Artificial climate control might become ineffective

One regional geoengineering proposal for alleviating the extreme heat effects of global warming, the brightening of marine clouds to reflect more solar energy to space over different limited areas, could work in present-day conditions but may become ineffective in the future, according to new research.

Monsoon image

Asian Monsoon Lofts Ozone-Depleting Substances to Stratosphere

Powerful monsoon winds, strengthened by a warming climate, are lofting unexpectedly large quantities of ozone-depleting substances high into the atmosphere over East Asia, new research shows. 

ACOM Scientists with GIII Plane

NSF NCAR Scientists Participate in Mission to Measure Air Quality Over Asia

NASA-led ASIA-AQ campaign will help verify and interpret new satellite observations

Pieternel Levelt - NSF NCAR Explorer Series - Air Quality in Space

Air Quality from Space

Did you know that satellites in space can track air pollution and greenhouse gases on Earth? For the past two centuries, human activity has changed the chemical makeup of our atmosphere, leading scientists to rename this period the ‘anthropogenic epoch’. 

 A beautiful sunset over the by-products of copper mining in Mufulira, Zambia, commonly known as The Black Mountain.

NCAR researchers find alarming pollution in Africa

That smartphone you use, the electric vehicle you drive and your laptop all rely on lithium-ion batteries.

The material inside those batteries is cobalt, much of which is mined in Africa. New research out of Boulder suggests that mining for cobalt is also polluting parts of Africa.

N02 Tropospheric Column

Monitoring African Copper and Cobalt Mining Emissions from Space

​Emissions associated with mining operations in Africa’s Copperbelt can be quantified from space, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

View of Denver skyline and air pollution from South Table Mountain

Clearing the Air: The Hazy Future of Our Skies

ACOM Scientist Gabriele Pfister contributed to the new season of the award-winning podcast "Laws of Notion" which the Institute of Science & Policy just released.

Earth from space with hurricane

Climate intervention technologies may create winners and losers in world food supply

A technology being studied to curb climate change - one that could be put in place in one or two decades if work on the technology began now - would affect food productivity in parts of Earth in dramatically different ways. (

Wildfire smoke blankets east coast

Rebecca Hornbrook discusses a new era of pollution due to wildfires

From Quebec to British Columbia to Hawaii, North America is facing an extraordinary wildfire season -- and regions both near and far have found themselves increasingly blighted by smoke exposure. (France 24)

Brett Palm interviewed by BBC World news - June 2023

Brett Palm interviewed by BBC World News

ACOM Scientist Brett Palm spoke with BBC World News correspondent Victoria Valentine about the influx of smoke from Quebec wildfires into the east coast cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. Measured levels of PM2.5 were high enough to cause health concerns.

Massive smoke plumes from fires over Canada - 20 May 2023

Brett Palm contributes to news coverage of wildfire smoke

Smoke from wildfires in Canada brought record-breaking air pollution to the United States this spring, creating dangerous air quality from Bismarck, N.D., to Denver and Detroit to New York City and Washington. (The Washington Post)

Image at Wikimedia Commons:

What’s actually in all that smoke you’re breathing

Billowing clouds of Canadian wildfire smoke have transformed blue skies into apocalyptic orange scenes across the eastern United States.

Barrington Lake Fire, Nova Scotia, Canada - 28 May 2023. Image at Wikimedia Commons:,_Nova_Scotia,_Canada_-_28_May_2023_(52936128956).jpg

Air quality levels in parts of the U.S. plunge as Canada wildfires rage

Canada is experiencing one of the worst starts to its wildfire season ever recorded.

Image at Wikimedia Commons:

Rebecca Hornbrook discusses health hazards from wildfire smoke

Smoke from wildfires in Canada has engulfed the East Coast, cloaking cities in a hazy smog and putting some 100 million people under air quality alerts.

Doug Kinnison comments on wildfires and ozone (9News)

Doug Kinnison comments on wildfires harming the ozone layer

Smoke from the Canadian wildfires is once again hazing up the Front Range. Not only is it unpleasant to breathe, new research shows that smoke can erode the protective ozone layer.

9News, Denver, Colorado

Smoky, hazy air over Chautauqua (Credit: Pieternel Levelt)

Why did Boulder, CO look like this on May 20, 2023?

Residents of Boulder, Colorado were greeted with an unwelcome visitor this week: a decline in air quality that left them with hazy skies and concerns about their well-being. The source of this phenomenon, as it turned out, lay far beyond the state borders.

TEMPO satellite launch

ACOM scientists celebrate launch of TEMPO satellite

David Edwards attended the launch of the TEMPO satellite instrument to monitor air quality over North America and in an article for Science magazine, Gabi Pfister commented on how TEMPO will help understand the complexity of air pollution over Colorado's Front Range.

Flyer for Remote Sensing Initiative workshop

UCAR Remote Sensing Initiative Workshop

UCAR Center Green 1 Auditorium

Sign up now until May 1, 2023.

Click for more information.

Grape pickers, from Wikimedia Commons:   Photo credit: Tomas Castelazo, 6 September 2003.

How dangerous is wildfire season for US farmworkers?

ACOM scientist Rebecca Hornbrook contributed to an article at USA Today on the impacts of wildfire smoke on agricultural workers.

ACCLIP research flight 03 on August 6, 2022.

ACCLIP field campaign investigates monsoon-climate connections

During August 2022, two research aircraft will allow a team of international scientists to study how the Asian summer monsoon affects atmospheric chemistry and global climate.

Sonoma County Fires - 14 October 2017 250px. Wikimedia Commons, California National Guard.

Becky Hornbook comments on "ag passes" for vineyard workers during wildfires

Wildfire evacuation access permits (the so-called interim “ag passes”) were first issued in 2017 for Sonoma and Napa counties, allowing vineyard and livestock workers in Northern California to gain access during fires and other natural disasters.

Aerosols Untangle Carbon Monoxide - NASA - 27 May 2022 250px

How Aerosols Helped Untangle Carbon Monoxide Trends

NASA’s Terra satellite has been taking measurements of Earth’s atmosphere for more than two decades. One of the five sensors on board, Measurement of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT), makes daily measurements of the air pollutant carbon monoxide.

Global Decline in CarbonMonoxide - NASA - 26 May 2022 250px

A Global Decline in Carbon Monoxide

For more than two decades, NASA’s Terra satellite has measured atmospheric concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO).

An Oregon wildfire burns in 2013. The increasingly widespread wildfires in the Pacific Northwest are affecting air pollution across North America. (Photo by Bureau of Land Management.)

Pacific Northwest wildfires alter air pollution patterns across North America

Rebecca Buchholz led a study on large and intense wildfires in the US Pacific Northwest.

NASA false-color view of total ozone over the Arctic pole on October 3, 2021.

Protecting the ozone layer is delivering vast health benefits

An international agreement to protect the ozone layer is expected to prevent 443 million cases of skin cancer and 63 million cataract cases for people born in the United States through the end of this century.

Sunset over the Colorado Front Range on August 5, 2021. Photo by Carl Drews from Niwot, Colorado.

How much is the wildfire smoke affecting Wyoming's air quality?

ACOM scientist Brett Palm contributed to an article in the Casper Star Tribune regarding the summer wildfires and Wyoming air quality.

View of Denver Skyline from South Table Mountain. US Department of Energy - 28 September 2012, 08:06 AM.

Ozone pollution along the Colorado Front Range

ACOM scientist Frank Flocke contributed to an article at the Colorado Sun discussing ozone pollution along the Front Range.

Palaces, avenues, buildings, parks, and scenery around China's Capital. The white Pagoda at Beihai from Jinshan Hill (27 September 2013). Photo by Yinan Chen at Wikimedia Commons.

COVID-19 lockdowns linked to pollution spikes in some cities

Lockdowns during 2020 in response to COVID-19 resulted in drastic cuts to emissions, especially from vehicle tailpipes, and yet some urban areas saw a paradoxical spike in ozone air pollution.