A Day in the Life
Hurricane Isaac and Coastal SEES Solicitation
Hurricane Isaac, which is not quite a hurricane yet but is expected to be within the next 24 hours, is headed for Haiti and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. Potentially impacted areas will be Haiti, Cuba, Key West and the Gulf coast of Florida. There were no tropical cyclones (hurricanes) in the Atlantic basin during July, which isn’t unusual. Storm severity and intensity increases in late August and September. Accumulated cyclone energy, which is the combined strength and duration of tropical storms is a little bit higher than average over the period between 1981-2010.
NAME DATES MAX WIND (MPH)
TS ALBERTO 19-22 MAY 60
TS BERYL 26-30 MAY 70
H CHRIS 19-22 JUN 75
TS DEBBY 23-27 JUN 60
Hurricanes, or “tropical cyclones” as they are properly referred to, are storm systems that have low-pressure centers that are warmer than their surroundings (i.e. warm cores). They strengthen when ocean water evaporates and releases heat from the condensation of water vapor. In many ways, a tropical cyclone can be thought of as a giant vertical heat engine driven by the physical rotation and gravity of Earth. The inflow of warmth and moisture from the underlying ocean surface is critical to the strengthening of tropical cyclones. You can find out more about the current hurricane season at the NOAA website:
Coastal SEES Solicitation
In response to the growing pressure on coastal systems, that include the long-term effects of hurricanes, NSF has developed a new initiative as part of the SEES (Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability) portfolio, called Coastal SEES. Like the name implies, Coastal SEES is focused on the sustainability of coastal systems, which is defined for our purposes as the swath of land closely connected to the sea, including barrier islands, wetlands, mudflats, beaches, estuaries, cities, towns, recreational areas, and maritime facilities; the continental seas and shelves; and the overlying atmosphere. These systems are subject to complex and dynamic interactions among natural and human-driven processes, and are crucial to regional and national economies, hosting valued human-built infrastructure and providing ecosystem services that sustain human well-being.
There will be two tracks to this competition:
Track 1: Incubator Research Proposals. These proposals bring new or emerging inter/trans-disciplinary teams together to develop ideas and approaches. Projects could, for example, do one or more of the following: mine, integrate, and synthesize existing data sets; collect new data; conduct modeling experiments, test new integrative approaches, and/or identify new conceptual ideas and key gaps in knowledge and methods. It is anticipated that some funded incubator projects will lead to mature teams and ideas that will be submitted as full research proposals in a later round of Coastal SEES, pending availability of funds. However, the emphasis of a Track 1 proposal should be the conduct of research and its outcomes, not preparation of plans and proposals. Incubator proposals should be in the range of $200-600K over 2 years.
Track 2: Research Proposals. These proposals support inter/trans-disciplinary teams to conduct major new integrated coastal systems research. These may include theoretical, field, laboratory and/or modeling activities. Research proposal budgets can be up to $3 million over 5 years.
The deadline for this competition is January 17, 2013.
For more information, check out the NSF website: