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Rivers in the sky

Rivers in the sky

Yes, there are rivers in the sky!  Atmospheric rivers, to be exact, are narrow bands of moisture that regularly form above the Pacific Ocean and flow towards North America’s west coast, drenching it in rain and packing it with snow.   These rivers, which transport more water than the Amazon or the Mississippi, have a far-reaching impact - even on the food you may be eating today.

With this week’s  January 14 sailing of NOAA’s largest ship, the Ronald H. Brown, a major investigation of atmospheric rivers named CalWater 2015 is now underway.

January 16, 2015 0 Comments
Research physicist named director of Earth System Research Lab Chemical Sciences Division

Research physicist named director of Earth System Research Lab Chemical Sciences Division

Craig McLean, the acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, announced Wednesday, December 24, that David Fahey, Ph.D., has been selected as the new director of the Earth System Research Laboratory Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), in Boulder, Colorado, effective December 28, 2014.

December 23, 2014 0 Comments
Researchers offer new insights into predicting future droughts in California

Researchers offer new insights into predicting future droughts in California

According to a new NOAA-sponsored study, natural oceanic and atmospheric patterns are the primary drivers behind California's ongoing drought. A high pressure ridge off the West Coast (typical of historic droughts) prevailed for three winters, blocking important wet season storms, with ocean surface temperature patterns making such a ridge much more likely. Typically, the winter season in California provides the state with a majority of its annual snow and rainfall that replenish water supplies for communities and ecosystems.

December 8, 2014 0 Comments
New study explains wintertime ozone pollution in Utah oil and gas fields

New study explains wintertime ozone pollution in Utah oil and gas fields

Chemicals released into the air by oil and gas exploration, extraction and related activities can spark reactions that lead to high levels of ozone in wintertime, high enough to exceed federal health standards, according to new NOAA-led research, published online today in Nature.
October 1, 2014 0 Comments
Climate change not to blame for 2013 Colorado floods

Climate change not to blame for 2013 Colorado floods

Last September’s widespread flooding in northeast Colorado, which saw just over 17 inches of rain in one week in the city of Boulder, was not made more likely or more intense by the effects of human-induced climate change, according to a new NOAA-led study published today in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

 

September 29, 2014 0 Comments
NOAA contributes key carbon dioxide data to global carbon assessment

NOAA contributes key carbon dioxide data to global carbon assessment

A global report released this week on changing carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land environment draws heavily from data and observations by NOAA research scientists and their partners. For the first time, the annual assessment by the Global Carbon Project uses data obtained from autonomous instruments installed by NOAA scientists on its ships and other ships of opportunity and moorings to determine the variability of  carbon dioxide in the surface ocean. 

September 25, 2014 0 Comments
New mission for the Global Hawk

New mission for the Global Hawk

For the last five years, NOAA has teamed up with NASA to fly NASA’s Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to get an inside look at how hurricanes form and intensify over the Atlantic. The NASA-led project called the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission is demonstrating the ability of the Global Hawk to fly over hurricanes to gather continuous weather data on flights that are longer in duration than possible with manned aircraft. In the next three years, NOAA will take the next step with the Global Hawk, leading a new experiment and continuing its important collaboration with NASA. Drawing on technology and expertise honed in the current mission, NOAA will assess the feasibility of regular operations of Global Hawk to improve day-to-day forecasts of severe storms forming over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.

September 11, 2014 0 Comments
NOAA Researchers Contribute to The 3rd National Climate Assessment Revealing the Latest Impacts of Climate Change on the U.S.

NOAA Researchers Contribute to The 3rd National Climate Assessment Revealing the Latest Impacts of Climate Change on the U.S.

We spoke with NOAA Research’s three contributing authors to the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 3rd National Climate Assessment (NCA) released May 6, 2014 to understand their contribution to the NCA. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the 3rd NCA is a compilation of scientific information on climate change from multiple sources and institutions and is a valuable resource in communicating and understanding climate change science and the impacts of climate change on the United States. The NCA will be used by federal scientists and managers, U.S. communities and citizens, and commercial businesses to improve environmental sustainability.
May 4, 2014 0 Comments
Earth is breathing deeper: Multi-agency study reveals widening seasonal swings in CO2 in the Northern Hemisphere

Earth is breathing deeper: Multi-agency study reveals widening seasonal swings in CO2 in the Northern Hemisphere

Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise and fall annually as plants take up the gas in spring and summer and release it in fall and winter through photosynthesis and respiration. Now the range of that cycle is growing as more CO2 is emitted from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities, according to a study published in Science by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, with CIRES and NOAA co-authors.
August 12, 2013 0 Comments
CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field

CIRES, NOAA observe significant methane leaks in a Utah natural gas field

On a perfect winter day in Utah’s Uintah County in 2012, CIRES scientists and NOAA colleagues tested out a new way to measure methane emissions from a natural gas production field. Their results, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, constitute a proof-of-concept that could help both researchers and regulators better determine how much of the greenhouse gas and other air pollutants leak from oil and gas fields. 
August 7, 2013 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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