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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.

Craig N. McLean, director of NOAA Research, to retire

Champion of ocean exploration, scientific integrity, ocean diplomacy

Craig N. McLean, assistant administrator of NOAA Research, who began his NOAA career as a uniformed officer in the NOAA Corps four decades ago and rose to lead the agency’s research division and become a champion of ocean exploration, scientific integrity and science diplomacy, has announced his plan to retire from public service on April 1, 2022.

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Atmospheric carbon dioxide rebounds as global pollution rates approach pre-Covid levels

Craig N. McLean, director of NOAA Research, to retire

Craig N. McLean, director of NOAA Research, to retire Read more

Craig N. McLean, assistant administrator of NOAA Research, who began his NOAA career as a uniformed officer in the NOAA Corps four decades ago and rose to lead the agency’s research division and become a champion of ocean exploration, scientific integrity and science diplomacy, has announced his plan to retire from public service on April 1, 2022.

2020’s Economic Slowdown Provides Opportunity to Investigate Ozone Pollution in the U.S.

2020’s Economic Slowdown Provides Opportunity to Investigate Ozone Pollution in the U.S. Read more

When COVID-19 pandemic began in the US, counties and cities across the nation imposed stay at home orders, closed schools or imposed travel restrictions. From March 2020 onward, many Americans hung up car keys and settled into their homes for work and school. Traffic patterns dramatically changed, and previously smog filled vistas became clearer.

Meet Ko Barrett: NOAA's senior advisor for climate and IPCC vice-chair

Meet Ko Barrett: NOAA's senior advisor for climate and IPCC vice-chair Read more

At the end of October, a small team of NOAA experts traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), an international summit aimed at accelerating climate action across the globe. 

NOAA’s new uncrewed glider poised to help vastly increase high-altitude research

NOAA’s new uncrewed glider poised to help vastly increase high-altitude research Read more

NOAA scientists are testing a reliable, low-tech, uncrewed glider that can return a small payload of scientific instruments from the stratosperhere to a pre-determined landing spot, potentially opening up vast new reaches of the atmosphere to scientific investigation. 

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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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