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We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped hurricane-caused land loss in Louisiana,...
This image shows four tropical storm systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin on...
Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an...
Dr. Isaac Ginis presented "Eye on the Storm: Predicting a Hurricane's Path of...

LATEST POSTS

Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which break and produce strong...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to...
When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on...

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I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how...

The Ocean Blog

Even when viewed from space, Hurricane Irene looks sizable. When a NASA satellite took this image on August 23, 2011 the storm was 410 miles in diameter, with clouds covering eastern Cuba. Irene is...
From the water, red mangroves appear to form an impenetrable tangle of roots, trunks, and leaves—a protective barrier against storms and tsunamis. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves...
Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which...
Robotic gliders allow researchers to collect data in severe weather conditions without risking lives. In 2009 Hurricane Bill passed to the north during the Scarlet Knight’s mission, producing large...
The ocean moves in many ways, one of which is the shape of a wave.
When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on humans. These intense wind events also cause great damage to the ecosystems (pdf) they touch. They harm marine animals by...
Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it...
What do you get when you mix together a hurricane, the remnants of a wintry midwestern storm, and cold Arctic air? The " Frankenstorm ," which is what the US National Weather Service renamed...
A tsunami is a set of waves created by a disturbance, likely an earthquake, which reaches the surface of the sea.
Dr. Isaac Ginis presented "Eye on the Storm: Predicting a Hurricane's Path of Destruction", in October 2010. This second installment of the Changing Tides lecture series featured Dr. Isaac Ginis, a...
At the entrance of most beaches, there is a bulletin board with notices about water conditions: maybe a faded sign warning about rip currents and a list of this week's tide tables. Most people pass...
But what path, precisely, did this pumice take to reach Belize from the Guatemalan Highlands? Maps of drainage networks that reach the Gulf of Honduras and currents in the western Caribbean Sea are...
We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
Hurricane Katrina battered the city of New Orleans and many other areas of the Gulf Coast when it came ashore in August 2005. Dr. Isaac Ginis, a Professor of Oceanography at The University of Rhode...
Dr. Isaac Ginis, an expert in hurricane modeling from The University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, is the second featured speaker in Changing Tides: A Series of Ocean Discussions...
This image shows four tropical storm systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin on September 8, 2011. In this arresting image you can see Maria, Katia, Nate, and Lee--all four storm systems--in one NOAA...
Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an overview of the major earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011—one of the largest ever recorded globally...
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