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Scientists Might've Accidentally Killed an Endangered Orca

Tracking dart possibly led to fungal infection

(Newser) - Scientists hoping to protect endangered orcas might have inadvertently killed one instead. A killer whale tagged by NOAA researchers in Washington state in February turned up dead in British Columbia five weeks later, reports the CBC . On Wednesday, US researchers released a report suggesting the 20-year-old whale, known as L95,... More »

Atlantic Could See More Hurricanes Than in Recent Years

NOAA expects four to eight hurricanes in 2016

(Newser) - Residents along the Eastern Seaboard might want to start preparing, mentally at least, for a more hurricane-heavy year than they've had recently. After three years of below-normal hurricane seasons in the Atlantic, 2016 is shaping up to be closer to normal, NOAA reports. There's a 70% chance this... More »

Ghostlike Octopus From the Deep Shocks Scientists

It's likely the deepest finless octopus ever seen and a brand new species

(Newser) - NOAA scientists exploring the ocean depths off the coast of Hawaii may have just discovered a new species of octopus, and boy is it adorable. Gizmodo describes the tiny creature as something out of Pixar or Pokemon, while a NOAA blog post calls it ghostlike. But a scientist overheard on... More »

2015 Was Hottest Year on Record— by a Longshot

The data is in, not looking good for climate change

(Newser) - Last year was not just the hottest year since reporting started in 1880—it was the hottest year by a long shot, based on NASA and NOAA data released Wednesday. The average global temperature in 2015 "shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit,"... More »

What This Year's El Nino Will Mean for Winter

It will be wetter than normal in the South, drier near the Great Lakes

(Newser) - The NOAA's winter forecast has arrived, and thanks to a well-known Pacific Ocean phenomenon, parts of the country can expect to be doused in plenty of chilly precipitation. "A strong El Nino is in place and should exert a strong influence over our weather this winter," Mike... More »

Dozens of Whales Are Mysteriously Dying in Alaska

NOAA will investigate 30 deaths since May

(Newser) - Some 30 large whales have been found dead in the western Gulf of Alaska since May and the NOAA wants to know why. The agency says it is opening a scientific investigation into what is calls an "unusual mortality event," with the number of whale deaths at three... More »

Hottest Month Recorded in 135 Years: Last Month

It beat out the previous hottest month, July 2011

(Newser) - If you lost some water weight in July, you can probably credit the blazing temperatures: Last month was the hottest month the planet has seen since record keeping began in 1880, according to the NOAA. The combined average temperature over land and sea reached 61.86 degrees, 1.46 degrees... More »

Meet the World's First Warm-Blooded Fish

The 'opah' lives in the deep, and it just gave up a big secret

(Newser) - Your old science teacher was wrong: It turns out that not all fish are cold-blooded. Scientists have discovered that the opah, a deep-sea dweller also known as the moonfish, is, in fact, a warm-blooded creature and the first such fish ever found, reports LiveScience . Thanks to a unique set of... More »

Feds: Most Humpbacks No Longer Endangered

NOAA wants to split species into 14 groups

(Newser) - NOAA says it's a whale of a success story: Most of the world's humpback whale populations, including all those that enter US waters, are no longer endangered, according to the agency. NOAA, which says 45 years of protection have helped whale populations rebound, wants to reclassify the... More »

World War II Ship Found Off California Coast

USS Independence, a nuclear relic, was scuttled by the Navy

(Newser) - A fascinating piece of World War II history has been found 30 miles off the coast of northern California. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Boeing teamed up to locate the USS Independence, an aircraft carrier that saw action in the war and then became a nuclear... More »

NOAA: El Nino Is Here Too Late

Weather pattern won't do much for California drought

(Newser) - El Nino is here for the first time since 2010, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration —but it's too late and too weak to be much use where it's most needed. It won't provide "much relief for drought-stricken California, as California's rainy... More »

2014 Hottest Year in History

That's 38 straight years of above-average temperatures

(Newser) - It's getting to be a familiar storyline of late: We've got a new "hottest year on record" in the books for planet Earth. Both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agree that 2014 set the mark, though they differ slightly in the specifics—it was... More »

NOAA: Don't Blame Climate Change for Calif. Drought

Lack of rain caused by natural patterns, report says

(Newser) - Is humanity off the hook for California's record-breaking drought? A new federal report says the drought, "while extreme, is not an uncommon occurrence for the state," and is the result of natural weather patterns instead of man-made climate change, reports USA Today . NOAA researchers say a major... More »

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate US Weather Network, Satellites

Though the breach happened in late September, it was kept quiet for weeks

(Newser) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which oversees the National Weather Service, announced in October that it was conducting "unscheduled maintenance" on its network. Turns out the reason was likely a security breach by hackers in China, reports the Washington Post . NOAA hasn't specified whether any classified... More »

FBI Charges NOAA Worker With Swiping Data on Dams

Sherry Chen's arrest raises security concerns

(Newser) - A worker at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been arrested and charged with stealing data on US dams, which Dayton Daily News reports carries "deep security implications" for the nation's power grid. Xiafen "Sherry" Chen has also been accused of lying to federal officials about... More »

WWII German U-Boat Found Just Off North Carolina

Nicaraguan-flagged wreck also found

(Newser) - Just 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina, two World War II wrecks lie underwater—one a member of a 24-ship American convoy, and one a German U-boat. US-led researchers recently discovered the Nicaragua-flagged freighter Bluefields and Germany's U-576, missing for some 70 years, just 240 yards apart,... More »

Divers Find Ghost Ships Near San Francisco

Remote-controlled underwater vehicle explored 3 historic wrecks

(Newser) - Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just spent five days uncovering three historic shipwrecks dating back to the decades following the Gold Rush. More than 300 ships are thought to have wrecked in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, which spans 1,300 square miles off... More »

End of an Era: No More Paper Nautical Charts

Come April, the big maps will be a thing of the past

(Newser) - The digital age is doing away with a mariner tradition: The federal government will stop printing old-school nautical charts this April, reports NPR . Those would be the 3-by-4-foot paper charts that nobody used much more anyway, notes AP . Instead, boaters have increasingly relied on digital maps and "print-on-demand" charts... More »

Mystery of Shipwreck Off NJ Solved

The steamer sunk 153 years ago, killing 22

(Newser) - The origins of a shipwreck 10 miles off the southern New Jersey coast have been unknown for some 40 years, but researchers say they have finally solved the mystery. The ship was the Robert J. Walker, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have confirmed —a New York-bound... More »

Hurricane Forecast Doesn't Look Good

70% chance that this year will be more active than average: NOAA

(Newser) - Unwelcome news on the heels of the devastation in Oklahoma: This year's hurricane season could be busier than usual. That from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which today released its annual prediction for the season, which begins June 1 and lasts six months. Federal forecasters say there's... More »

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