A new study by coral researchers from the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory suggests that the physical oceanographic habitat characteristics-such as, temperature, light availability, and water flow, of corals, may influence microbe communities and health of coral reefs. The results showed a link between physical habitat and coral microbiology in coral reefs in southeast Florida.
Dr. Luke Thompson, a Northern Gulf Institute Assistant Research Professor at AOML, sailed aboard the Norwegian icebreaker RV Kronprins Haakon in May as part of a research effort focused on characterizing species that dwell in the mesopelagic zone—the region of the ocean 200–1000 meters below the surface. The cruise was undertaken to explore the potential for developing a new fishery based on mesopelagic fish.
Catastrophic Hurricane Dorian will be long remembered as one of the Atlantic basin’s most powerful landfalling hurricanes. NOAA Hurricane Hunters measured Dorian’s intensification from a weak tropical storm in the Caribbean to one of the Atlantic’s fiercest hurricanes. The data they gathered were vital to protecting life and property, supporting NOAA’s efforts to warn vulnerable communities of approaching severe weather through accurate forecasts.
AOML researchers released an assortment of GPS equipped drifters into the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea to study how ocean currents and winds play a role in the distribution of Sargassum. With the data obtained from the sargassum drifters along with satellite data from the University of South Florida, AOML researchers now have the ability to distribute weekly experimental Sargassum Index Reports.
NOAA researchers have been working around the clock to collect vital data during Hurricane Dorian which is being used to improve present and future forecasts to protect and save vulnerable lives and property. Using technology aboard the NOAA Hurricane Hunter P-3 aircraft, AOML hurricane researchers were able to document the rapid intensification of Dorian as it approached the Bahamas.
Last week AOML and CIMAS coral researchers, Graham Kolodziej, Anderson Mayfield, and Derek Manzello, entered the ocean off of the Upper Florida Keys to collect tiny floating balls being released from the protected mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata). Taking place shortly after moonrise, the spawning process is a visually beautiful part of the circle of life for corals, releasing gametes into the ocean water to become fertilized and eventually settle to create new corals stony coral colonies.
Two underwater robots will be gliding throughout the western Lake Erie basin this week, as NOAA and its partners at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) test technology to autonomously monitor and measure the toxicity of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.
An analysis of 20 years of water quality data shows that Biscayne Bay, a NOAA Habitat Focus Area off southeast Florida, is degrading, as scientists have identified early warning signs that could help inform managers to prevent a regime shift of the bay’s ecosystem.In a recent study published in Estuaries and Coasts, scientists from NOAA and partner organizations detected an increasing trend in chlorophyll and nutrient levels from 48 monitoring stations throughout Biscayne Bay.
AOML Director Dr. John Cortinas has been elected to become a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Fellows are elected for their “outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years.” John has been member of the American Meteorological Society since 1983, supporting the organization as an associate editor for the journals Weather and Forecasting and Monthly Weather Review. Additionally, John has served as the AMS Chairperson of the Minority Scholarship Committee, a member of the Board on Women and Minorities, and as a member of the Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee.
Four ocean gliders set off to sea this week to bring back data that scientists hope will improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models.The robotic, unmanned gliders are equipped with sensors to measure the salt content (salinity) and temperature as they move through the ocean at different depths. The gliders, which can operate in hurricane conditions, collect data during dives down to a half mile below the sea surface, and transmit the data to satellites when they surface.