At 20:00 at 64°S in the austral summer month of February, the sun was still high in the sky. It cast a delicate light over the sea surface dotted with icebergs, which ranged from small misshapen chunks to massive angular structures with marbled cliffsides. In January and February 2022, I took part in an Antarctic voyage aboard the French schooner Tara. My participation was part of a partnership between NOAA and AtlantECO, a European-led consortium to characterize, quantify, and model Atlantic Ocean ecosystems.
In a new study published in Nature Communications, scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) investigate the projected changes in the seasonal evolution of El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the 21st century under the influence of increasing greenhouse gases. The study found that global climate impacts on temperature and precipitation are projected to become more significant and persistent, due to the larger amplitude and extended persistence of El Niño in the second half of the 21st Century (2051-2100).
In a 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.
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.
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.
Existing observations show that Indian Ocean surface water temperatures have been increasing since the 1970’s. But has the deep ocean warmed? Have the regional concentrations of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, or nutrients changed? Has the western Indian Ocean become more acidic? These and more questions will be addressed by scientists after the completion of this cruise.
In a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a team of scientists including researchers from NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) explore the future risk of waterborne disease in a warming climate. Recently, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) developed an interactive online tool that can be used to monitor coastal marine areas with environmental conditions favorable to Vibrio growth, aquatic bacteria that can cause human illness. The Vibrio Map Viewer is a real-time global model that uses daily updated remote sensing data to determine marine areas vulnerable to higher levels of Vibrio.
Warm ocean water can be a killer for coral reefs, and AOML recently developed a new inexpensive sensor to drastically improve our ability to measure and monitor changing temperatures on reefs at an unprecedented scale. The low cost sea temperature sensor, known as InSituSea, costs roughly $10 in parts to produce while providing high accuracy (0.05-0.1 C) in measurement. With a production cost that is 10% of an off-the-shelf temperature sensor, colleagues have expressed strong interest in deploying the InSituSea sea temperature sensor at coral reefs around the world.
Scientists from NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami have documented a dramatic shift from vibrant coral communities to carpets of algae in remote Pacific Ocean waters where an undersea volcano spews carbon dioxide.
This summer, AOML will be diving into a new outreach initiative with the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, a coral reef research organization based in the Cayman Islands. From June through August, NOAA oceanographers from AOML will give a series of talks on various oceanographic topics to the institute’s staff and students participating in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at the institute’s Little Cayman Research Centre (LCRC).