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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.

US methane “hotspot” is snapshot of local pollution

The giant methane cloud spotted by satellite over the U.S. Southwest that made national headlines in 2014 wasn’t a persistent, undiscovered “hotspot” as first thought, but the result of a nightly atmospheric condition and topography that trapped industrial and natural emissions of the potent greenhouse gas near the ground in the basin overnight, according to new research published in the journal Elementa by CIRES and NOAA.

NOAA’s ocean exploration advisory board forges ahead with new members

On December 10, 2020, the NOAA Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB) will hold its 18th meeting. With the June 2020 release of the National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, ocean exploration is in the spotlight. During the December meeting, the OEAB will make recommendations to the administration for advancing ocean exploration over the next 6-12 months. It will do so with five new members on board.

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Popular Research News

Lawns provide surprising contribution to L.A. Basin’s carbon emissions

Lawns provide surprising contribution to L.A. Basin’s carbon emissions Read more

Understanding the biologic contribution of CO2  to megacities' overall carbon emissions will be important for designing and evaluating mitigation strategies.

NOAA's miniature aerosol instrument delivered to space

NOAA's miniature aerosol instrument delivered to space Read more

A miniaturized aerosol spectrometer developed by scientists in NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Labotatory will be one of several insttuments making sure air in the living spaces of the International Space Station stays safe. 

Natural disaster plans may aid businesses’ pandemic response

Natural disaster plans may aid businesses’ pandemic response Read more

The social and economic impacts of COVID-19 have battered small- and medium-sized enterprises, putting millions of jobs in the U.S. at risk. And a year rife with natural disasters has not done the many already struggling businesses any favors.

How will climate change change El Niño and La Niña?

How will climate change change El Niño and La Niña? Read more

A new book published by the American Geophysical Union provides first detailed examination of how climate change may influence El Niño and La Niña.

After a busy summer, NOAA’s hurricane gliders are returning home

After a busy summer, NOAA’s hurricane gliders are returning home Read more

NOAA’s hurricane gliders are returning home after a successful journey during the 2020 hurricane season. These gliders were deployed off the coasts of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern U.S. to collect data for scientists to 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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