Our Research

Our research encompasses ocean, coastal, and atmospheric studies to ready the nation for changes driven by weather, climate, and pressures on marine ecosystems. We work to improve hurricane forecast prediction, learn how the ocean affects extreme weather events, measure the impacts of ocean acidification, and gauge impacts of microbial contamination on human health. We lead international efforts to collect and interpret global observations from ships, satellites, aircraft, buoys, and floats.

Our Research

Our research encompasses ocean, coastal, and atmospheric studies to ready the nation for changes driven by weather, climate, and pressures on marine ecosystems. We work to improve hurricane forecast prediction, learn how the ocean affects extreme weather events, measure the impacts of ocean acidification, and gauge impacts of microbial contamination on human health. We lead international efforts to collect and interpret global observations collected from ships, satellites, aircraft, buoys, and floats.

Delivering NOAA's Future

The Global Ocean Observing System.
AOML is a major contributor to the Global Ocean Observing System.

Research, Develop, Transition

We conduct research to understand and predict the Earth system, expanding our reach beyond South Florida to encompass the US East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

  • We are on the forefront of Omics research and applications.
  • We make eco and hurricane forecasts better.  
  • Our research prioritizes delivering operational tools. 
  • We detect changes in the ocean and atmosphere by maintaining global observing systems.  

We Ready the Nation

Ocean, Coastal, and Atmospheric Studies

We work to improve hurricane forecast prediction, learn how the ocean affects extreme weather events, measure the impacts of ocean acidification, and gauge impacts of microbial contamination on human health. We lead international efforts to collect and interpret global observations from ships, satellites, aircraft, buoys, and floats.

Learn more about each area of our research by visiting our divisional pages below:

Physical Oceanography >

Hurricane Research >

Ocean Chemistry & Ecosystems >

Driving Innovative Science

Lab Review Evaluations

Laboratory reviews are periodically conducted to ensure the relevance and quality of the science being conducted at NOAA Research (OAR) labs. Read through our materials or watch a science presentation on our lab review page.

Optimizing Observing Systems

The Quantitative Observing Assessment Program

AOML houses NOAA’s Quantitative Observing System Assessment Program (QOSAP), which allows scientists to analyze and evaluate current and future earth observation systems.

Providing Actionable Information

Premiere Peer-Reviewed Literature

AOML’s publications collection is a compilation of peer-reviewed articles, technical reports, and other types of publications that spans the time frame 1985-present. It reflects the overall body of work published by AOML’s principal investigators during their affiliation with AOML. We also publish stories that detail the impacts and outcomes of significant publications. Browse our body of work.

Click to View at the American Meteorological Society Online

Contributing to Our Community

Local

AOML is a proud member of the Virginia Key science community- along with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School and NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Our coastal research and ecosystem assessments aid local managers (such as local municipalities and water management entities) in decision making.

We also conduct analysis of coastal water quality which helps inform public health & safety officials making decisions that impact local recreation and tourism. Additionally, our outreach efforts provide opportunities and tools for local school groups and community members to inspire scientific curiosity and learn about science happening in their community.

Regional

AOML’s hurricane research includes improving hurricane models, collecting observations for research, and using our knowledge to help improve forecasts at the National Hurricane Center. The observations we collect in our hurricane hunter missions are used to help ensure everyone is better prepared for hurricane impacts.

Our oceanographers and ecologists also perform extensive regional water and ecosystem monitoring to understand harmful algal blooms like Red Tide, changes in economically important fisheries, and the potential outcome of Everglades Restoration activities. Our efforts to understand how coral reefs are impacted by ocean acidification and warming oceans help inform local restoration efforts led by federal, university, and non-profit partners.

Global

Research at AOML has national and international impacts due to our contribution of ocean and atmospheric observations to operational global and regional forecast models. We collaborate with the international scientific community to conduct research cruises and maintain global ocean observing systems that are the foundation of improved weather and climate forecasts.

AOML contributes to assessments to describe the State of the Climate and the ocean’s role in the global carbon cycle. In addition, we work closely with the National Weather Service to help improve prediction of hurricanes as NOAA develops more advanced global models, such as the Hurricane Analysis Forecasts System (HAFS).

Prioritizing Mission-Relevant Research

Characterize Hurricane Impacts

Characterize, understand, and predict physical process important to the prediction of tropical cyclone track, intensity, and structure change and their impacts (rainfall, storm surge, flooding, damaging waves, winds, and severe weather) in support of AOML’s Hurricane Field Program.

Advance Forecast Guidance

Advance hurricane forecast guidance by creating and verifying next generation numerical models and advancing data assimilation techniques in support of NOAA’s unified forecast system.

Evaluate Observing Strategies

Optimize the use of current and proposed observations to improve global and hurricane forecast guidance.

Understand Oceanic Carbon Feedbacks

Quantify the role of the oceans in sequestering carbon dioxide and the role and feedback of coastal oceans in the marine carbon cycle.

Support Resource Managers

Apply data, models, and ecological assessments for resource management decision support.

Predict Forcing Pressures

Characterize, understand and predict the impact of climate change, ocean acidification, and land-based sources of pollution. This also means understanding synergistic interactions on the coastal and coral reef ecosystems of south Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Predict Ocean & Climate Impacts

Characterize, understand and predict the influence of the ocean on regional and global climate, extreme weather, sea level, and ecosystems to improve assessments, outlooks, forecasts, and resource management.

Observe Ocean Circulation

Observe variations in the ocean circulation and property transport from fine-scale mixing to long-term climate change and improve our understanding of the physical processes and mechanisms that control these variations.

Evaluate Ocean Observing Systems

Evaluate how new and existing observations improve ocean modeling forecasts, outlooks, and assessments.

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