“The ocean is constantly changing and is full of interesting phenomena. Satellites allow us to view and learn about the ocean on a scale that is not otherwise possible.

In this post, I will share information about oceanographic features that can be observed with satellites, current events and projects that utilize CoastWatch/Oceanwatch products. I hope you enjoy learning about our dynamic ocean and satellite oceanography!”

-- Emily

About Emily

Dr. Emily Smail is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for NOAA CoastWatch/OceanWatch. Emily also serves as the Scientific Coordinator for the Group on Earth Observations Oceans and Society: Blue Planet Initiative (GEO Blue Planet) and GEO AquaWatch.

Emily has a PhD in Marine Environmental Biology from the University of Southern California and has a background in informal science education, policy and biogeochemistry.

Colors and Confusion: Making Better Color Choices for Data Visualization

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  Communication of scientific information and data to the public is part of NOAA’s mission, and scientific visualization is often the public’s first encounter with the agency’s data. This post gives an overview of recent advances and considerations for selecting and improving color selection for remote sensing data. NOAA CoastWatch will be experimenting with different colors for its data presentations.


Saharan Dust and its Impacts


  Winds blowing across the Sahara Desert send large clouds of dust that travel thousands of miles to the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea. The growth of phytoplankton, microscopic plants at the base of the ocean food chain, is restricted by iron availability.  When Saharan dust is blown into the ocean, phytoplankton use the iron and nutrients from the dust and begin to grow and reproduce.


Improving Satellite Sea Surface Temperature Analysis


  Information about sea surface temperature is important for weather and ocean forecasting, climate monitoring, military and defense operations, ecosystem assessment, fisheries analyses and tourism operations. NOAA's Sea Surface Temperature Team is working to improve their products by reanalyzing past data with NOAA's Advanced Clear-Sky Processor for Oceans (ACSPO) using the enterprise algorithm. 


The Tongue of the Ocean


  The Tongue of the Ocean is a deep water basin in the Bahamas that is surrounded to the east, west and south by a carbonate bank known as the Great Bahama Bank. The deep blue water of the Tongue is a stark contrast to the shallow turquoise waters of the surrounding Bank.

The Gulf of Mexico Loop Current


  The Gulf of Mexico loop current brings warm Caribbean water northward between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba and into the Gulf. The current loops around the Gulf, flows southeastward into the Florida Strait where it serves as a parent to the Florida current and ultimately joins the Gulf Stream.