NOAA ETL Joins the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
As of October 1, 2005 the Environmental Technology Laboratory has merged
Earth System Research Laboratory
as part of the
Physical Sciences Division.
As part of our transition, the ETL
Optical Remote Sensing Divison
will be moving to the ESRL
Chemical Sciences Division.
Building on a history of research excellence, ESRL represents a
strategic repositioning of NOAA's broad climate and weather
capabilities to better undertake the complex, interdisciplinary
research increasingly necessary to achieve scientific and
technological breakthroughs in today's modern world.
The first NOAA SEARCH observatory designed to make long-term climate measurements of Arctic
clouds and aerosols has been established by
NOAA's Environmental Technology Laboratory (ETL) in collaboration with
the University of Wisconsin and the Canadian CANDAC program.
As part of the NOAA
Study of Environmental Arctic
Change (SEARCH) program, the observatory was deployed
to improve atmospheric and sea ice observations. These observations
will be combined with
historical data to better understand Arctic change.
Scientists and forecasters have long understood that the continental
United States looks to the Pacific Ocean for its rainfall. Part of a
complex global cycle, water evaporated from the Pacific Ocean travels in
clouds to produce rain and snow over land. To better explain and
predict droughts and floods, scientists are examining the processes which
govern these flows.
Thousands of miles from any human habitation, fishing nets
lost or abandoned foul huge swaths of the Pacific Ocean.
These "ghostnets" continue to fish, untended, entangling
and killing fish stocks, marine mammals and birds.
While this problem has been known to fisheries managers and fishermen alike,
the sheer mass of ghostnets
has come as an unpleasant surprise to NOAA scientists.
NOAA researchers are developing techniques to identify areas in the open
ocean where debris is concentrated and can be cost effectively retrieved.