NOAA timeline: 2010s

  • A photo taken at the spill source during the Deepwater Horizon response.
    NOAA mobilizes ships, aircraft, and personnel in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 2010
    NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer participates in the first join expedition by the U.S. and Indonesia to explore unknown deep-sea areas in Indonesian waters.
  • 2010
    The Pokegama Bay section of the new Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve contains one of the largest municipal forests in the United States. Its 6,723 acres contain extensive forested wetlands, uplands, clay flats and submerged lands in the city of Superior, Wisconsin.
    A nearly 17,000-acre area encompassing freshwater marshes, uplands, and river on the shores of Lake Superior in Wisconsin becomes the 28th member of NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
  • 2010
    NOAA scientists use data collected by NASA's unmanned aerial vehicle to study phenomena such as El Nino.
    Hurricane Earl marked the first flight of an unmanned aircraft system, NASA’s Global Hawk, above a fully developed tropical cyclone. AOML and NASA researchers collected data and images of Earl at 60,000 feet.
  • 2011
    Debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan floats off the Sendai coast.
    NOAA's Marine Debris Program launches a response to debris floating across the Pacific Ocean resulting from a devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
  • 2011
    The NWS begins to upgrade the NEXRAD radar network to add dual polarization capabilities. Dual polarization (using horizontal and vertical radar pulses) improves the identification of different precipitation types and amounts, as well as tornado debris and other non-weather targets, leading to more accurate forecasts and warnings.
  • 2011
    Picture of group of Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors
    Following several weather disasters in 2011 that took hundreds of lives, NWS initiates the Weather Ready Nation campaign. WRN combines the resources of the NWS with communities, emergency managers, businesses, and the general public to encourage readiness, responsiveness, and resilience to extreme weather, water, and climate events.
  • 2011
    A 4-day tornado outbreak across 21 states and parts of Canada results in a total of 360 tornadoes, including a record 216 on April 27 alone. The outbreak kills 348 people, making it the deadliest day for tornados since 1925.
  • 2011
    A juvenile shortfin mako shark swimming in the waters off California.
    The Shark Conservation Act improves the conservation of sharks domestically and internationally.
  • 2012
    NOAA's new coastal mapping vessel NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler.
    NOAA commissions state-of-the-art coastal mapping vessel, NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler, named for the founding superindendent of the Coast Survey (1770-1843), the precursor to today's NOAA. The ship operates mainly along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Caribbean Sea, and Great Lakes in support of NOAA's nautical charting mission.
  • 2012
    Many residents ignored evacuation orders during Hurricane Sandy. Sea Grant research on Sandy is helping communities prepare for the next big storm.
    Superstorm Sandy makes landfall along the south shore of New Jersey. NOAA conducts navigation surveys to restore maritime commerce, aerial surveys to assist on-the-ground responders, and other storm damage assessments.
  • 2013
    NOAA has selected James Gridley, Ph.D., to lead NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.
    The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center is renamed the National Tsunami Warning Center. Its responsibilities cover the areas of the U.S. Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts, British Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Atlantic Coast of Canada.
  • 2013
    Electronic navigational chart displayed on an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) on NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson.
    NOAA announces the end of traditional paper nautical charts, instead providing print-on-demand charts and electronic charts
  • 2013
    NOAA dedicates the Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu. The center integrated new facilities with historic preservation of four WWII-era structures, culminating in an environmentally-sustainable, state-of-the-art, LEED-certified campus.
  • 2013
    NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker is the fifth in a series of Oscar Dyson-class fisheries survey vessels and one of the most technologically advanced fisheries vessels in the world.
    NOAA takes delivery of Reuben Lasker, the agency's newest high-tech fisheries survey vessel. The 208-ft ship supports surveys of fish, marine mammals, and turtles of the U.S. West Coast and in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • 2013
    The Eastern population segment of Steller sea lions is removed from the Endangered Species list.
  • 2014
    Satellite image of a harmful algal bloom.
    NOAA forecasts a bloom of cyanobacteria that contaminated drinking water in Lake Erie on August 2, 2014. This event left nearly 400,000 people in Ohio without drinking water for two days.
  • 2014
    Climate Explorer
    NOAA released version 1.0 of the web-based U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, which helps the Nation address challenges related to coastal flooding and other climate-related risks.
  • 2014
    NOAA collaborates on a tool called OceanAdapt to track shifting fish distribution in response to climate change. A Presidential Task Force is established to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and seafood fraud. Involving 12 federal agencies co-led by the State Department and NOAA, the Task Force identified 15 actions to strengthen enforcement. One of those actions resulted in establishing the Seafood Import Monitoring Program.
  • 2015
    NOAA's DSCOVR satellite launch. Visit www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR for more about NOAA's first deep space mission.
    NOAA successfully launched DSCOVR from Cape Canaveral, Florida. DSCOVR, the United States’ first operational deep space satellite, is a vital piece of our international space weather observing system.
  • 2015
    These aren’t vending machines: They are NOAA supercomputers that collect, process and analyze billions of observations from weather satellites, weather balloons, buoys and surface stations from around the world.
    NOAA begins a major upgrade of its large scale operational supercomputers that will create more realistic conditions in NOAA models and enable more accurate weather forecasts and enhanced public safety.
  • 2015
    Using unmanned aircraft to detect oil spills: NOAA and USCG team recover Puma unmanned aircraft after testing its ability to detect simulated oil among ice in the Arctic in August 2014.
    NOAA ships collect critical hydrographic, fisheries, and protected species data in the Arctic region, enabling improvements to nautical charts required for safe navigation and providing data on managed species.
  • 2016
    GOES-17 took this stunning, full-disk snapshot of Earth’s Western Hemisphere from its checkout position at 12:00 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2018, using the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.
    The next generation of geostationary satellites begins with the launch of GOES-16 on November 19, 2016, and GOES-17 on March 1, 2018. The GOES-R series provides advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans and environment, real-time mapping of total lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.
  • 2016
    The United States represents one of the largest single markets for fish and fish products, second only to the European Union in imports; in 2016, the EU, US, and Japanese markets together accounted for approximately 64 percent of the total value of world imports of fish and fish products.
  • 2016
    40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act: overfishing and overfished numbers hit historic all-time lows, with just 8 percent of managed fish stocks on the overfishing list and 16 percent of stocks considered overfished—all of them under rebuilding plans.
  • 2017
    The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 is passed. The first major weather legislation since the early 1990s, the act directs NOAA to prioritize weather research and forecasting improvement, satellite and data innovation, and improve coordination among government agencies, research institutions, and industry.
  • 2017
    JPSS-1
    NOAA launches polar-orbiting satellite JPSS-1, officially known as NOAA-20. The satellite's advanced instruments provide global observations that serve as the backbone of both short- and long-term forecasts, including those that help us predict and prepare for severe weather events.
  • 2017
    NOAA Aircraft Operations Center Hangar (Lakeland, Florida) interior showing two Twin Otters, two WP-3Ds and a  King Air on January 3, 2020.
    Federal, state, and local officials cut the ribbon on the new facility for NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center at Lakeland Linder International Airport in Lakeland, Florida.
  • 2018
    NOAA launches a massive supercomputer upgrade, putting it among the 30 fastest in the world with the ability to process 8 quadrillion calculations per second.
  • 2018
    NOAA satellites observed an ozone hole developing over the Arctic March 10, 2020. In this snapshot, places where ozone amounts are less than 280 Dobson Units are shown in red.
    A NOAA scientist discovers rising emissions of a banned ozone-destroying chemical originating from eastern Asia, galvanizing the international community to strengthen the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty focused on repairing the ozone hole.
  • 2019
    A vessel at low tide, showing the frame of its hull, in the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in Maryland.
    NOAA designates Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Maryland, protecting the remnants of more than 100 World War I-era wooden steamships and other maritime resources and cultural heritage dating back nearly 12,000 years.
  • 2020
    NOAA celebrates 50 years of science, service and stewardship.