As many were enjoying Thanksgiving in the traditional way – with good food, friends, and family (and perhaps choosing to #OptOutside on Friday) – mine was a little different. I spent my Thanksgiving week in Brussels, where I dined on mussels instead of turkey, frites instead of sweet potatoes, and waffles instead of pumpkin pie.
More importantly, I was able to spend much of the week working with our partners in the European Union (EU) on ways to enhance international ocean science partnerships. Many organizations and leaders within the European Commission framework (as well as our long-term partner and counterpart, the European Marine Board), are eager to collaborate with COL and our members. During a meeting with the Director General of the Marine Resources Unit in the Research and Innovation department of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), I was astonished by the similarities we have in priorities and focus areas, including aquaculture, ocean governance, and ocean observing. I look forward to growing relationships and partnerships with our EU associates in the coming months to enhance our cooperative advocacy efforts on the global scale and to enable new opportunities for COL members. I encourage you to explore the links and topics above, as well as EU”s BILAT USA 4.0, which was launched earlier this year to more actively encourage scientific and technological cooperation with the U.S. (including potential participation in Joint Programme Initiative areas that include oceans, food security, and climate change)
On another note: Along with 28 other CEOs of U.S. science and technology societies, I signed onto a letter to President-elect Trump asking him to appoint a science advisor and for the community to have the opportunity to meet with him or members of the transition team. You can read the full letter here.
Although a long way from home last week, I certainly didn’t pass up the chance to reflect and give thanks. The last 11 months have been dynamic in many ways for COL and me. I am especially grateful for the opportunity I have had to work closely with the extraordinary individuals, institutions, and corporations that comprise our consortium as we strive to make our ocean better — for everyone in the world.
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Oceans Act As A ‘Heat Sink’: No Global Warming ‘Hiatus’
A new multi-institutional study of the so-called global warming “hiatus” phenomenon — the possible temporary slowdown of the global mean surface temperature (GMST) trend said to have occurred from 1998 to 2013 — concludes the hiatus simply represents a redistribution of energy within Earth system, which includes the land, atmosphere and the ocean. In a paper published in Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, lead author Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware, along with leading scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and University of Washington, discuss new understandings of the global warming “hiatus” phenomenon. In particular, the researchers point to the prominent role played by the global ocean in absorbing the extra heat from the atmosphere by acting as a “heat sink” as an explanation for the observed decrease in GMST, which is considered a key indicator of climate change.
In Memoriam: Erich Bloch
We are sad to report the passing of our esteemed colleague Erich Bloch, who served as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1984 to 1990. Mr. Bloch worked to improve public funding for education, interdisciplinary research, and engineering. His accolades include the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (awarded in 1985 from President Ronald Reagan for his groundbreaking contributions to IBM’s computer systems and technologies) and the National Science Board’s highest award for scientific achievement, the Vannevar Bush Award (awarded in 2002).