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Ocean Stories


20 Years of Radar Altimetry (December, 2012)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Over twenty years ago NASA and French partners, CNES, collaborated on what became the first of a series of important oceanographic missions that have been measuring ocean surface topography from space ever since. This first mission, TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P), is no longer operational, having exceeded its expected lifetime of 5 years to provide over 13 years of data. Two follow-on missions, Jason-1,...

Could a Hurricane Ever Strike Southern California? (October 17, 2012)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

There's an old adage (with several variations) that California has four seasons: earthquake, fire, flood and drought. While Californians happily cede the title of Hurricane Capital of America to U.S.

Global mean sea level from altimetry from 1992 to 2012 with annual and semi-annual variations removed and smoothed with a 60-day running mean filter [Nerem et al., 2010].

GRACE – Uncovering the 2010-11 decline in global mean sea level and its relation to ENSO (October, 2012)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Satellite altimetry observes the height of the ocean surface from space. Globally, the observations are used to determine how much the global sea level is rising due to thermal expansion related to warming and adding water from the melting ice sheets.


SPURS Sets Sail to Elucidate Oceanic Salinity Processes with Linkage to the Water Cycle (September, 2012)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Funded by NASA in collaboration with NSFNOAA and also involving European participation (e.g. France, Spain), the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS) project aims...

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) in the eastern Pacific on July 10, 2012.

Aquarius reveals salinity structure of tropical instability waves

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tropical Instability Waves (TIWs) are westward-traveling waves associated with shear instabilities of the equatorial current system, and are observed at the edges of the equatorial cold tongues in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. TIWs have average wavelengths of 1000-2000 kilometers, periods of 20-40 days, and phase speeds of 0.3-0.5 m/s.

Sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the Eastern Pacific, specifically off the Peruvian coast, have shown a recent warming.

Warming off the Peruvian coast: Potential Consequences and Implications (May, 2012)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the Eastern Pacific, specifically off the Peruvian coast, have shown a recent warming. SSTA is defined as the difference between the actual temperature and normal conditions for that time of year.

Coastal Upwelling and Harmful Algal Blooms in Southern California (September-October 2011)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In late September 2011, local reports indicated the presence of intense algal blooms along the Southern California coastline.