What's New at NOAA Research: July 2021
  • Spotlight on a new resource from the NOAA Library
  • Research Highlights, including a major new record reached at Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory
  • People of NOAA Research, including a new Administrator for NOAA
  • News from the Cooperative Institutes, including a rundown of your new Cooperative Institutes
  • Innovation Corner, including a new space for sharing NOAA innovations and interacting with the innovation community on Twitter
  • Upcoming July events and trainings
Communications Director's Note
Happy Summer everyone!

As we head into summer, my guidance to the HQ comms team is “rest and recharge'' over the next two months. I hope everyone is able to find some time this summer to step away from work and spend quality time doing what you enjoy most. For myself, it will be visiting our local pool and swimming hole with my two daughters (check out the photo to see us visiting in 2020), as well as taking a family trip to San Jose, where we lived previously.

As we head into our 16th month of remote work for most of us, it is important to consider what we have learned from working virtually and how we can apply those lessons to our workplaces moving forward. Personally, I am looking forward to returning to the office. That said, it is clear that how and where we work will be changing. As we return to our offices, we will face some inevitable communication challenges as we adjust to this new hybrid environment. Top of mind for me is maintaining a sense of OAR community among our entire workforce...no matter where we work. I look forward to tackling how we can best do this with the help of the OAR comms team and the entire OAR family.

In the meantime, please heed the advice of our leadership team and look after yourselves. Your health and well-being is priority number one.

Best, Murph
Spotlight: A New Resource from the Library!
Check out eBooks, magazines, and more
The NOAA Central & Boulder Libraries are excited to announce a new ebook purchase for NOAA. OverDrive offers access for all NOAA staff and contractors to ebooks and audiobooks on: leadership, professional development, work/life skills, diversity and inclusion. This platform also includes 130 magazines, like the Economist and New Scientist, for borrowing.

Here's how to access it:

  • Follow this link: https://noaalibs.overdrive.com/
  • Select Sign In
  • Enter your NOAA email username and password
  • Explore, borrow, and recommend!
  • Send questions to [email protected]

Happy reading!
Research Highlights
Carbon dioxide peaks near 420 parts per million at Mauna Loa observatory
Atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory peaked for 2021 in May at a monthly average of 419 parts per million (ppm), the highest level since accurate measurements began 63 years ago, scientists from NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced in in June.
New analysis shows microbial sources are fueling rise of atmospheric methane
Atmospheric levels of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, are on the rise. A new study by NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) has found that microbial sources - such as wetlands, shallow lakes and rivers, livestock and more - are largely to blame.
Ocean Month at NOAA means buoys, floats, gliders and more!
This Ocean Month, we highlighted some of the great tools NOAA uses to keep tabs on our global ocean. Take a look at five buoys that help scientists understand our weather, climate and ocean health, and explore four more tools that NOAA uses in weather and ocean research. Finally, learn about the newest buoy in the Great Lakes region, which is supporting wave and flood forecasting in Lake Champlain.
Joint NASA, NOAA study finds Earth's energy imbalance has doubled
Earth's climate is determined by a delicate balance between how much of the Sun's energy is absorbed and how much thermal infrared radiation Earth emits to space. A positive energy imbalance means the Earth system is gaining energy, causing the planet to heat up. Now, NOAA and NASA researchers have found that Earth’s energy imbalance approximately doubled.
NOAA Ocean Exploration heads out to sea
NOAA Ocean Exploration’s operations on Okeanos Explorer are back in full swing! At the beginning of every field season, NOAA Ocean Exploration dedicates a series of days at sea to "shake down" and test the readiness of the ship's mission systems and the ROVs, and this year, that shakedown took place from June 13-27. Learn more and take a look at the upcoming North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition.
These 5 technologies are helping save our ocean
Protecting and exploring our global ocean is a huge job, and cutting-edge technologies help NOAA dive deeper, gather more ocean data and solve some of its biggest challenges. Learn more about five innovative high-tech tools borne from NOAA’s partnerships with the fishing industry and technology companies large and small.
People of NOAA Research
NOAA officially has a new Administrator!
Richard (Rick) W. Spinrad, Ph.D., an internationally renowned scientist with four decades of ocean, atmosphere, and climate science and policy expertise, was sworn in on June 22 as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and the 11th NOAA administrator. This follows his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on June 17, 2021.
Tiffany House selected to receive a Women of Color in STEM award
NOAA Technology Partnerships Office's Tiffany House was selected to receive a Women of Color Technology Rising Star award for 2021. This award recognizes early- and mid-career professionals who are helping to shape technology for the future. Tiffany will be recognized at the virtual Women of Color STEM Conference this October. TPO is proud to have Tiffany as a rising star on their team!
Cooperative Institute Highlights
Meet your new (and renewed) Cooperative Institutes!
Warmer clouds, cooler planet
Today’s climate models are forecasting an even hotter future than their predecessors. But a paper co-authored by CIRES scientists and published in Nature Climate Change highlights how models may err on the side of too much warming: Earth’s warming clouds cool the surface more than anticipated.
The number of structures at risk from natural hazards is on the rise
More than half of the structures in the contiguous U.S. are exposed to potentially devastating natural hazards—floods, tornadoes, wildfires and more—according to a recent CU Boulder-led paper. Increasing temperatures and environmental changes contribute to this trend, and the study shines light on another culprit—the way humans develop land, towns, and cities.
Looking at the impacts of changing water levels in the Great Lakes
Great Lakes coastal wetlands are immensely productive and important ecosystems. Olivia Anderson, a biology master’s student at Central Michigan University and a 2020–2021 Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) Graduate Research Fellow recipient, is working on a study to better understand how extreme changes in water levels are impacting Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
Innovation Corner
TPO launches @NOAAinnovate on Twitter
The Technology Partnerships Office unveiled their new social media account just in time for Ocean Month! The new account features updates about NOAA technology transfer, public-private partnerships, and small business innovation research. Follow @NOAAinnovate to stay updated on NOAA’s research-to-commercialization activities.
Upcoming Events
Soar into Summer!
Come learn about the Pathways Programs on July 13th and 15th! This training will provide an in-depth overview of all things Pathways including the different programs and the hiring process. This session will be helpful for hiring managers and supervisors who want to learn more about Pathways. Register here, and after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
NOAA Ocean Exploration goes live
July 14: NOAA Ocean Exploration hosts a live social media event featuring the explorers on their upcoming expedition. Get the details.
Climate Equity and Environmental Justice Seminar Series
Tune in for the next installments of the Climate Equity and Environmental Justice Seminar Series on July 1 and July 13. This series aims to familiarize the NOAA community with the concepts of climate equity and environmental justice and examine how NOAA may better serve vulnerable and underrepresented communities. 
2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Summit
July 28-29: NOAA’s Office of Inclusion and Civil Rights and Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Office is pleased to announce the 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Summit. The theme for this year’s summit is “Turning the Tide.” Look out for an email in early July with detailed registration instructions.
In the News
The CIRES study on U.S. buildings being located in in disaster hotspots was featured in NPR.

The Washington Post covered the joint NOAA-NASA study that found that the earth is absorbing an "unprecedented" amount of heat.

NPR covered the news of record-breaking CO2 levels at Mauna Loa.

Atmospheric science is overwhelmingly white. Science Magazine looked into how Black scientists are igniting a change.
Social Media Post of the Month
Want to see our social media from our Meet a Buoy campaign? Search #MeetABuoy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Follow us on social media!