Archive for August, 2013

New ocean forecast could help predict fish habitat six months in advance

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The first seasonal forecast of conditions that matter for fisheries could help to better manage stocks....

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Sea-level rise drives shoreline retreat in Hawaii

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Researchers show that sea-level rise is a primary factor driving historical shoreline changes (that is, beach erosion or accretion) in Hawaii and that historical rates of shoreline change are about two orders of magnitude greater than sea-level rise....

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Into the moving, crushing, shifting ice

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Two days on an ice floe may not seem like paradise, but for a team of scientists on the multinational 2013 Oden Arctic Technology Research Cruise, it was the achievement of an important research goal....

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Finding the Robert J. Walker [What's New]

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More than 153 years after it was lost in a violent collision at sea, NOAA and partners have identified the wreck of the ship Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served in the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of NOAA. The Walker served a vital role as a survey ship, charting the Gulf Coast in the decade before the Civil War.


The Walker wreck site initially was discovered in the 1970s by a commercial fisherman. Resting 85 feet underwater, the vessel’s identity was confirmed in June 2013, as part of a private-public collaboration that included research provided by New Jersey wreck divers; Joyce Steinmetz, a maritime archaeology student at East Carolina University; and retired NOAA Corps Capt. Albert Theberge.



While in the area to conduct hydrographic surveys after Hurricane Sandy for navigation safety, NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson sailed to the wreck site and deployed its multibeam and sidescan sonar systems to search for the Walker. Using the data from these hydrographic surveys, a NOAA Maritime Heritage dive team, on a separate Hurricane Sandy-related mission in the area, was able to positively identify the Walker. Key clues were the size and layout of the iron-hulled wreck, and its unique engines, rectangular portholes, and the location of the ship, which was found still pointing toward the Absecon lighthouse, the final destination of a desperate crew on a sinking vessel.


Now with the remains of the Walker positively identified, NOAA’s intent is not to make this wreck a sanctuary or to limit diving, but to work with New Jersey’s wreck diving community to better understand it and the stories it can tell..



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NASA data reveals mega-canyon under Greenland ice sheet

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Data from a NASA airborne science mission reveals evidence of a large and previously unknown canyon hidden under a mile of Greenland ice. The canyon has the characteristics of a winding river channel and is at least 460 miles (750 kilometers) long, making it longer than the Grand Canyon. In some places, it is as deep as 2,600 feet (800 meters), on scale with segments of the Grand Canyon. This immense feature is thought to predate the ice sheet that has covered Greenland for the last few million years....

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Wake up and smell the reef: Fish larvae sniff their way back home

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A new study conducted at One Tree Island in the Great Barrier Reef has established that reef fish larvae can smell the presence of coral reefs from as far as several kilometers offshore, and use this odor to find home....

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East Antarctic Ice Sheet could be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought

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The world's largest ice sheet could be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than previously thought, according to new research....

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NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracks [What's New]

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NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks, a free online tool, now includes all 2012 global hurricanes.

The site, developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center in partnership with NOAA's National Hurricane Center and National Climatic Data Center, offers data and information on coastal county hurricane strikes through 2012. It also provides links to detailed reports on the life histories and effects of U.S. tropical cyclones since 1958, with additional U.S. storm paths traced as far back as 1851. The site contains global hurricane data from as far back as 1842.

Of note, the online tool now incorporates the path of and details on Hurricane Sandy. Barreling up the U.S. Atlantic coast, the super storm made landfall in New Jersey on October 29, 2012. It was one of the costliest storms in American history, affecting parts of 24 states, and killing scores of people. Total U.S. damage estimates from the storm exceed $50 billion.



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Fukushima radioactive plume to reach US in 3 years

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Researchers find it will take three years from the date of leakage for the the plume of radioactive water to reach the US coastline....

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Submarine canyons a source of marine invertebrate diversity, abundance

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Submarine canyons play an important role in maintaining high levels of biodiversity of small invertebrates in the seafloor sediments of the main and northwestern Hawaiian Islands, according to new research. What's more, scientists have used this data to draw new connections between the levels of faunal diversity and the heterogeneity of submarine canyon landscapes at various spatial scales....

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