School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

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SCOPE: $40 private foundation gift

The Simons Foundation has awarded Edward DeLong and David Karl $40 million to lead the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE), making it the largest private foundation gift UH had ever received. SCOPE aims to further our understanding of the microscopic organisms that inhabit every drop of seawater and how those creatures control the movement and exchange of energy and nutrients, from the surface waters to the deep sea. Learn more in this UH Mānoa video, and read about it on the UH News page (with more news links here).

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SOEST in the News

Updates

Image of buoy deployment PacIOOS wave buoys are serving Pacific communities

The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) deployed a new wave buoy in the waters off Aunu‘u, American Samoa, on 23 October 2014. The bright yellow buoy is located more than three miles offshore and streams data on ocean and wave conditions. The buoy joins the existing PacIOOS network of 13 real-time wave buoys across the Pacific, providing data on wave height, direction, period, and sea surface temperature. PacIOOS deputy director Melissa Iwamoto said, “The new wave buoy in American Samoa will complement our network in the Pacific and will greatly support the decision-making of various agencies across the Pacific, including the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)."

Read more about it in the UH System News. Image courtesy of PacIOOS; click on it to see the full version.

Image of Aloha Cabled Observatory Task force: new ocean telecom cables should be “green”

The global system of submarine telecommunications cables that supports our connected world ignores the external ocean environment, which represents a major missed opportunity for tsunami warning and global climate monitoring, according to a recent report (PDF) by a United Nations task force. “For an additional 5-10 percent of the total cost of any new cable system deployment, we could be saving lives from tsunamis and effectively monitoring global change,” said Rhett Butler, Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) director and chair of an international committee tasked to evaluate the cable opportunity. Ocean and Resources Engineering chair Bruce Howe and Oceanography professor Doug Luther are also contributors to the report.

Read more about it in Kaunānā, UH System News, West Hawaii Today, and the UH press release. Image courtesy of ALOHA Cabled Observatory (ACO)/SOEST; click on it to see the full version.

Image of tsunami simulation Evidence of “monster tsunami” found on Kaua‘i

A mass of marine debris discovered in a giant sinkhole on the island of Kauai‘i provides evidence that at least one mammoth tsunami, larger than any in Hawai‘i’s recorded history, has struck the islands, and that a similar disaster could happen again. HIGP director Rhett Butler is the lead author of a paper reporting that a wall of water up to nine meters (30 feet) high surged onto Hawaiian shores about 500 years ago. It was triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the coast of the Aleutian Islands and left behind up to nine shipping containers worth of ocean sediment in the Makauwahi sinkhole. Gerard Fryer, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) geophysicist and HIGP affiliate faculty, notes that the state is updating tsunami evacuation plans as a result of these findings.

Read more about it in the Washington Post, EarthSky and NBC News, PhysOrg, UH System News, Kaunānā, and the AGU press release. Image courtesy of AGU; click on it to see the full version.

image of Hurricane Iniki over Kaua'i Hurricane season is 01 June thru 30 November

Track tropical storm and hurricane development and movement at the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. The 2014 hurricane season begins on 01 June and ends on 30 November. To help you prepare for hurricanes (and other natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami, and floods from other causes), the UH Sea Grant College Program’s Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards is available as a PDF or printed book. Keep track of weather conditions at the Hawai‘i Beach Hazard Forecast Site, the Meteorology Weather Server, and the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System.

Please visit SOEST in the News: 2014 for archived news articles, with links to previous years.

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