What's New at NOAA Research: June 2021
  • Spotlight on 2021 Ocean Month!
  • Research Highlights, including the new Annual Greenhouse Gas Index Report
  • People of NOAA Research, including a big retirement in the OAR team and exciting awards for Great Lakes staff
  • News from the Cooperative Institutes, including the new CIRES Spheres annual magazine
  • Innovation Corner, including a recent Department of Commerce webinar
  • Upcoming June events and trainings
(Guest) Communications Director's Note
Dive in! It’s Ocean Month

It’s June and time to celebrate Ocean Month. NOAA has a full plate of activities and announcements that will help you celebrate. Earlier this morning (June 1), ocean leaders, scientists and activists from around the world gathered in Germany and online for the First International Ocean Decade Conference. Closer to home, there are other great free and open events, including the virtual Capitol Hill Ocean Week, June 8-10, which focuses on diversity and inclusion, bringing in many new voices.

Be sure to catch Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Thursday, June 10, at 1 PM ET, for the Building Back Bluer panel. NOAA’s National Ocean Service will feature #30DaysofOcean facts, stories, and videos on social media and online. NOAA Fisheries will promote sustainable seafood all month and celebrate Sea Turtle Week from June 14-18. Meanwhile, NOAA Ocean Exploration will unveil a new website on June 8 - World Ocean Day - that was created by NOAA and our partners to bring together engaging ocean education materials in a one-stop-shop for educators and learners of all ages. And every Wednesday in June, NOAA Research will be featuring a NOAA buoy on social media as part of its Meet a Buoy campaign.

Along with these and many other activities, I’d encourage you to take some time away from work to celebrate the ocean or a favorite wild and natural place. I was lucky to get away recently to see family. I made my way to my favorite Atlantic Ocean beach, waded in the 50-degree froth and we even took a delicious long swim in a nearby lake. This inspires me to keep learning and working on our great mission. I hope you enjoy the month!

Monica Allen, Director of Public Affairs for NOAA Research
Research Highlights
NOAA tracks how greenhouse gas pollution amplified global warming in 2020
The pandemic did little to rein in the rate at which human-caused greenhouse gas pollution trapped extra heat in the atmosphere in 2020, NOAA scientists reported in this year's Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI). AGGI tracks increases in the warming influence of heat-trapping gases being added to the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other chemicals.
NOAA research examines geoengineering scenarios
Two recent NOAA studies have shed light on geoengineering - the term for human intervention in the earth's climate system to slow climate change. The first examined the vast challenges and potentially damaging consequences of solar geoengineering, finding that this tactic would likely work - but with some major side effects. The second looked at wildfire plumes, finding that the dynamics that lift smoke into the upper atmosphere could potentially be employed one day to help temporarily cool the planet.
Greenhouse gas and aerosols are making droughts worse
Greenhouse gases and aerosol pollution are lengthening and intensifying droughts, according to research published in Nature Communications by researchers funded by NOAA's Climate Program Office. The study shows that human activities are giving a boost to droughts in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Bye for now, La Niña!
Curious what's been going on with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)? Climate.gov has an update! La Niña conditions have ended and NOAA forecasters estimate about a 67% chance that neutral conditions will continue through the summer. The ENSO forecast for the fall is less confident, with odds of a second-year La Niña currently hovering around 50–55%.
Ocean Exploration hosts virtual Technology Demonstration
From May 14-27, scientists from NOAA, NASA and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) hosted a tech demo, which tested out WHOI's autonomous underwater exploration vehicles Orpheus and Eurydice. The tech demo was streamed live online, so that the public could learn more about this technology, how it's used, and the importance of exploring the deep ocean. Learn more about the demo and see Ocean Explorer's live video, hosted by Ocean Explorer's own Rachel Gulbraa, to meet the experts on the expedition.
Heat tolerant corals may be the key to coral restoration efforts
A new study by researchers at the University of Miami and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) suggests that transplanting coral - specifically staghorn coral - from higher temperature waters to cooler waters may be a successful strategy to help corals recover from certain stressors. The researchers found that corals from reefs with higher average water temperatures showed greater healing than corals from cooler waters when exposed to heat stress.
People of NOAA Research
Congratulations on your time at NOAA, Georgia Madrid!
After 35+ years of service, NOAA Research Equal Opportunity Specialist Georgia Madrid is retiring this month. A citizen of the Taos Pueblo and Navajo Tribes, Georgia has been instrumental in improving the inclusion and understanding of American Indian/Alaska Native issues at NOAA and in the community. Listen to Georgia reflect on her career at NOAA in this NOAA Legends video. Best of luck Georgia!
NOAA Great Lakes employees receive prestigious awards
Two NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) longtime employees have been honored with the two most prestigious awards given by the International Association for Great Lakes Research. NOAA GLERL Information Services Branch Chief Margaret Lansing has received IAGLR’s 2021 John R. Vallentyne Award, and NOAA GLERL Ecosystem Dynamics Branch Chief Henry Vanderploeg has received IAGLR’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Huge congratulations to both of you!
Congrats Joe Bishop, NOAA Team Member of the Month!
Joseph Bishop, a Mechanical Engineer for AOML, was honored with Team Member of the Month in May! Joe’s work supports sustainable development in the Miami region by supplying oceanographic and water quality data in near real time to minimize the damage to ecosystems caused by dredging operations that are needed to expand port capacity and enhance economic development.
Meet Brian McDonald, scientist at NOAA's Chemical Sciences Laboratory
In honor of Asian American & Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the NOAA Research Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity Program Office highlighted Dr. Brian McDonald, Research Scientist at the Chemical Sciences Laboratory (CSL). In addition to working to advance Diversity & Inclusion efforts at NOAA, Brian's expertise is on developing emission inventories of energy and urban systems, assessments of air quality trends, and regional air quality modeling. Learn more about Brian.
Meet Global Monitoring Laboratory's Gataivai “Vai” Talamoa
Gataivai Talamoa (known as “Vai”) is the Field Operations Liaison at the American Samoa Observatory and NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. Vai has been serving as a field operations liaison at American Samoa since 2012 to help bridge the transition between NOAA Corps Officer appointments. He also provides cultural and traditional protocol orientation, as well as operations and logistics support for station chiefs. Learn more about Vai from the Global Monitoring Lab.
TPO discusses ethnocentrism, empathy, and everything in between
Staff at the Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) participated in a three-hour workshop focused on how to avoid ethnocentrism - using one's own ethnicity as a frame of reference to evaluate others' - and increase empathy in the workplace. The workshop was presented by communications expert Dr. Tiffany Bell, and was customized to help TPO staff discuss effective communication strategies for building a diverse and inclusive professional environment. TPO is committed to learning more and working together to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our office and across NOAA.
Cooperative Institute Highlights
The 2021 CIRES Spheres magazine is out!
COVID-19 didn't slow down research at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). Despite the radical changes wrought by quarantines and uncertainty, some field research and lab work kept on, analysis and writing accelerated for some, and papers poured out. Check out Spheres, CIRES’ annual publication of research highlights, to read about the wide array of research from the last year.
Examining the impacts of severe weather on community assets
Severe weather hazards - such as hail, high wind speeds, and tornadoes - can impact essential community infrastructure. Researchers from the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS) are studying the impacts of severe weather threats on a range of community assets, including critical infrastructures like hospitals, fire stations, and schools, with the goal of improving community resiliency.
Meet postdoctoral research fellow Sara R. Rivera
Dr. Sara R. Rivera is a postdoctoral research fellow at Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR), working to identify the microbial partners of Microcystis - the cyanobacteria that causes harmful algal blooms. Ultimately, this research may help us to better understand why some blooms are bigger or more toxic than others. This summer, Dr. Rivera is hoping to go out on the lake with NOAA GLERL researchers to collect data. Learn more about Dr. Rivera.
Innovation Corner
TPO highlights NOAA’s SBIR program during DOC webinar
TPO provided an overview of funding opportunities available through NOAA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program during a Department of Commerce webinar entitled “Build Back Better Ports and Marine Technologies to Support Exports”. The webinar showcased various funding opportunities in marine technology development. Other panelists included representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Environmental Technology Assistance (META) program, and the Port of Oakland.
Upcoming Events
June 23: Fireside chat: Research to Commercialization at NOAA
Join the Line Office Transition Managers Committee on June 23rd at 1:30-2:30 pm ET to learn about the Research to Commercialization transition pathway. Attendees will learn about NOAA’s requirements for managing intellectual property and understand how a transition plan can help ensure a successful outcome for research and development efforts. Look out for an upcoming registration link from the NOAA Central Library, and view the previous fireside chat.
June 3: Join Climate.gov on Twitter for an ENSO-themed tweet chat from 1-2 pm ET! Get the details.
Looking ahead: The next Management Skills for New Supervisors (MSNS) training is from July 26-30, 2021 ET. Individuals may register via the Commerce Learning Center (CLC).
Soar Into Summer has begun! Register to learn about the Hiring Process over the course of the next six sessions. 
In the News
AGU's EOS magazine covered recent research out of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab that shows promise for forecasting meteotsunamis.

Check out this Wired article to see NOAA Ocean Explorer's Mike White talk about deep ocean exploration as reporter Cecilia D'Anastasio plays the video game Subnautica Below Zero.

Reuters' special report on the world’s leading climate scientists includes a Hot List of the 1,000 most influential climate scientists with 21 from NOAA Research (check out the list of featured Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab researchers).

Check out this editorial by NOAA Research's Monica Allen on the new age of ocean science communications.
Social Media Post of the Month
As you can see by this cool NOAA Science on a Sphere visualization, the ocean is constantly on the move!

In this dataset, the surface ocean currents, which are primarily driven by wind, are colorized based on their temperature. Check out our post to see the full, animated visualization!
Follow us on social media!