PMEL in the News
Ocean temperatures are off the charts right now, and scientists are alarmed
Ocean surface heat is at record-breaking levels. Temperatures began climbing in mid-March and skyrocketed over the course of several weeks, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out exactly why.
Seafloor life abounds around hydrothermal vents hot enough to melt lead
On March 12, a team of scientists gathered in the control room of the RV Falkor (too), an oceanographic research vessel operated by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. They watched the monitor of a camera-wielding underwater drone, or ROV, as it explored the deep sea 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) below the ship. When the screen showed a plume of black smoke, the scientists cheered. David Butterfield is quoted.
El Niño is looming. Here’s what that means for weather and the world.
Earth is under an “El Niño watch” as scientists eye signs that the climate pattern is developing. Its arrival could mean significant impacts worldwide, including a push toward levels of global warming that climate scientists have warned could be devastating. Mike McPhaden is quoted.
Scientists discover ‘spectacular’ undersea hydrothermal vents
Deep in the ocean, hydrothermal vents can tower up to 200 feet above the seafloor, belching out scalding water warmed by hot magma from underwater volcanoes. A recent expedition to locate more of these vents yielded a new find: a group of “black smoker” vents emitting water of 645 degrees Fahrenheit along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near Puerto Rico. PMEL Earth Ocean Interations Program's research cruise is highlighted.
What an ominous surge in ocean temperatures means for the planet
Researchers say one reason for the recent spike is the possible onset of an El Niño climate pattern. But, one scientist adds, "The real issue is the rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, which are going up and up and up.” Mike McPhaden is quoted.