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Explore how NOAA science informs your environmental policy on Earth Day

Explore how NOAA science informs your environmental policy on Earth Day


April 22nd is Earth Day. Here at NOAA we know a little bit about the Earth. NOAA celebrates the 50-year anniversary of several. Conservation actsWe are also gearing up for support of the new America the Beautiful initiative which aims to preserve and conserve at least 30 percent of U.S. land and water by 2030. 

To make real changes, it is important to have a better understanding and control over the oceans and atmospheres. Every day, NOAA staff support and conduct research that informs policy makers and educates them about the Earth’s current state. This research is used to improve weather and climate forecasts as well as data products such maps. global ocean carbonInternational reports, such as the annual, are also available. Climate Report: State of the Climate.

Here are three ways science can inform environmental policy

This biogeochemical Argo floating was named Europa by scientists in 2021.“,”socialUrl”:””,”comments”:{“backend”:””,”count”:0},”likes”:{“likedByUser”:false,”numOfLikes”:0}}” rel=”ednSmbLight”>Image

This biogeochemical Argo floating was named Europa by scientists in 2021.

Using ocean observations and data to identify changes

NOAA’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing (GOMO) Program plays a critical role in NOAA’s ocean research, supporting over one million ocean observations per day. These observations and data are collected from a variety tools and instruments, including Argo flotillas, drifting buoys and gliders. The archive includes more than 2 decades of data, and an estimated 4,000 robotic floats. Argo ProgramIt has provided a baseline of temperature, salinity, and other ocean information. This is nearly four times more than all other observing instruments combined. Argo data is used to publish approximately 500 scientific papers every year. Decisionmakers should take note of this research when it makes news. A 2020 paper was published in Nature Climate ChangeGregory Johnson, NOAA scientist and his colleague, found that ocean warming trends outpace cooling trends over 52 years. “Ocean warming is tightly linked to increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, so global ocean temperature trends are an important yardstick for measuring climate change,” said Johnson. Ocean warming has a direct impact on marine ecosystems, fish populations, coral health, and the tourism industry. It is possible to identify the most appropriate solutions by having a better understanding of ocean trends.

This unidentified anemone was discovered at 1,875 metres (6,150 feet) depth, on the slopes Davidson Seamount. It was discovered during the 2006 Davidson Seamount Expedition. It resembles a Venus Flytrap. Image courtesy NOAA/MBARI.“,”socialUrl”:””,”comments”:{“backend”:””,”count”:0},”likes”:{“likedByUser”:false,”numOfLikes”:0}}” rel=”ednSmbLight”>Image

This unidentified anemone was found at 1,875 metres (6,150 feet), depth on the slopes Davidson Seamount’s 2006 Davidson Seamount Exploring Ancient Coral Gardens expedition. It resembles a Venus flytrap. Image courtesy NOAA/MBARI.

Ocean exploration informs ocean conservation

For over 20 years, NOAA Ocean Exploration has collected critical data from the ocean’s surface to its floor – Information that has been used in conservation decisions surrounding some of our nation’s most important marine ecosystems.

NOAA Ocean Exploration funded expeditions in the early 2000s that revealed the Davidson Seamount was home to large coral forest, huge sponge fields, crabs deep-sea fishing, shrimp, basket stars and a high number of unidentified species. This amazing diversity highlighted the need for protection of the seamount. In 2008, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary boundary was expanded to protect this important habitat.

Learn moreLearn more about the wonders that NOAA Ocean Exploration discovers in the deep ocean – and how it is used to conserve.

See Also

Research on methane leads to landfill policy

A 2018 study from NOAA’s Air Resources Lab and partners looked at methane emissions in the Washington, DC-Baltimore, MD region and found that landfills in Maryland were emitting more methane than previously thought. The lead researcher of the study, Xinrong Ren, shared the study’s findings with the Maryland Department of Environment, and Maryland began making Policy changes regarding landfills. Learn more NOAA ARL’s atmospheric research.

Are you looking for more ways NOAA research can help answer big questions about the environment? You can check out our Earth Day coverage for 2021, 2020, and 2019. Find out how NOAA invests on our planet – as well as how you can get involved in Earth Day.


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