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Researchers Confirm that Climate Change is Making Hurricanes Stronger

Researchers Confirm that Climate Change is Making Hurricanes Stronger

An important new study out this week from researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin at Madison reveals that hurricanes are getting stronger, just as climate models have predicted. As the New York Times explained, the analysis, of satellite images dating to 1979, shows that warming has increased the […]

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Second Failing Right Whale Spotted Off Mass Coast Entangled In Fishing Gear

Second Failing Right Whale Spotted Off Mass Coast Entangled In Fishing Gear

USA Today reported late Friday that government scientists have spotted off 45 miles off the coast of Nantucket a 19-year-old female right whale named “Dragon” appears to be in poor health because of a fishing buoy lodged in one corner of her mouth. 

Why This Matters:  It’s not just one or two whales — the fate of the species hangs in the balance.  I

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Hero of the Week: RADM Evelyn Fields, First African American and First Woman Admiral in NOAA Corps

Hero of the Week: RADM Evelyn Fields, First African American and First Woman Admiral in NOAA Corps

This week, in honor of Black History Month, are shining a spotlight on a trailblazing leader of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s uniformed service corps (the NOAA Corps) where she rose to the rank of Rear Admiral.  Admiral Fields was the first African-American woman to command a ship in the U.S. uniformed services (which includes the Navy and the Coast Guard) for an extended assignment when she took command of the NOAA research vessel McArthur in 1989.

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Sharpie Gate In Sharper Focus —  Emails Show Damage From Trump “Forecast” Map

Sharpie Gate In Sharper Focus — Emails Show Damage From Trump “Forecast” Map

Late Friday evening, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration dumped more than a thousand of pages of documents about the President’s changes to the hurricane Dorian forecast map and the recriminations afterward that Jason Leopold from Buzzfeed News had requested.  He then tweeted out some of the doozies.

Why This Matters:  The pattern is hauntingly familiar to anyone watching the impeachment hearings and trial.  Good public servants — some appointed by the President and some career — were doing their best to deal with the fallout from the rash actions of a President blatantly misusing the power of his office.

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Vineyard Wind Project Timeline Uncertain, Fishers Pushing For More Study

Vineyard Wind Project Timeline Uncertain, Fishers Pushing For More Study

Greentech Media reported late last week that the approval timeline is unclear for Vineyard Wind, an 800-megawatt wind project off the coast of Massachusetts valued at $2.8 billion that would be the largest thus far in the U.S. — the government is reconsidering its “cumulative impact analysis” on the environment and the delays are causing ripple effects in the broader U.S. offshore wind market.  Emails between the National Marine Fisheries Service of NOAA and fishermen who argue they will be adversely impacted by Vineyard Wind are now public, reveal close ties and some coordination between the Agency and the fishing industry to throw cold water on the wind development, according to E&E News.

Why This Matters:  The industry will need certainty on the approval timeline to be able to fulfill its economic potential. The needs and sacrifices of fishers must be balanced against the greater good of decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.

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New Polling Shows Americans Believe Weather Disasters Increasing, NOAA Flap Continues

Late last week, a new AP-NORC poll of 1,058 adults, which was conducted August 15-18, found that more than 70 percent of Americans believe that weather disasters are worsening (only 4% thought it was less severe) and most of those people blame global warming for that.  Meanwhile, ICYMI, in yesterday’s episode of Sharpie-Gate, the Acting […]

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Sharpie-Gate Reaches Fever Pitch – Rightfully So

The media frenzy over the doctored Hurricane Dorian map reached new highs (or lows) after NOAA put out an unsigned statement on Friday night retracting a tweet that launched the whole debacle — the Birmingham local National Weather Service forecast office clarifying that the storm track would not impact Alabama.  It led to a downward […]

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Directors of NOAA Research and National Weather Service Push Back

The Sharpie-Gate saga continued yesterday when The Washington Post obtained an internal email from the Chief Scientist at NOAA, Craig McLean, who wrote his colleagues that he “is investigating whether the agency’s response to President Trump’s Hurricane Dorian tweets constituted a violation of NOAA policies and ethics.” In addition, the head of the National Weather […]

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One Hysterical Thing: Colbert’s Water-gate, Sharpie-gate, and Lightbulb-gate Monologue

Leave it to Stephen Colbert to perfectly cap off Our Daily Planet for the week.  His monologue from Wednesday night covers fertile ground for us — the “boob job” the President gave the storm track map to make it a “perfect 10” and the tweets about the poor NOAA spokesperson who was not allowed to […]

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Best of ODP: Interview with Kathy Sullivan, First Woman to Walk in Space

Best of ODP: Interview with Kathy Sullivan, First Woman to Walk in Space

This interview first appeared earlier this year, in honor of Women’s History Month.  I (Monica) had the pleasure of working with Kathy at NOAA during the Obama Administration.  With the 50th Anniversary of the NASA moon landing and spacewalk that we celebrated just a few weeks ago, this interview came to mind as a highlight […]

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Hurricane Forecast Update: More Hurricanes Likely

Hurricane Forecast Update: More Hurricanes Likely

The Associated Press reported that as the “peak” of hurricane season begins they are now expecting 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones, up from their May forecast of one or two fewer named storms and hurricanes.

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New Source Of Methane Leaks Identified—Eastern Cities

New Source Of Methane Leaks Identified—Eastern Cities

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) flew reconnaissance flights over major metropolitan areas on the East Coast – Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and found that those cities were emitting nearly 950,000 metric tons of methane gas into the atmosphere, which was more than twice what EPA had estimated.

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