World Magnetic Model Updated
NOAA officials announced today the World Magnetic Model (WMM), a representation of Earth’s large-scale magnetic field and an indispensable complement to GPS devices used by NATO, the United States and United Kingdom militaries, as well as civil applications ranging from mineral exploration to smartphone apps, has been updated. Changes in the Earth's outer core trigger unpredictable changes in its magnetic field, an invisible force that extends from Earth's interior to where it meets a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun.
Thickness of Antarctic Sea Ice Surpass Expectations
Antarctica's ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is also much thicker than was previously thought, a new study reports. The discovery adds to the ongoing mystery of Antarctica's expanding sea ice. According to climate models, the region's sea ice should be shrinking each year because of global warming. Instead, satellite observations show the ice is expanding, and the continent's sea ice has set new records for the past three winters.
NOAA, NASA & BOEM to Monitor Biodiversity
NOAA, NASA and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have joined together to support three demonstration projects that will lay the foundation for the first national network to monitor marine biodiversity at scales ranging from microbes to whales. The projects, to be funded at approximately $17 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds, will demonstrate how a national operational marine biodiversity observation network could be developed.
Navy's Global Ocean Forecast System Goes Public
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) & the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) within the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have entered into a formal agreement that results in NCEP using Navy developed global ocean forecast model technology to make environmental ocean forecasts for public use. “Development of an advanced global ocean prediction system has been a long-term Navy interest,” said Dr. Gregg Jacobs, head, NRL Ocean Dynamics and Prediction Branch.
The Arctic: Emerging Maritime Frontier
The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Bob Papp, Jr. spoke of the Arctic as an emerging frontier during the 2013 State of the Coast Guard Address in February 2013. He said, “… one example of what our future holds can be seen in the emerging frontier of the Arctic, where there is a new ocean appearing. In September 2012, we observed the lowest sea ice extent in recorded history, and there are vast areas of open water where there used to be ice…As the receding ice increasingly gives way to commercial ventures…
Muddy Footprints: Satellite's View of Ship Pollution
Long tracks of elevated nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels show up along certain shipping routes when viewed from NASA's Aura satellite. For more than a decade, scientists have observed “ship tracks” in natural-color satellite imagery of the ocean. These bright, linear trails amidst the cloud layers are created by particles and gases from ships. They are a visible manifestation of pollution from ship exhaust, and scientists can now see that ships have a more subtle, almost invisible, signature as well, according to 'NASA Earth Observatory'.
GOM Sheen Investigation Plan Approved
FOSC for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in New Orleans approved a joint plan from BP and Transocean. The Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in New Orleans approved a joint plan from BP and Transocean Thursday. The joint plan was required by Coast Guard Capt. Duke Walker to identify the source of a sheen located in the Gulf of Mexico that has been associated with Macondo 252 oil. The Notice of Federal Interest informed BP and Transocean that they may be responsible for costs related to identifying the source of the sheen and cleanup. The proposed joint plan includes satellite observations and mobilizing remotely operated vehicles to examine the original Macondo well area including the wreckage, debris, and the riser on the sea floor.
Navy Charts Way Ahead in Arctic
The chief of naval operations created a task force, headed by the Navy's senior oceanographer, to better understand and evaluate the changing climate and its implications for maritime security. "Task Force Climate Change was initiated ... to assess the Navy's preparedness to respond to emerging requirements and to develop a science-based time line for future Navy actions regarding climate change," explained Rear Adm. "Because the Arctic is changing faster than any other place on the planet, our first deliverable will be a strategic roadmap proposing actions for the Navy regarding the Arctic region," Titley said. This may include an assessment of how the maritime strategy applies to the Arctic region…