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Soot from massive 2017 fire clouds persisted in stratosphere for months

Soot from massive 2017 fire clouds persisted in stratosphere for months

A sooty cloud generated by a 2017 firestorm provided an ideal opportunity for researchers to test a climate model that simulated the lifetime of that soot in the stratosphere.

August 8, 2019 0 Comments
A New View of Wintertime Air Pollution

A New View of Wintertime Air Pollution

Findings could help improve air quality in cities across the U.S. West.

May 8, 2019 0 Comments
Study: Pollution from personal care products comparable to tailpipe emissions in Boulder

Study: Pollution from personal care products comparable to tailpipe emissions in Boulder

A a new NOAA study shows that during the morning rush hour in Boulder, Colorado, the trail of chemical vapors emitted by personal care products that commuters use on their skin and hair are comparable in magnitude to the  emissions of major components of vehicle exhaust.

April 30, 2018 0 Comments
Consumer, industrial products now a major urban air pollution source

Consumer, industrial products now a major urban air pollution source

Chemical products like household cleaners, pesticides, paints and perfumes that contain compounds refined from petroleum now rival motor vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution, according to a surprising NOAA-led study

February 15, 2018 0 Comments
Research finds spike in dust storms in American Southwest driven by ocean changes

Research finds spike in dust storms in American Southwest driven by ocean changes

People living in the American Southwest have experienced a dramatic increase in windblown dust storms in the last two decades, likely driven by large-scale changes in sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean drying the region’s soil, according to new NOAA-led research.

May 10, 2017 0 Comments
Rural West sees more smog; now scientists may know why

Rural West sees more smog; now scientists may know why

Ground-level ozone, also known as smog, has climbed in the rural West over the past 25 years, even in such seemingly pristine places as Yellowstone National Park. Now, scientists may have found out why – and why cutting our own output of smog-forming chemicals such as nitrogen oxide hasn’t helped.
March 1, 2017 0 Comments
New NOAA-led study measures soot from North Dakota  flaring in oil and gas fields

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

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.

September 9, 2015 0 Comments
Stratosphere an Accomplice for Santa Ana Winds and California Wildfires

Stratosphere an Accomplice for Santa Ana Winds and California Wildfires

The hot and dry Santa Ana winds are associated with many of Southern California’s destructive wildfires, and even take the blame for tense, ugly moods. Now, NOAA researchers have found that on occasion the winds have an accomplice in contributing to California’s wildfires: atmospheric events known as stratospheric intrusions, which bring extremely dry air from the upper atmosphere down to the surface.

July 8, 2015 0 Comments
Nationwide study measures short-term spike in particulate matter due to Independence Day fireworks

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

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.

June 30, 2015 0 Comments
New research will help forecast bad ozone days over the western U.S.

New research will help forecast bad ozone days over the western U.S.

New research published in Nature Communications led by Meiyun Lin of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NOAA’s cooperative institute at Princeton University, reveals a strong connection between high ozone days in the western U.S. during late spring and La Niña, an ocean-atmosphere phenomena that affects global weather patterns.
May 12, 2015 0 Comments
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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 theĀ NOAA, a bureau of theĀ 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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