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Latest Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Stories

2011-10-28 04:20:35

New NSF grants seek to improve predictions of climate change and how it will affect Earth's future What will Earth's climate be like in a decade--or sooner? And what will it be like where you live and around the globe? National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded scientists are working to find answers. NSF and other federal agencies recently awarded more than $38 million to study the consequences of climate variability and change. The awards, made through the interagency Decadal and...

Image 1 - Emissions From Deepwater Horizon Controlled Burns
2011-09-21 04:14:56

  During the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, an estimated one of every 20 barrels of spilled oil was deliberately burned off to reduce the size of surface oil slicks and minimize impacts of oil on sensitive shoreline ecosystems and marine life. In response to the spill, NOAA quickly redirected its WP-3D research aircraft to survey the atmosphere above the spill site in June. During a flight through one of the black plumes, scientists used sophisticated instrumentation on...

2011-08-19 02:14:55

Bacteria from fecal material -- in particular, dog fecal material -- may constitute the dominant source of airborne bacteria in Cleveland's and Detroit's wintertime air, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. The CU-Boulder study showed that of the four Midwestern cities in the experiment, two cities had significant quantities of fecal bacteria in the atmosphere -- with dog feces being the most likely source. "We found unexpectedly high bacterial diversity in all of our samples, but...

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2011-07-23 05:45:00

Volcanic ash from small-scale eruptions and soot resulting from the burning of fossil fuels may be responsible by slowing the rate of global warming up by to 20-percent, according to the results of a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) study released Thursday. Particles such as these, commonly referred to as "aerosols", can reflect sunlight back into space once they reach the stratosphere, which according to an NOAA press release, "leads to a cooling influence on the...

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2011-05-17 07:55:00

Cigarette smoking, forest fires and woodburning can release a chemical that may be at least partly responsible for human health problems related to smoke exposure, according to a new study by NOAA researchers and their colleagues. Using a custom mass spectrometer designed by the researchers, the NOAA-led team was able get the first look at levels of the chemical, isocyanic acid, in the atmosphere. Isocyanic acid has been difficult to detect with conventional measurement techniques. "We found...

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2011-04-21 06:35:00

Researchers from six countries are in the Arctic studying the potential role that soot, or black carbon, has on the rapidly changing Arctic climate. Although the Arctic is typically viewed as a vast white wasteland, scientists believe a thin layer of soot is causing it to absorb more heat. They want to find out if that is the main reason for the recent rapid warming of the Arctic, which could have an impact on the world's climate for years to come. Black carbon is produced by vehicle...

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2011-03-11 07:31:54

Scientists from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science worked with National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers to find two plumes of oil-based pollutants downwind of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In a study published in the journal Science this week, the team of researchers discovered a new mechanism by which the crude oil traveled from the sea surface to the atmosphere. Although the mechanism was predicted four years ago,...

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2011-03-10 07:55:00

The deadly heat wave that crippled Russia last summer was due to a natural atmospheric phenomenon often associated with weather extremes and not directly caused by global warming, according to a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). And while the scientists could not attribute the intensity of the Russian heat wave to climate change, they did find that extreme heat waves are likely to become more frequent in the region in the coming decades. The researchers...

2011-02-16 17:15:56

Up to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost likely will disappear by 2200 as a result of warming temperatures, unleashing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, says a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. The carbon resides in permanently frozen ground that is beginning to thaw in high latitudes from warming temperatures, which will impact not only the climate but also international strategies to reduce fossil fuel...

2011-01-25 11:57:22

New dataset provides understanding of Earth's past and future climate From the hurricane that smashed into New York in 1938 to the impact of the Krakatoa eruption of 1883, the late 19th and 20th centuries are rich with examples of extreme weather. Now an international team of climatologists have created a comprehensive reanalysis of all global weather events from 1871 to the present day, and from the earth's surface to the jet stream level. The 20th Century Reanalysis Project, outlined in the...