Danielle Renart opening a new world at NOAA's
Bring A Child To Work Day in Silver Spring, Maryland.
As National Ocean
Service liaison to the program coordination
office in Washington, DC, Danielle talked about
her studies and career. During the day, kids also
learned about habitat, the chemistry of seawater,
how we handle oil spills, and surprises and dangers
beneath the sea. Young visitors could even rename
a site, print out a chart, and become "cartographers
for a day."
NOAA Weather Radio/Mark Trail Awards will
be presented at a luncheon on May 23 on Capitol
Hill. This 2nd annual event will recognize the outstanding
contributions of 13 individuals, states and organizations
in using or providing NOAA
Weather Radio receivers and transmitters to
save lives and property.
With the pen of Jack Elrod, the syndicated Mark
Trail cartoon strip has been educating about the
environment since 1950. In the last five years,
Jack has featured NOAA science nearly 50 times.
For all these years, Jack has been driving home
critical messages about being prepared, playing
it safe, and taking the necessary steps. He entertains
and educates - about tropical storms, marine sanctuaries,
endangered species, and our fragile coral reefs.
He's taught readers to love nature, but respect
its warnings; to relish camping but dodge its dangers;
to enjoy dolphins yet still protect them. Jack explains
how clouds float - and why sunsets are red. No aspect
of the environment is missed by his pen.
Click image for larger view (214k) --
Either flee or perish is the fate of animals
living in a smothering layer near the bottom of
the northern Gulf of Mexico. Stretching for about
7,000 square miles off of Louisiana's coast, this
hypoxic, or dead zone, lacks oxygen because of pollutants
flowing into the gulf from the Mississippi River.
Anything that can't move out eventually dies. The
size of the zone fluctuates. Right now, it's the
size of New Jersey.
Spider crab suffocation
Encroaching dead zone
in Gulf of Mexico
Earlier this year, the National
Ocean Service, led by chief scientist Don Scavia,
was key in developing consensus on an action plan
to address the zone. The aim is to cut nitrogen discharge
by 30% by 2015. NOS led an integrated scientific assessment
that assembled over a decade of research on causes
and consequences; analyzed costs and benefits of actions
to reduce, mitigate and control hypoxia; and described
a framework for adaptive management covering action,
management and research.
40th Birthday to NOAA's National Oceanographic Data
Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The center
is the place to go for information on everything
from global sea level to beach temperatures around
the country. Data address climate change, management
of coastal and deep water resources, marine transportation,
and natural disasters.
Director H. Lee Dantzler says the center houses
the world's largest publicly accessible collection
of global oceanographic data. It's an archive for
the world's scientific and public users. Foreign
data is collected and maintained through direct
exchanges with other countries. The center hosts
the NOAA Central Library with its regional libraries
in Miami and Seattle. It also supports NOAA field
libraries or information centers at about 30 U.S.
sites. The center itself has field offices with
major oceanographic facilities in Hawaii, California,
Massachusetts, Mississippi, Florida, and Washington.
Under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences,
it also serves as the U.S. World Data Center for
NOAA and the Canadian Space Agency jointly
sponsored a SAR Users
Symposium, highlighting a scientific tool demonstrating
promise in monitoring and supporting response to serious
environmental hazards. Helen Wood, director of NOAA's
Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution,
co-chaired the symposium.
SAR stands for spaceborne synthetic aperture radar.
It is an active radar remote-sensing method capable
of providing all-weather, day/night, high resolution
imagery of surface roughness and centimeter-scale
changes in land features, such as those occurring
during earthquakes and prior to volcanic eruptions.
With today's headlines telling us of an alarming number
of natural and human-induced disasters worldwide -
floods in India and Mozambique, earthquakes in El
Salvador and India, an oil spill in the Galapagos,
volcanic eruptions in Alaska and Mexico - SAR instruments
are well suited to a wide range of practical applications.
They can work in oceanography, meteorology, forestry,
and agriculture, among numerous others.
SAR data is now used routinely for coastal wind measurements,
river flood mapping, fisheries management, and Arctic
and Great Lakes ice analyses that support safe navigation
and weather forecasting. Within the next few years,
data may be available in sufficient qualities to be
used in the daily missions of NOAA and other environmental
agencies. For symposium presentations: http://orbit35i.nesdis.noaa.gov/orad/sarconference.
Warming and Hurricanes
is the focus of an article coming out this June
in Journal of Climate. This article updates
an earlier article published in Science and
authored by NOAA Research scientists Tom Knutson
and Robert Tuleya, of the Geophysical
Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, and
Yoshio Kurihara, now retired from NOAA. In the
upcoming article, Tom and Robert teamed up with
two University of Rhode Island scientists.
This more recent work supports earlier conclusions
that the strongest hurricanes in the present climate
may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes
over the coming century. The NOAA scientists used
a more advanced hurricane model -- incorporating
ocean coupling -- than has been used in any previous
simulation of hurricane intensity changes under
future climate conditions. The new model simulates
a similar percentage increase of hurricane intensity
under warm climate conditions as the original
model, but with the ocean coupling effect included.
More intense hurricanes may occur as the earth''s
climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere. Most hurricanes do not
reach their maximum potential intensity before
weakening over land or cooler ocean regions. However,
those storms that do approach their upper-limit
intensity are expected to be slightly stronger
(by 5-10%) and have more rainfall in the warmer
climate because of higher sea surface temperatures.
More complete details at http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/~tk/glob_warm_hurr.html
Click image for larger version --
surface temperatures (SSTs, light contours and
color shading, in degrees Celsius) and sea level
pressure (dark contours, in millibars) from
an idealized coupled hurricane model/ocean model
experiment. The "cool wake" in SSTs produced
by the hurricane is indicated by the lower SSTs
to the east-southeast of the storm. The storm
motion is toward the west-northwest.