uniquely capable of leading some of NOAA’s most important initiatives.

P-3 crew standing in front of the plane.

There is more to the job of a Hurricane Hunter than meets the eye. Researchers and pilots from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) bravely fly into one of the most dangerous environments on Earth to collect data inside a tropical cyclone, which helps to improve forecast models and protect lives and property.

A very large amount of orange/brown seaweed (sargassum) washed up on the coastline.

When massive mounds of golden-brown seaweed began piling up on beaches throughout the Caribbean and West Africa in summer of 2011, the question of where it came from probably mattered less to residents and businesses than how they were going to get rid of it. Certainly, few would have connected the Sargassum seaweed invasion to the extremely snowy 2010-11 winter in the eastern United States. But according to a hypothesis proposed by a team of NOAA AOML-led scientists in 2020, the two phenomena share an origin story: an extremely strong and long-lasting shift of the North Atlantic Oscillation into its negative phase back in 2010.

Knobby brain coral (Pseudodiplora clivosa) colony shows remarkable resilience in the intertidal zone of a manmade shoreline in the Port of Miami, with the downtown Miami skyline in the background.

The Port of Miami is a bustling waterway with large cruise and cargo ships, ferries, fishing vessels, and recreational boats. As it turns out, this waterway is also home to a thriving coral community.

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

Earlier this year, ocean scientists raised an alert about the large amount of seaweed drifting in the tropical Atlantic this spring. Experts warned that the region’s annual spring bloom of Sargassum—a free-floating brown macroalgae from the North Atlantic that suddenly appeared in large quantities in the tropics in 2011— was the densest observed in March since scientists began tracking the phenomenon with satellite images twenty years ago. Excessive amounts of Sargassum raise the chances that large mats will break free from the prevailing currents and wash ashore later this spring and summer in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and around Florida.

Coral pieces dangle from an underwater coral nursery tree like clothes on a clothesline with beautiful blue water in the background.

In collaboration with the Lirman Lab at the University of Miami (UM), NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory’s (AOML) Coral Program now has its own coral nursery tree!

A  recent study by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in collaboration with partners at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science used a numerical modeling approach to investigate the impact of the eddy field in the Caribbean Sea on Loop Current predictions downstream in the Gulf of Mexico. They found that eddy activity in the Caribbean Sea is crucial for the accurate prediction of eddy shedding by the Loop Current.

A recent study by scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in collaboration with partners at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science used a numerical modeling approach to investigate the impact of the eddy field in the Caribbean Sea on Loop Current predictions downstream in the Gulf of Mexico. They found that eddy activity in the Caribbean Sea is crucial for the accurate prediction of eddy shedding by the Loop Current.

View of a sunset, clouds and a wing from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

In honor of Women’s History Month, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) would like to recognize two of our female leaders within the Hurricane Research Division (HRD), Heather Holbach and Shirley Murillo. We talked to these incredible scientists to learn more about their leadership roles within the division and to seek out any advice they have for women early in their science career.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) have shown that the Global Meridional Overturning Circulation (GMOC), commonly known as the global ocean conveyor belt, has changed significantly in the Southern Ocean since the mid-1970s, with a broadening and strengthening of the upper overturning cell and a contraction and weakening of the lower cell. These changes are attributed to human induced ozone depletion in the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The study also shows that the changes in the Southern Ocean are slowly advancing into the South Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) have shown that the Global Meridional Overturning Circulation (GMOC), commonly known as the global ocean conveyor belt, has changed significantly in the Southern Ocean since the mid-1970s, with a broadening and strengthening of the upper overturning cell and a contraction and weakening of the lower cell. These changes are attributed to human induced ozone depletion in the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The study also shows that the changes in the Southern Ocean are slowly advancing into the South Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans.

An orange brain coral with white discoloration are lesions caused by stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD). The brown coloration is indicative of unaffected areas on the diseased colony. SCTLD is a deadly coral disease that is destroying reefs across Florida and the Caribbean.

Using a crowdsourcing approach to gather both published and unpublished data, scientists have determined the global bacteria patterns associated with deadly stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD).

NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown

In celebration of Women’s History Month, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) would like to recognize two female scientists from our Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division who are leaders aboard the A16N GO-SHIP (Global Ocean Ship-based Hydrographic Investigations Program) Repeat Hydrography cruise.

A view of AOML's building.

In honor of Women’s History Month, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) spoke with our Administrative Officer, Dalynne Julmiste, about her leadership role at AOML and the advice she has for women just starting out their careers.

NOAA Research Vessel “Ronald H. Brown” in the harbor of Victoria, Seychelles. Photo Credit: NOAA.

Originally published at NOAA Global Ocean Monitoring & Observing on March 7th, 2023. 30-years of ocean observations provide view into long-term ocean trends On March 6, a team of scientists on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown departed from Suape, Brazil for a 55-day cruise to the northerly waters of Reykjavik, Iceland. With 150 planned stops along this […]

In celebration of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's 50th Anniversary and Women’s History Month, we sat down with Dr. Silvia Garzoli, a retired NOAA/AOML scientist, to speak about her time with NOAA and what Women’s History Month means to her.

In celebration of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory’s 50th Anniversary and Women’s History Month, we sat down with Dr. Silvia Garzoli, a retired NOAA/AOML scientist, to speak about her time with NOAA and what Women’s History Month means to her.

A close-up of a Pocillopora coral from the tropical eastern Pacific. Credit: Ana Palacio-Castro.

A heat-tolerant algae found in some tropical Pacific corals can make reefs more resilient to heatwave events, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers with University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (UM-CIMAS) and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) examined four decades of temperature, coral cover, bleaching, mortality data from three mass bleaching events, and symbiont community data from the last two, to find that a symbiont algae helped corals better tolerate heat stress, increasing their resilience to warming ocean temperatures.

As a part of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML)’s 50th anniversary celebration, we would like to honor and remember AOML’s dedicated founder and first Director, Dr. Harris B. Stewart, Jr.

As a part of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML)’s 50th anniversary celebration, we would like to honor and remember AOML’s dedicated founder and first Director, Dr. Harris B. Stewart, Jr.

When white lesions began appearing at the famously intact Flower Garden Banks coral reef system, scientists knew a rapid, multi-agency, collaborative response was vital. Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) recently co-authored a publication about rapid tissue loss on the three dominant coral species at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, observed during National Coral Reef Monitoring Program cruises in the fall of 2022.

When white lesions began appearing at the famously intact Flower Garden Banks coral reef system, scientists knew a rapid, multi-agency, collaborative response was vital. Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) recently co-authored a publication about rapid tissue loss on the three dominant coral species at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, observed during National Coral Reef Monitoring Program cruises in the fall of 2022.

Architectural rendering of the AOML building with gold letters overlaid that say 50 years of Groundbreaking Research
  Fifty years ago, NOAA opened the Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratories (AOML) on Virginia Key in Miami, Florida. Since its inception on February 9, 1973, AOML has been a leader in Earth system research, providing trusted scientific data and knowledge to predict changes in weather, climate, oceans, and marine ecosystems. From entering measurements on [...]
A few PIRATA buoys lay on their side aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown in front of a pink, yellow, and orange sky during the PIRATA Northeast Extension cruise (2022)

Researchers with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, and partners set sail from Bridgetown, Barbados aboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown on November 1st, 2022. Over the next 40 days, the crew and scientists recovered and redeployed key moorings in the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA), deployed an additional mooring, and serviced two equatorial PIRATA buoys in support of the PIRATA Northeast Extension project and broader PIRATA objectives. They also conducted a number of research projects on the ocean and atmosphere that advance our understanding of carbon absorption in the ocean and atmospheric pollution.

Thia Griffin-Elliott (they/she), a Communications Specialist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), spoke at the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) first panel for transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming folks, and their allies in the geosciences during the 103rd annual AMS meeting last month. The panelists discussed the joys, challenges, and examples of allyship.

Thia Griffin-Elliott (they/she), a Communications Specialist at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), spoke at the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) first panel for transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming folks, and their allies in the geosciences during the 103rd annual AMS meeting last month. The panelists discussed the joys, challenges, and examples of allyship.

Congratulations to AOML’s 2023 Department of Commerce Gold Medal winners! AOML is proud to recognize the achievements of our outstanding scientists and staff for their vital contributions to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of NOAA.

Congratulations to AOML’s 2023 Department of Commerce Gold Medal winners! AOML is proud to recognize the achievements of our outstanding scientists and staff for their vital contributions to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of NOAA.

Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and our cooperative institute partners, the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies  and the Northern Gulf Institute, recently participated in Ocean Acidification Annual Community Meetings at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. Over the course of multiple days, scientists attended various meetings on ocean acidification research topics, visited laboratories, met with fellow scientists, learned about new ocean acidification technologies, and much more.

Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), and our cooperative institute partners, the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies and the Northern Gulf Institute, recently participated in Ocean Acidification Annual Community Meetings at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. Over the course of multiple days, scientists attended various meetings on ocean acidification research topics, visited laboratories, met with fellow scientists, learned about new ocean acidification technologies, and much more.

A colorful coral reef with black and yellow striped fish

Coral scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and University of Miami Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Science (CIMAS) developed a new modeling approach, for evaluating coral reef persistence under climate change scenarios. Aiming to improve coral restoration efforts, this new user-friendly framework has been created as a helpful tool for coral reef scientists and managers to address the increasing vulnerability of these vital ecosystems.

The world’s largest yearly gathering for the weather, water and climate community took place earlier this month in Denver, Colorado. Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) participated in the 103rd annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting from January 8 - 12, both virtually and in-person. Formal presentations, posters, panel discussions and town hall meetings were all featured during the meeting.

The world’s largest yearly gathering for the weather, water and climate community took place earlier this month in Denver, Colorado. Scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) participated in the 103rd annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting from January 8 – 12, both virtually and in-person. Formal presentations, posters, panel discussions and town hall meetings were all featured during the meeting.

Meridional Overturning Circulation schematic

Since the inception of the international South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAMOC) initiative in 2007, substantial advances have been made in observing and understanding the South Atlantic component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The goals of the SAMOC initiative are to monitor climatically relevant oceanic fluxes of mass, heat, and freshwater, provide observations to validate and improve numerical models and climate predictions, and understand the impacts of the SAMOC on climate and weather.

Header image for top stories of 2022 story

NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) is celebrating New Years with a look back at some of our top stories from 2022!

A large white CTD being deployed into the ocean off the side of a side.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) have discovered that “long-read” genetic sequencing can be used to learn more about eukaryotic plankton, including krill and copepods, which are involved in many important marine processes.

A light blue background with dark blue and gray Christmas trees at the bottom with white text that reads

Introducing a new social media series from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML): 12 Days of Instruments! 

This series highlights 12 of the many instruments used by our researchers at AOML! Each of these instruments are vital to conducting our groundbreaking research.

A sunsets above on the horizon of a dark blue ocean

NOAA affiliated scientists led a water quality and biodiversity workshop in São Paulo, Brazil, meeting with local leadership to discuss new plans for the sustainable management of an increasingly vulnerable coastal area.

John Morris of AOML is diving to perform a transect survey of corals.

A group of scientists from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies have found that 70 percent of Florida’s coral reefs are experiencing a net loss of reef habitat.

November 30th marked the official end to the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Scientists and forecasters from across NOAA worked tirelessly throughout the season to conduct critical tropical cyclone research. This year, NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) coordinated the longest series of missions into a single tropical system, arranged multiple observing assets for simultaneous data collection, deployed new sUAS technology, and included a novel “moving nest” to our next-generation hurricane model.

November 30th marked the official end to the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Scientists and forecasters from across NOAA worked tirelessly throughout the season to conduct critical tropical cyclone research. This year, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) coordinated the longest series of missions into a single tropical system, arranged multiple observing assets for simultaneous data collection, deployed new sUAS technology, and included a novel “moving nest” to our next-generation hurricane model.

A close up image of Acropora cervicornis coral at the Coral City Camera Site near the Port of Miami.

Coral researchers from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Science (CIMAS) recently organized into three teams and ventured into the field to tackle a multitude of research projects relating to sensitive coral ecosystems in Miami and the Florida Keys.  The first project, led […]

The ability to predict whether and when a tropical cyclone will become vertically aligned is critical for intensity change forecasts, as storms can intensify quickly after achieving an aligned structure. A recent study from researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies shows how weak, disorganized tropical cyclones containing different center locations with height, called misalignment, can develop a vertically aligned structure. This study works to improve forecasts of when this alignment might occur by identifying key times of the day and other tropical cyclone characteristics when alignment is likely.

The ability to predict whether and when a tropical cyclone will become vertically aligned is critical for intensity change forecasts, as storms can intensify quickly after achieving an aligned structure. A recent study from researchers at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies shows how weak, disorganized tropical cyclones containing different center locations with height, called misalignment, can develop a vertically aligned structure. This study works to improve forecasts of when this alignment might occur by identifying key times of the day and other tropical cyclone characteristics when alignment is likely.

Study links spread of deadly coral disease to ship ballast water

This story was adapted from an article by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science. A new study suggests that ships may be spreading a deadly coral disease across Florida and the Caribbean. The findings may help to establish testing and treatment methods to prevent further spread. According to lead […]

A bright yellow sun sits above trees in a orange sky.

Heat extremes are the number one weather-related cause of death in the United States, prompting the climate community to study the driving forces behind these extreme events to improve their prediction. A new study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds an increase in summertime heat wave occurrence over the US Great Plains is linked to a larger than normal tropical Atlantic warm pool. 

Congratulations to the Winners of 2022 Department of Commerce and NOAA Awards!

Congratulations to all of the 2022 Department of Commerce and NOAA Award winners! AOML is proud to recognize the achievements of our outstanding scientists and staff for their vital contributions to increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of NOAA. From creative problem solving in the face of unforeseen challenges to developing innovative tools and techniques in […]

President Biden has selected John Cortinas, Ph.D, NOAA’s Director at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, as one of the recipients of the 2022 Presidential Rank Award. The award is one of the most prestigious in the federal career civil service and recognizes the hard work and important contributions of dedicated civil servants in the American federal workforce.

President Biden has selected John Cortinas, Ph.D, NOAA’s Director at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, as one of the recipients of the 2022 Presidential Rank Award. The award is one of the most prestigious in the federal career civil service and recognizes the hard work and important contributions of dedicated civil servants in the American federal workforce.

Mangroves seen above the water and below the water.

Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2022 remain at record levels and natural carbon sinks are being impacted by climate change, according to a report published last week by the Global Carbon Project.

GOES Satellite Image of Hurricane Dorian from September 1st, 2019. Photo Credit: GOES.

New NOAA research published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that hurricane intensification rates near the U.S. Atlantic coast have increased significantly over the last 40 years and will likely continue to increase in the future.

Genetic variants of the coral Acropora cervicornis linked to elevated nutrient and heat stress resistance

A recent study by scientists at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science, the Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) identified genetic variants in staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis, that can tolerate elevated temperatures and nutrient pollution, two environmental stressors that […]

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine & Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) examine the challenges of accurately predicting when a tropical cyclone will begin a quick and sudden increase in intensity (called rapid intensification or RI) in a new study published in Monthly Weather Review.

Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) and the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute of Marine & Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) examine the challenges of accurately predicting when a tropical cyclone will begin a quick and sudden increase in intensity (called rapid intensification or RI) in a new study published in Monthly Weather Review.

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

The Gulfstream-IV Hurricane Hunter science crew at the Amílcar Cabral International Airport on Sal Island in the eastern Atlantic. Photo credit: NOAA.

Scientists at AOML deployed to the Cabo Verde islands in August to explore how tropical waves that move off the coast of West African develop into tropical storms and hurricanes. These first-ever missions thousands of miles across the Atlantic mark the farthest distance traveled by NOAA’s Hurricane Hunters to help forecast models better predict the future track and intensity of developing storms.

A close up of a PIES mooring being tested with an acoustic transducer on the side. Header image 1600px

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

The State 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.

Renellys Perez deploys an XBT into the ocean with a hand launcher. Header image 1600px

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 […]

A sunsets above on the horizon of a dark blue ocean

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.

A large orange saildrone is in the water being towed by a small boat.

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.

Coral reef image taken by Derek Manzello of AOML.

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.

Nine AOML Summer 2022 interns stand in front of the AOML sign.

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. 

A large red and white buoy floats in the open ocean.

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 […]

Headshot photo of Libby Johns. 1600px for header image of web story

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. 

A sunsets above on the horizon of a dark blue ocean

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. 

A G-IV twin-engine jet flies in the sky.

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.

A close up of MBARI's long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LRAUV)

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. 

A yellow 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.”

A large white CTD being deployed into the ocean off the side of a side.

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.

Model image of Hurricane Maria in 2017

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%.

Exploring Environmental DNA cover photo for Youtube video

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.

A map showing the sea surface temperatures around the globe. A strong El Nino is shown in dark red in the Pacific Ocean.

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.

A satellite image showing 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.

NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory is pleased to announce Jasmin John as AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division new deputy director. 

NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory is pleased to announce Jasmin John as AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division new deputy director. 

A large red and white PIRATA buoy sits on the deck of the NOAA Ron Borwn Ship. The back of a man wearing a orange life vest is next to the buoy.

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. Header image

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.

Two large orange saildrones in the calm ocean.

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. Ocean observations are an important component of the 2023 Hurricane Field Program 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.

A large orange/red saildrone floats in the ocean

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 of the Earth 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 ( src=

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 large red and black 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.

Bottom of the sea floor

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.