Archive for January, 2017

What is the Pineapple Express?

This item was filled under Facts, Ocean Observations, Ocean Science


Atmospheric rivers are narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport much of the moisture from the tropics to northern latitudes. Atmospheric rivers are part of the Earth's ocean water cycle, and are tied closely to both water supply and flood risks.

A well-known example of a strong atmospheric river is called the "Pineapple Express" because moisture builds up in the tropical Pacific around Hawaii and can wallop the U.S. West Coast with heavy rainfall.

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Are all fish cold-blooded?

This item was filled under Basics, Ecosystems, Facts, Ocean Life


Not all fish are cold-blooded. In 2015, researchers with the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center revealed the opah, or moonfish, as the first fully warm-blooded fish. Although not as warm as mammals and birds, the opah circulates heated blood throughout its body, giving it a competitive advantage in the cold ocean depths from 150 to 1,300 feet below the surface.

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NOAA designates 29th National Estuarine Research Reserve

This item was filled under News


On Jan. 19 , NOAA announced the establishment of the He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve. Estuarine reserves protect a section of an estuary and provide a living laboratory to explore and understand the important areas where rivers meet the sea. The 1,385-acre He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses upland forests and grasslands, wetlands, reefs and seagrass beds, as well as the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain. It is located within the Kaneohe Bay estuary on the windward side of Oahu and includes significant historic and cultural resources.

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U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observing Network: Building Global Connections

This item was filled under News


Marine biodiversity—the variety and variability of life in the ocean—can be an early indicator of change, provided it's noticed. The U.S. Marine Biodiversity Network (MBON) aims to ensure that scientists not only notice changes in biodiversity at locations around the nation, but also have the tools in place to better understand what these changes tell us about ocean health over time. But marine life doesn't know borders. That's why the U.S. network is also expanding international cooperation with other marine biodiversity networks around the world.

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Microplastics Reddit “Ask Us Anything”

This item was filled under News


The majority of marine debris found around the world is made of plastic and can range from microbeads smaller than a sesame seed up to an 11-ton mass of abandoned fishing nets. Over time these plastics break down into what is called microplastics (smaller than five millimeters in size). There are lots of concerns about the impacts of microplastics such as how do they interact chemically with the marine environment? Are marine species ingesting them? And are chemicals from the plastics moving up the food chain? This is your chance to chat with two NOAA Marine Debris Program scientists on microplastics and what we can, and are, doing to help during the January 12, 2017 Reddit 'Ask Us Anything'. When: 12 January, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. EDT

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