What's New Archive
PMEL would like to congratulate Dr. Michael McPhaden for being awarded the European Geosciences Union 2010 Fridtjof Nansen Medal. This prestigious award in ocean sciences was given to Dr. McPhaden for his leadership in developing ocean observing systems for climate research and forecasting and for fundamental contributions to our understanding of the ocean’s role in climate.
Please visit the Global Tropical Moored Buoy Array web page for more information on Dr. McPhaden’s research for which he received this medal.
NOAA Vents scientists led by Dr. Bill Chadwick have confirmed that NW Rota in the Mariana Arc is still erupting and has been active on each visit since 2003. The team has documented major changes in the landscape of the volcano including a large landslide that occurred during the past year. During the expedition, scientists will be filming high definition footage of the eruption, collecting samples, and deploying and recovering instruments.
You can follow Dr. Chadwick and his team on this exciting cruise, which runs from March 16-30, on the NW Rota 2010 blog.
On March 16, 2010 PMEL launched a new web site to help those interested in the Arctic learn more about the longer-reaching impacts of the loss of Arctic summer sea ice with a new website, https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/arctic-zone/future/. Changes in the Arctic are not only affecting sea ice but models show that they can impact weather in the mid-latitudes as well, where a large part of the population lives.
For more information on the Arctic please visit NOAA's Arctic theme page.
On February 27, 2010 a magnitude 8.8 earthquake off the coast of Chile sent tsunami waves across the Pacific Ocean. Tsunami scientists at NOAA's Center for Tsunami Research (NCTR) modeled this event in real-time to help determine when the waves would arrive and the impact they may have on various coastal communities including Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.
Please visit NCTR's Chile tsunami page for a tsunami animation and more information on this event.
In an article to be published in the scientific journal Deep-Sea Research I, PMEL scientists Sunke Schmidtko and Gregory Johnson, together with international co-authors, describe ocean oxygen minima expansions and their biological impacts. Through their global analysis of recent and historical oceanographic data, the authors find that tropical oxygen-poor zones expanded significantly in area around the globe in the 1990s-2000s compared with the 1960s-1970s.
For more information on recent sustained oceanographic measurements visit PMEL's Repeat Hydrography web site.
In a study published January 30 in Geophysical Research Letters, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers that included PMEL’s Phyllis Stabeno and Dave Mellinger described integrated biophysical data “from wind to whales” in the Southeast Bering Sea. Distinct patterns in production, zooplankton biovolume and the occurrence of zooplankton predators such as fin and right whales were related to discrete features in the annual physical cycle.
For more information on the EcoFOCI Program, please visit their website.
A special issue of Oceanography, in print now, focuses on ocean acidification and the future of ocean biogeochemistry in a high carbon dioxide world. The issue combines the work from many experts in the field including PMEL scientists Drs. Richard Feely and Simone Alin.
For more information on PMEL’s ocean acidification program please see their web site.
December 26th, 2009 marks five years since the worst tsunami in history killed over 230,000 people. PMEL and the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research's (NCTR) decades of tsunami research helped the United States accelerate the completion of the tsunami warning system which now includes a network of tsunami detection buoys and improved forecasting abilities.
Visit the NCTR web page for more information on the progress made since 2004.
Discovered by PMEL and University of Washington scientists in May 2009, West Mata volcano is the deepest erupting submarine volcano ever witnessed at 4000 feet below sea level. High definition footage of the volcano was released on December 17 that includes violent eruptions spewing lava and rocks into the sea. This volcano also marks the first time scientists have witnessed pillow lava forming new Earth right before their eyes.
To see video and images of this volcano please visit the PMEL Vents program page.
Drs. James Overland and Richard Feely will help represent the United States and NOAA at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark that begins on December 7. Dr. Overland will discuss global warming in the Arctic and Dr. Feely will talk about ocean acidification and its impacts on the marine ecosystem.