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Nationwide study measures short-term spike in particulate matter due to Independence Day fireworks

Particulate matter linked to short and long-term health effects

From our nation’s founding, the Fourth of July has been synonymous with fireworks. While many grew up learning that fireworks can be dangerous to the eyes and hands if not handled properly, fireworks also produce air pollutants, including particulate matter, that are linked to short-term or long-term health effects.

NOAA has authored a new study appearing in the journal Atmospheric Environment that quantifies the surge in fine particulate matter – particles that are two and one half microns in diameter (PM2.5) – on July 4, using observations from the 315 U.S. air quality monitoring sites that operated from 1999 to 2013. The new study is the first nationwide quantitative analysis of the effects.

Aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of climate change, study finds

The study evaluated all of the aviation industry’s contributing factors to climate change, including emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and the effect of contrails and contrail cirrus – short-lived clouds created in jet engine exhaust plumes at aircraft cruise altitudes that reflect sunlight during the day and trap heat trying to escape at night. 

Arctic melt season puts focus on sea ice forecasts

2020 may not set a record, but it looks to be close

Improving Arctic sea ice forecasts is a high priority for NOAA, as indigenous communities, fisheries, ecotourism, oil and gas industries, shipping concerns, wildlife managers and scientists need better information in a region that is rapidly shifting from a reliable frozen ice cap to an open-water ocean. Check out an animation of this summer's Arctic snow and ice melt.

 

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Popular Research News

When smoke is in the air, all eyes turn to this NOAA weather model

When smoke is in the air, all eyes turn to this NOAA weather model Read more

NOAA's HRRR-Smoke model may still be designated as experimental, but when wildfires are burning, many count on it for smoke forecasts.

NOAA unveils 10-year roadmap for tackling ocean, Great Lakes acidification

Arctic melt season puts focus on sea ice forecasts

Arctic melt season puts focus on sea ice forecasts Read more

Improving Arctic sea ice forecasts is a high priority for NOAA, as indigenous communities, fisheries, ecotourism, oil and gas industries, shipping concerns, wildlife managers and scientists need better information in a region that is rapidly shifting from a reliable frozen ice cap to an open-water ocean. Check out an animation of this summer's Arctic snow and ice melt.

 

Aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of climate change, study finds

Aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of climate change, study finds Read more

The study evaluated all of the aviation industry’s contributing factors to climate change, including emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and the effect of contrails and contrail cirrus – short-lived clouds created in jet engine exhaust plumes at aircraft cruise altitudes that reflect sunlight during the day and trap heat trying to escape at night. 

Ocean gliders head to sea to improve hurricane forecasts

Ocean gliders head to sea to improve hurricane forecasts Read more

 

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are heading to sea this week off the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern U.S. to collect data that scientists will use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models. 

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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

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