What's New Archive
Lessons learned from the March 11, 2011 Tohoku tsunami are highlighted in a recent Nature article nearly a year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that killed over 18,000 people. This tsunami highlighted the need for a more accurate warning system for those shorelines closest the earthquake. Scientists at PMEL are working with international colleagues to develop a system that will be able to predict the severity of coastal flooding faster in order to issue accurate and timely warnings.
Please visit the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research website for more information.
The NOAA Vents Program is proud to be a large part of a recently published special issue of Oceanography and supplement that focuses on over 20 years of research on mid ocean spreading centers and underwater volcanic activity. The RIDGE and Ridge 2000 programs are summarized in the special issue and features articles from many PMEL scientists including our University of Washington and Oregon State University partners.
For more information on ongoing research in the NOAA Vents Program please visit their website.
PMEL’s Atmospheric Chemistry group is currently taking part study to try and understand why ozone levels occasionally soar above health-based standards in the winter in rural Utah. PMEL’s role is to measure properties of atmospheric particles and snow, including chemical composition, to assess their role in ozone production.
Other participants include NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory, the EPA, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Utah State University and others.
Using Argo float data, scientists including PMEL’s Dr. Greg Johnson and JIMAR’s Dr. John Lyman, published a paper in Nature Geoscience that concludes the Earth has been accumulating heat continuously, mostly in the ocean, between 2001 and 2010. The paper describes how the heat balance measured at the top of the atmosphere is consistent with observed ocean warming, implying that there is probably no ‘missing energy’ in the system as had been suspected.
Visit PMEL’s Argo Float program website for more information.
Ever wonder how scientists discover underwater eruptions in some of the deepest depths of our ocean? Watch the latest YouTube video above to learn how PMEL and University of Washington scientists discovered one of the most explosive underwater eruptions caught on camera.
The West Mata volcano is located in the South Pacific and scientists hope to return to the volcano this year to capture more activity on film. Follow the Vents program online for more information.
Released in the beginning of December the 2011 Arctic Report Card concludes that there are now a sufficient number of years of observational data to indicate a shift in the Arctic Ocean system since 2006. Persistent warming and record-setting changes are occurring throughout the Arctic environment with resultant impacts on Arctic ecosystems.
PMEL’s Drs. James Overland and Sue Moore contributed to the report that was prepared by an international team of 121 scientists from 14 different countries.
Published December 1 in Nature, PMEL scientists Drs. Trish Quinn and Tim Bates explain why it’s time to retire a 25-year-old hypothesis that suggested phytoplankton might play a large role in regulating climate change. They analyzed observations and computer simulations from the past two decades and concluded that the role of phytoplankton emissions is much smaller than originally thought.
You can read more about the Nature paper on the OAR news site. Drs. Quinn and Bates are principal investigators for PMEL's Atmospheric Chemistry program.
PMEL’s Dr. Chris Sabine is one of four co-leads on a new Carbon Cycle Science Plan just released. Sabine and other U.S. Scientists have developed a new, integrated, ten-year science plan to better understand the details of the Earth’s carbon cycle and the people’s role in it. The plan extends the focus to new questions including the emphasis that humans are an integral part of the global carbon cycle.
Please visit the PMEL Carbon Program website for more information including a link to the full plan.
The November issue of Nature Geoscience features the erupting West Mata volcano on its cover, discovered by NOAA Vents and university partner scientists 2.5 years ago. The paper included is the first published about this recently discovered active underwater eruption and describes the never before seen active boninite lava that contains information about the early stages of subduction in the northeastern Lau Basin.
For more information on the West Mata volcano please visit the NOAA Vents Program website.
Oceanographer Dr. Christopher Sabine has been chosen as the next director of PMEL and will start on November 20. Dr. Sabine has been at PMEL since 1999 concentrating his research on the global carbon cycle and ocean acidification. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University with a major in marine science and a doctorate in oceanography from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He will be the lab's 3rd director since PMEL's creation in 1974.
Please join PMEL in congratulating Dr. Sabine and welcome him to his new position. You can read more about Dr. Sabine in the NOAA press release.