Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NOAA scientists advance climate, ocean and atmospheric science in record-setting year

The year just ending is one of new records: the lowest Arctic sea ice minimum since satellites records began in 1979; the United States’ most widespread drought, second only to the drought of the 1930s in area affected; and virtual certainty that 2012 will be the United States’ warmest year on record.

And as these climate trends unfolded, scientists in the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, or NOAA Research, made significant discoveries that further our abilities to understand the changes and their impacts on our weather and natural environment. NOAA Research’s mission goes well beyond climate change, also encompassing air quality, atmospheric, and weather forecasting research, and ocean exploration. 2012 brought noteworthy discoveries in these areas too.

With a focus on science that serves society, NOAA scientists made new discoveries, collected valuable data, and provided information throughout 2012 to guide policymakers’ decisions. Here are some of NOAA Research’s top accomplishments of 2012.

Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)