Intensity of hurricanes: New study helps improve predictions of storm intensity

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While predicting the path of hurricanes has gotten better, little has been done to improve predicting a storm's intensity. That is, until now. "The air-water interface -- whether it had significant waves or significant spray -- is a big factor in storm intensity," said one expert involved in a new study. "Hurricanes gain heat energy through the interface and they lose mechanical energy at the interface."...

Saharan dust is key to formation of Bahamas’ Great Bank, study finds

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Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands, a new study suggests. Researchers showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to produce the island chain's carbonate-based foundation. Persistent winds across Africa's 3.5-million square mile Sahara Desert lifts mineral-rich sand into the atmosphere where it travels the nearly 5,000-mile northwest journey towards the U.S. and Caribbean....

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age

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Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push Earth's climate system across a 'tipping point,' where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible -- a hotly debated scenario with an unclear picture of what this point of no return may look like. A new study suggests that combined warming of the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans thousands of years ago may have provided the tipping point for abrupt warming and rapid melting of the northern ice sheets....

NOAA and Partners Dedicate Jacksonville PORTS®

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On July 23, NOAA and its local partner, the Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange, dedicated the newest Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System, or PORTS®. The new Jacksonville PORTS®, the second largest established in the national system, includes 46 operational sensors that cover water level, meteorological, visibility, salinity, air gap (under bridge clearance), and currents.



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Voices from the Working Waterfront

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NOAA recently initiated a project called "Voices from the Working Waterfront," which will record oral histories about efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of these unique and often historic maritime communities.



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Calcification in changing oceans

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What do mollusks, starfish, and corals have in common? Aside from their shared marine habitat, they are all calcifiers -- organisms that use calcium from their environment to create hard carbonate skeletons and shells for stability and protection....

Research charts ecological impact of microbial respiration in oxygen-starved ocean

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A sulfur-oxidizing bacterial group called SUP05 will play an increasingly important role in carbon and nutrient cycling in the world's oceans as oxygen minimum zones expand, according to research. To conduct this study, researchers plumbed the depth of a seasonally anoxic fjord, Canada's Saanich Inlet, to chart how microbial community metabolism changes as oxygen minimum zones form....

Safeguarding Belize’s barrier reef with conservation drones

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Seeking to gain a high-tech edge over illegal fishers, the Government of Belize will use “eyes in the sky” to enforce fishing regulations in the biodiverse Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and other reef systems in what is the first use of conservation drones to monitor marine protected areas....

Vulnerability of sharks as collateral damage in commercial fishing shown by study

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A new study that examined the survival rates of 12 different shark species when captured as unintentional bycatch in commercial longline fishing operations found large differences in survival rates across the 12 species, with bigeye thresher, dusky, and scalloped hammerhead being the most vulnerable....

Global temperature reaches record high in June following record warmth in May

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According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985....