School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

SOEST in the News: 2015

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PRPDC image

Jan 21: “Deconvolving the Complex History of the Lunar Crust”

Sarah Crites

Hawai‘i Institute for Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP)

Tuesday 27 January at 7:30p
NASA Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center (PRPDC)
POST 544, UH Mānoa

This FREE lecture is open to the public. Please see the flyer PDF for more information.

Photo of Bin Wang

Jan 20: Bin Wang awarded 2015 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal

Bin Wang, researcher at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) and professor in Atmospheric Sciences, was awarded the 2015 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) “for creative insights leading to important advances in the understanding of tropical and monsoonal processes and their predictability.”

This is the most prestigious medal awarded by the AMS. Congratulations, Bin!

Lava flow image

Jan 20: Honolulu Science Café: “After the 2011 Tohoku event — rethinking the Tsunami threat to Hawai‘i”

Rhett Butler

Director, Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP)

Tuesday 20 January 2015
Social/dinner hour 6pm; Talk starts 7pm

JJ’s Bistro
3447 Waialae Ave in Kaimuki

Everybody welcome: no admission charge. Read more about it here. Note that JJ’s is BYOB, but Tamura’s liquor store is right across the street.

Lava flow image

Jan 14: The world’s hottest volcanoes

New analysis of satellite observations of 95 of Earth’s most active volcanoes was used to determine which volcanoes on Earth have been the hottest since the turn of the 21st century. The answer depends on how you define hottest, but, in terms of total energy radiated, the prize goes to Kīlauea on Hawai‘i Island. Kīlauea has been in eruption for more than 30 years and spilled lava continuously throughout the study period of 2000–14; flows now threaten the town of Pahoa. Iceland’s ongoing Holuhraun eruption has radiated the most heat for an event. The long-term comparative study was led by Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) assistant researcher Robert Wright and was accepted in Geophysical Research Letters.

Read more about it in NASA Earth Observatory, EarthSky, and Iceland Review. Image courtesy of USGS; click on it to see the full version.

image of vog damage to spinich

Jan 12: Trade wind study bolstered by four more years of data

“We have actually 41 years of records by now, and we still see a decreasing trend in northeast trade wind frequency,” said Pao-Shin Chu, professor of Atmospheric Sciences and state climatologist, commenting on a follow-up to his 2011 study. The original study published by Chu, a graduate student, and other colleagues gathered wind data from weather stations at four Hawai‘i airports from 1973 to 2009. Four more years of data shows the state’s climate, at least when it comes to prevailing winds, has changed: Honolulu International Airport used to average 200 or more trade days per year, but that has dropped to 150 days or less. Trade winds have shifted more to the east, which may correlate to less rainfall, and increased vog can have negative impacts on tourism, agriculture, and even public health.

Read more about it and watch the video at KITV4 (autoplays) Image courtesy of KITV4.

image of hurricanes approaching Hawaiian Islands

Jan 09: Finding the signal amid all the noise

In a controversial paper published in the journal Nature in 2013, Camilo Mora (Geography assistant professor), tries to calculate the date of what he calls “climate departure”: the point at which our climate changes irrevocably from something we’ve known to something we’ve never seen before. A review article in Hawaii Business discusses the oceanographic research of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) at Station ALOHA, and inteviews Ruth Gates (HIMB researcher) about coral bleaching, Chip Fletcher (G&G professor and SOEST Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) about sea-level rise and beach erosion, and Axel Timmermann (OCE professor and IPRC researcher) about dealing with variability in climate models.

Read more about it in Hawaii Business. Image courtesy of NASA/GSFC, Rapid Response; click on it to see the full version.

Satellite dish image

Jan 06: New research could vastly improve weather forecasting

Groundbreaking new research at SOEST could change weather forecasting here in Hawai‘i in just a few short years by tapping into new weather satellites to provide weather info never before available. The vast ocean surrounding Hawai‘i causes a big void when it comes to land- based weather data. Scientists like Steven Businger, professor of Atmospheric Sciences, think they have an answer for that: tapping into new advanced polar orbiting satellites. Traditional geostationary weather satellites orbit about 36,000 km above the earth’s surface while polar orbiting satellites are at about 400 km, providing a much clearer weather picture and, it is expected, better forecasts.

Read more about it and watch the video at KITV4 (autoplays). Image courtesy of KITV4.

2015 Summer Course graphic

Jan 06: 2015 Summer Course in Microbial Oceanography accepting applications

May 26 to June 26, 2015
Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Offered to graduate students and post-docs, the 2015 summer course explores the dynamic and fundamental role marine microbes play in shaping ocean ecology and global biogeochemistry. Deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. For more information, download the flyer PDF and visit the 2014 course web site.

HOT video image

Jan 05: Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) video Ocean 180 finalist

The Hawaii Ocean Time-series program has been making repeat measurements at Station ALOHA since 1988. Such time series observations are necessary for helping to build an understanding of how changes in Earth’s climate are influencing marine life. This video was submitted into the Ocean180 Film Challenge, sponsored by the Florida Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence. The video is based on work published in the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology. UPDATE: The video is one of ten finalists! Over 50,000 6–8th grade students will be viewing each video and voting on their favorite. Read more about it in the UH System News.

HGGRC logo

Jan 01: Hawai‘i Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center (HGGRC)

The Hawai‘i Groundwater and Geothermal Resources Center (HGGRC) provides historical and newly developed information relating to groundwater and geothermal resources in Hawai‘i.

HGGRC strives to increase access to data regarding these resources, encourage research and innovation in water management and geothermal energy, provide an informational platform for the public, and supply policymakers with the necessary information to optimally utilize the state’s natural resources.

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