Ocean Stories


Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) (February, 2017)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Why pay attention to Greenland? Greenland’s ice sheets are melting and contributing to global sea level rise. There is enough ice on Greenland that global sea level can rise by 6 meters if it were all to melt.

Record Texas Flooding Left a “Horseshoe” in the Gulf of Mexico (December, 2016)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SMAP SSS revealed a unique "horseshoe" pattern in the Gulf of Mexico in 2015. This signature was caused by the freshwater plume from the Texas flood, the typical Mississippi River plume, an unusually strong Loop Current and its anticyclonic eddy to the west.

Figure 2. Location of the SPURS-2 study area within the eastern tropical Pacific the low-salinity, high precipitation region influenced by the ITCZ.

From Dry to Wet, Salty to Fresh: SPURS2 embarks on the second phase of NASA’s surface ocean Salinity Processes Field Study with a Focus on the Rainy Eastern Tropical Pacific (August, 2016)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On August 19, 2016,  the R/V Revelle began survey operations that will run through the middle of September 2016 at the site of the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) 2 study region in a high rainfall region the Eastern Tropical Pacific aiming to make an equally important scientific splash. 

Waves and Satellites: Effect of El Niño on Big Wave Surfing (January, 2016)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Strong El Niño events are associated with recreational benefits, namely snow sports and surfing. The last two major El Niño events, 1982/1983 and 1997/1998, have both proven to be record breaking years for large, consistent surf along the U.S. West Coast. The current 2015/2016 El Niño is proving to be no exception.

El Niño Watch: A Comparison of Current Conditions with Past Events (September, 2015)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Anomalous ocean conditions in the Equatorial Pacific in 2015 are compared with past El Niño events to gain a potential sense about future El Niño development and related impacts.

Utilization of Satellite Altimetry for Bangladesh Flood Forecasting and Warning System (May, 2015)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bangladesh has implemented an operational flood forecast system that uses Jason-2 to forecast river heights, such as the Ganges River, up to 8 days ahead of time. Inclusion of satellite altimetric will provide more accurate and quicker forecasts for flood prediction to enable earlier evacuation warnings.

Tracking Groundwater Changes Around the World Using Satellite Gravity (March, 2015)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission provides the first opportunity to directly measure groundwater changes from space. For instance, it is estimated that the Central Valley aquifer in California has lost roughly 1.5 times the full volume of Lake Mead (40km3) during the last 10 years with about 30 km3 of this being groundwater.

A View from Above: Wastewater Diversion Plumes in Southern California (October, 2014)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Hyperion Treatment Plant (HTP) and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) are wastewater treatment facilities that discharge into the Southern California Bight. HTP and OCSD wastewater is diverted on occasion to shorter outfall pipes at shallower depths that increase risks to human health and water quality. Here the utility satellite data to detect such diversions is examined.

Figure 2.  Anomaly SST and SST gradient magnitudes on 28 July 2014

Unusual summertime warming off California Coast (September, 2014)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Recently an episode of intensified coastal warming off California has been detected in satellite sea surface temperature (SST) imagery along many portions of central-to-southern California and down to Baja California.  This is an ongoing and highly unusual event during a seasonal period that is typically associated with strong coastal upwelling of cool subsurface water that chills the coastal...

NASA's RapidScat to Unveil Hidden Cycles of Sea Winds

NASA's RapidScat to Unveil Hidden Cycles of Sea Winds (July, 2014)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ocean waves, the hot sun, sea breezes -- the right combination makes a great day at the beach. A different combination makes a killer hurricane. The complex interactions of the ocean and the air above it that can create such different outcomes are not yet fully known. Scientists would especially like to understand the role that the daily heat of the sun plays in creating winds.