Stories tagged NOAA

Jun
08
2005

That seems to be the conclusion of a report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that finds the northern Gulf of Mexico is sinking much faster than previously thought.

Every year, the Mississippi and other rivers dump millions of tons of sediment into the Gulf. All that weight pushes down on the Earth, causing some shoreline areas to disappear entirely, and other to sink dangerously low. Low-lying areas are vulnerable to flooding, especially during hurricane season.

Planners need to know how high or low each area is, in order to make the proper precautions. But a recent re-measuring showed that Louisiana is sinking faster than expected. Hurricane preparations currently underway may not be enough to protect some areas.

Jun
01
2005

Last year's hurricane season sprouted an unusually high number of tropical storms — 15 in all. Some folks have blamed global climate change. But researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the increase is perfectly natural. Hurricanes follow a natural cycle, peaking every 15 to 40 years, then dropping back and becoming rarer again.

Other researchers disagree. They say rising global temperatures lead to warmer water, a key ingredient in forming hurricanes.

Few people doubt that the Earth's climate is growing warmer. But how much of that is just a natural cycle, and how much of it is caused by human activity? And what will all the effects of this change be? No one knows for sure. Meanwhile the debate, and research, go on.