U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observing Network: Building Global Connections

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Marine biodiversity—the variety and variability of life in the ocean—can be an early indicator of change, provided it's noticed. The U.S. Marine Biodiversity Network (MBON) aims to ensure that scientists not only notice changes in biodiversity at locations around the nation, but also have the tools in place to better understand what these changes tell us about ocean health over time. But marine life doesn't know borders. That's why the U.S. network is also expanding international cooperation with other marine biodiversity networks around the world.

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What is the Pineapple Express?

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Atmospheric rivers are narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport much of the moisture from the tropics to northern latitudes. Atmospheric rivers are part of the Earth's ocean water cycle, and are tied closely to both water supply and flood risks.

A well-known example of a strong atmospheric river is called the "Pineapple Express" because moisture builds up in the tropical Pacific around Hawaii and can wallop the U.S. West Coast with heavy rainfall.

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Microplastics Reddit “Ask Us Anything”

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The majority of marine debris found around the world is made of plastic and can range from microbeads smaller than a sesame seed up to an 11-ton mass of abandoned fishing nets. Over time these plastics break down into what is called microplastics (smaller than five millimeters in size). There are lots of concerns about the impacts of microplastics such as how do they interact chemically with the marine environment? Are marine species ingesting them? And are chemicals from the plastics moving up the food chain? This is your chance to chat with two NOAA Marine Debris Program scientists on microplastics and what we can, and are, doing to help during the January 12, 2017 Reddit 'Ask Us Anything'. When: 12 January, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. EDT

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Where do fish go when it freezes outside?

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Have you ever wondered how fish survive in cold winter weather, or where they go when lakes and ponds freeze over? Like many people, fish tend to be less active in the cold. As cold-blooded creatures, their metabolism dips when temperatures take a dive.

The layer of ice that forms on top of a lake, pond, river, or stream provides some insulation that helps the waterbody retain its heat. Because warm water sinks, freshwater fish often gather in groups near the bottom. Some species, like koi and gobies, may burrow into soft sediments and go dormant like frogs and other amphibians, but most fish simply school in the deepest pools and take a "winter rest."

In this resting state, fishes' hearts slow down, their needs for food and oxygen decrease, and they move about very little. If you've ever gone ice fishing, you know that a long line, a slow, colorful lure, and a hearty portion of patience are often required to land this quiet quarry! Popular ice-fishing species include walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, and rainbow trout.

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What is ocean noise?

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Ocean noise refers to sounds made by human activities that can interfere with or obscure the ability of marine animals to hear natural sounds in the ocean. Many marine organisms rely on their ability to hear for their survival. Sound is the most efficient means of communication underwater and is the primary way that many marine species gather and understand information about their environment. Many aquatic animals use sound to find prey, locate mates and offspring, avoid predators, guide their navigation and locate habitat, and listen and communicate with each other.

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Are we cleared to land? How the Wright Brothers influenced NOAA’s mission.

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In a span of 12 seconds on December 17, 1903, two men near the town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, changed the course of history. This photograph shows the first powered, controlled, sustained flight. Orville Wright at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright running alongside to balance the machine, has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. Today, we fly using technological advances that the Wright Brothers only could have imagined. Millions of people board airplanes, confident that pilots will guide them safely to their destinations. But safe navigation begins well before the pilot even touches the plane's controls; it begins with the runway. That's where NOAA comes in.

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High Tide Bulletin: Winter 2016

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The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth.There are some factors that cause the tides to be higher than what is "normally" seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between December 2016 and February 2017. Note: Depending on non-tidal conditions (wind, storms) regions may experience impacts before or after the dates mentioned here.

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Corals Week 2016

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Celebrate the beauty and importance of coral reef ecosystems!

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What are the trade winds?

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Known to sailors around the world, the trade winds and associated ocean currents helped early sailing ships from European and African ports make their journeys to the Americas. Likewise, the trade winds also drive sailing vessels from the Americas toward Asia. Even now, commercial ships use "the trades" and the currents the winds produce to hasten their oceanic voyages.

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San Francisco Bay Region: Working Together to Build Resilience

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San Francisco, the Bay area, and its Outer Coast comprise the largest estuarine area on the west coast of the United States. It’s been said that this region is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams. The region is a major urban and economic center and a unique ecological treasure. It is home to over seven million people, and retains some of the largest and most important natural areas along the west coast, including three National Marine Sanctuaries (Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay), the Point Reyes National Seashore, the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The estuary serves as a major hub of commerce and supports the most intact Mediterranean-climate wetlands in North America.

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