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Heat-trapping gas concentrations top 400 ppm, two months earlier than last year

Heat-trapping gas concentrations top 400 ppm, two months earlier than last year

Over the last five days beginning on March 16, 2014, carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This is nearly two months earlier than last year when the concentration of this greenhouse gas was first recorded above 400 parts per million on May 9, at the historic NOAA observatory. 

We caught up with James Butler, Ph.D., Director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, to ask about what it means that we reached this milestone earlier than last year. To track carbon dioxide concentrations daily click here.

March 21, 2014 0 Comments
Serving up climate data in useable formats

Serving up climate data in useable formats

With NOAA funding, Ben Koziol, a CIRES researcher in NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, and partners, have built OpenClimateGIS, a new tool that will aid resource managers and others in the interpretation of climate data at the regional level. Today, Koziol and his collaborator, University of Michigan professor Richard Rood, will attend the launch of the White House’s Climate Data Initiative. Their new software, still in development, is showing promise for serving many sectors, including storm water planning (sewers get overwhelmed by intense rainfalls, which are on the rise in some areas) and emergency planning around dangerous heat waves (also on the rise in some areas).  

 

March 19, 2014 0 Comments
NOAA Seeks Answers to Great Lakes Water Level Changes

NOAA Seeks Answers to Great Lakes Water Level Changes

While people along our nation’s coast experience rising sea levels, residents along the Great Lakes – the Earth’s largest lake system – are adapting to the opposite problem: chronic low water levels and a receding shoreline.

In a perspective now running in Science magazine, Drew Gronewold, a hydrologist at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, says “the record low water levels in Lake Michigan-Huron in the winter of 2012 to 2013 raise important questions about the driving forces behind water level fluctuations and how water resource management planning decisions can be improved.” 

March 6, 2014 0 Comments
Mapping climate change in the oceans

Mapping climate change in the oceans

An interview with Mike Alexander, research meteorologist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, Colorado, about a new web portal that maps climate change effects in oceans. The new web portal is helping NOAA Fisheries Service with its new process to assess how vulnerable fish stocks are to climate change.

March 4, 2014 0 Comments
Amazonian drought conditions add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere

Amazonian drought conditions add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere

As climates change, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb, according to a new study published Feb. 6 in Nature.

February 5, 2014 0 Comments
NOAA flies through atmospheric rivers off California coast

NOAA flies through atmospheric rivers off California coast

Scientists aboard the NOAA Gulfstream IV aircraft are flying over the Pacific Ocean off the U.S. West Coast this week to measure air pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction to help better understand atmospheric rivers - narrow conveyor belts of water vapor that can bring beneficial water supply and snowpack as well as create dangerous floods.

February 5, 2014 0 Comments
NOAA launches research on next generation of high performance weather, climate models

NOAA launches research on next generation of high performance weather, climate models

NOAA and the U.S. Navy are teaming up with academic and other government scientists to design the next generation of powerful supercomputer models to predict weather, ocean conditions and regional climate change.

 

Four teams of scientists are beginning projects this month to rewrite computer models that will create faster, lower-cost, better integrated models.  These new models will take advantage of new supercomputers that use more energy efficient/lower-cost processors such as those originally developed for the video gaming industry.

January 31, 2014 0 Comments
NOAA research shows limits to detecting geo-engineered increases to sunlight reflection

NOAA research shows limits to detecting geo-engineered increases to sunlight reflection

A perspective from NOAA and NASA scientists published online on January 29, 2014 in Nature Climate Change addresses a key question surrounding proposals to engineer the Earth’s climate to increase the planet’s reflection of sunlight to counteract climate warming: Could we measure manmade increases in reflectivity?

January 29, 2014 0 Comments
Climate models show carbon emission mitigation could slow Arctic temperature increases

Climate models show carbon emission mitigation could slow Arctic temperature increases

NOAA-led research using climate model projections concludes the Arctic climate will continue to show major changes over the next decades, but that carbon emission mitigation could slow temperature changes in the second half of the century, according to a paper published by AGU’s Earth’s Future.
January 27, 2014 0 Comments
New study: U.S. power plant emissions down

New study: U.S. power plant emissions down

Power plants that use natural gas and a new technology to squeeze more energy from the fuel release far less of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than coal-fired power plants do, according to a new analysis accepted for publication Jan. 8 in the journal Earth’s Future, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The so-called “combined cycle” natural gas power plants also release significantly less nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which can worsen air quality.
January 9, 2014 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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