Wednesday, November 22, 2017
 
New NOAA-led study measures soot from North Dakota  flaring in oil and gas fields

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New NOAA-led study measures soot from North Dakota flaring in oil and gas fields

Flaring produces an estimated 4 tons of black carbon per day, not considered significant for climate

In the lonely reaches of northwestern North Dakota and across the border into Saskatchewan, the vast Bakken oil field hosts extensive activities to extract both crude oil and natural gas. Business is booming—production increased by 30 percent between May 2013 and May 2014. More than a quarter of the total gas produced from the Bakken operations can’t be processed fast enough, though, and the common industry practice is to flare it—burn it off as it is vented to the atmosphere. Jutting 30 feet upward like enormous lit matchsticks, the flares pose a new question for atmospheric scientists: What do the flares put into the air? A new NOAA-led study has produced the first direct measurements of how much black carbon—a major component of airborne particles that are commonly referred to as soot —is emitted by the Bakken flaring operations.

New study explains wintertime ozone pollution in Utah oil and gas fields

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New study explains wintertime ozone pollution in Utah oil and gas fields

Chemicals released into the air by oil and gas exploration, extraction and related activities can spark reactions that lead to high levels of ozone in wintertime, high enough to exceed federal health standards, according to new NOAA-led research, published online today in Nature.
New study: Dust, warming portend dry future for the Colorado River

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New study: Dust, warming portend dry future for the Colorado River

Land management efforts could help protect snowpacks, water from a warmer future

Reducing the amount of desert dust swept onto snowy Rocky Mountain peaks could help Western water managers deal with the challenges of a warmer future, according to a new study led by researchers at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder.
New study: Rising temperatures challenge Salt Lake City’s water supply

Friday, November 1, 2013

New study: Rising temperatures challenge Salt Lake City’s water supply

Sensitivity study helps the city, others in the Intermountain West, plan for the future

In an example of the challenges water-strapped Western cities will face in a warming world, new research shows that every degree Fahrenheit of warming in the Salt Lake City region could mean a 1.8 to 6.5 percent drop in the annual flow of streams that provide water to the city. 
NOAA-led study: Colorado oil and gas wells emit more pollutants than expected

Monday, February 27, 2012

NOAA-led study: Colorado oil and gas wells emit more pollutants than expected

When NOAA scientists began routinely monitoring the atmosphere’s composition at a tower north of Denver a few years ago, their instruments immediately sniffed something strange: plumes of air rich with chemical pollutants including the potent greenhouse gas methane.

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