ACOM in the News

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 10:00am
An image taken from space of smoke billowing from fires in Jambi Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The false-color image was made with a combination of visible (green) and infrared light so that fires and freshly burned land stand out. (Image courtesy NASA.)

2015 wildfires linked to as many as 17,270 premature deaths

ACOM scientist Christine Wiedinmyer is a co-author of a new study into the health effects of the 2015 Indonesian wildfires. This is an excerpt from a news release issued by Newcastle University.

Wildfires in Indonesia and Borneo exposed 69 million people to unhealthy air pollution, new research has shown.

The study, published today in Scientific Reports, gives the most accurate picture yet of the impact on human health of the wildfires which ripped through forest and peatland in Equatorial Asia during the autumn of 2015.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 9:56am
This animation shows the opening and closing of the Antarctic ozone hole (dark blue) in 2015. (Animation courtesy of NASA.)

Susan Solomon at MIT, along with ACOM scientists Doug Kinnison and Michael Mills, have identified the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer, published on June 30, 2016 in the journal Science. The research was covered by BBC Science.

The research team found that the September ozone hole has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers — about half the area of the contiguous United States — since 2000, when ozone depletion was at its peak. They also showed for the first time that this recovery has slowed somewhat at times, due to the effects of volcanic eruptions from year to year. Overall, however, the ozone hole appears to be on a healing path.

The other paper co-authors are Diane Ivy of MIT, Ryan Neely of the University of Leeds, and Anja Schmidt of the University of Leeds.


Friday, May 13, 2016 - 10:26am
From left: ACOM scientists Sam Hall, Benjamin Gaubert, Pablo Saide, Deedee Montzka, Louisa Emmons, and Andy Weinheimer. (Photo courtesy Sam Hall, ACOM)

Between May 1 and June 12, 2016, ACOM scientists and their colleagues from NASA, U.S. and South Korean universities, and South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) will collect observations from airborne labs, ships, satellites, and ground-based instruments. The campaign, which involves more than 580 researchers from 72 institutions, is called KORUS-AQ (Korea U.S.-Air Quality study).


Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 11:58am
Asteroids passing earth - Discovery News, February 10, 2016

Discovery News: A strike by a medium-size asteroid in a forested region could change the Earth’s climate to ice-age like conditions with effects lasting for up to 10 years. Airborne soot and dust aerosols would decrease the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface, which would cause significant surface cooling, reduce precipitation and could threaten global food supplies, says ACOM's Chuck Bardeen. The impact study was carried out using the WACCM atmospheric model.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 2:43pm
University of Maryland chemistry graduate student Julie Nicely provides real-time analysis of data collected off the coast of Guam. Photo credit: Ross Salawitch

Phys.org published an article about ACOM's CONTRAST field campaign that operated out of Guam during January and February 2014. Biomass burning in the equatorial regions of Africa and Asia causes pockets of high ozone over the western Pacific Ocean. ACOM scientist Laura Pan was a Principal Investigator for CONTRAST, and Doug Kinnison explained how NCAR's CAM-Chem model provided forecast and analysis.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 4:37pm
Image credit: NASA/Steele Hill http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hinode/solar_004_prt.htm

A research paper co-authored by ACOM scientist Dan Marsh was featured in Eos. The paper describes how WACCM version 4 produces a stronger vertical circulation in the earth's atmosphere, bringing NO and NO2 down into the stratosphere over Antarctica and destroying ozone there. WACCM4 provides the basis for new studies that may increase our understanding of the sun’s impact on climate. The original paper "Simulated solar cycle effects on the middle atmosphere: WACCM3 Versus WACCM4" was published in Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth System (June 2015).


Monday, October 26, 2015 - 8:29am
Panorama of Boulder, Colorado taken from just south of Fairview High School. Photo by Hustvedt at Wikimedia Commons.

The SPARC regional workshop on “Chemical and Physical Processes in the Climate System" will be held on 9-10 November 2015 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, back-to-back with the SPARC Scientific Steering Group (SSG) meeting (10-13 November 2015).


Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 10:26am
Geostationary satellite

October 21, 2015 | ACOM scientists Jerome Barre, David Edwards, and Helen Worden have demonstrated how new types of satellite data could improve how agencies monitor and forecast air quality, both globally and by region. The new satellite observations would significantly improve air pollution forecasts.

The scientists used computer simulations to test a method that combines analysis of chemistry-climate model output with the kind of data that could be obtained from a planned fleet of geostationary satellites, each of which would view a large area of Earth on a continuous basis from high orbit.

"We think the new perspective made possible by geostationary sensors would provide data that is useful for everyday air quality forecasting, as well as for early warnings about extreme events, like the effects of wildfires," said Helen Worden.

Read more at UCAR AtmosNews...


Monday, September 21, 2015 - 2:28pm
Christine Wiedinmyer

ACOM scientist Christine Wiedinmyer was quoted in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal about carbon emissions from the recent wildfires in California. She estimated that southern California fires burning for one week produced as much carbon dioxide as a quarter of the state’s monthly fossil-fuel emissions. (September 16, 2015)


Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 11:24am
Image of sunlight scattered by cosmic dust, courtesy of ESO/Y. Beletky

A scientific paper by Chester Gardner, Alan Liu, ACD Scientist Dan Marsh, Wuhu Feng, and J. M. C. Plane has been selected by the American Geophysical Union as an "AGU Research Spotlight." Inferring the global cosmic dust in flux to the Earth’s atmosphere from lidar observations of the vertical flux of mesospheric Na (2014) was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. The research studied the meteoric debris that enters the Earth's atmosphere and is eventually transported to the surface.


Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 1:39pm
Gabi Pfister discusses ozone with CCTV and Hendrik Sybrandy

Hendrik Sybrandy of CCTV reports with Gabriele Pfister on the recent ACD FRAPPÉ study funded by the U.S. state of Colorado. FRAPPÉ embarks on a new study of ozone. The pollutant, a key component of smog, has been shown to cause health problems and to damage crops. This comprehensive effort could help countries around the world tackle their future pollution problems. The video at YouTube is 2:22 minutes long (published Jul 20, 2014).


Monday, July 28, 2014 - 3:30pm
Frank Flocke of ACD with Marty Coniglio of 9News

Marty Coniglio chats with ACD's Frank Flocke about the NCAR planes testing ozone pollution (July 25). The news video is 5 minutes long and includes interior shots of the instrumentation used aboard the research aircraft.


Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 1:40pm
CONTRAST science and flight team with research aircraft in Guam.

Scientific American reports:
Hundreds of years after humans mastered the art of chimney venting so they could heat their houses, scientists have undertaken a major research project to better understand how Earth’s atmosphere uses its very own version of a chimney. More than 40 researchers recently visited a sparsely populated part of the western tropical Pacific Ocean—near the island of Guam—known as the “global chimney.” The area boasts the world’s warmest ocean temperatures and vents massive volumes of warm gases from the surface high into the atmosphere, which may shape global climate and air chemistry enough to impact billions of people worldwide.


Friday, June 13, 2014 - 11:33am
FRAPPÉ logo cropped

The Boulder Daily Camera reports:
It sounds like a delectable dessert; but in fact, ACD's FRAPPÉ field campaign is an ambitious effort to gather thorough data on all the pollutants that appear in the atmosphere over the Front Range during the summer months and prevent the metro area from meeting federal air quality standards. "Something this comprehensive, such a major campaign, has not happened in the Front Range before," said Gabriele Pfister, an atmospheric scientist for NCAR. She and NCAR's Frank Flocke are the study's two principal investigators.


Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 9:48am
Factory in China on the Yangtze River; photo by High Contrast at Wikimedia Commons.

Postdoctoral fellow Ryan Neely published a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research that links combustion of coal, oil, and biomass to a layer of sulfates high above Asia. The work was done within and motivated by other studies within NESL's Atmospheric Chemistry Division. (February 20, 2014)


Friday, January 31, 2014 - 8:50am
Convection over Guam during CONTRAST; photo by Shawn Honomichl.

The Baltimore Sun reports the ongoing CONTRAST field campaign taking place in Guam. Flights by three research aircraft allow scientists from NCAR's Atmospheric Chemistry Division, the University of Miami, and the University of Maryland to study the effects of tropical thunderstorms on the atmosphere, as towering cumulus clouds loft surface air high over the warm Pacific ocean. (January 24, 2014)


Friday, January 10, 2014 - 11:00am

Christine WiedinmyerACD scientist Christine Wiedinmyer has been invited to speak at the upcoming meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta, Georgia during 2-6 February 2014. She will deliver the Walter Orr Roberts lecture for 2014: “Fire in the Earth System: Interactions with the Atmosphere.” Congratulation, Christine! If you are going to the AMS meeting, please plan to attend her presentation on Wednesday, 5 February, 5:00–6:00 p.m.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 2:24pm
Mother Jones screen shot of NASA DC-8

Tim McDonnell and James West of Climate Desk were invited to fly along with the NASA DC-8 on a SEAC4RS mission to investigate and measure clouds. The resulting video published at Mother Jones magazine shows the on-board equipment used within the cramped space of the cabin. Scientists in flight keep busy monitoring levels of aerosols, solar radiation, CO2, biogenic emissions, and other atmospheric chemicals. (published September 4, 2014)


Friday, July 19, 2013 - 12:34pm

Mary BarthACD scientist Mary Barth was interviewed by Inside Science TV about the DC3 field campaign that took place during summer 2012. Pollutants and chemicals near the earth's surface are transported aloft into the upper atmosphere. Barth said researchers want to learn how the thunderstorms may be affecting the concentration of ozone—a significant factor in air pollution. (published July 9, 2013)


Monday, July 8, 2013 - 1:31pm

Nepal, Kathmandu: by Steve Evans from Citizen of the WorldACD scientist Laura Pan recently organized a scientific workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal to study the Asian summer monsoon. The ACAM workshop brought together 120 scientists representing 17 countries to discuss the effects of air pollution on the monsoon and rainfall patterns across Asia. The other workshop chairs were Jim Crawford of NASA Langley and Arnico Panday of ICIMOD in Nepal. SciDevNet covered the ACAM workshop in a news story on July 5, 2013.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 9:37am

Christine WiedinmyerACD scientist Christine Wiedinmyer spoke with Ryan Warner on Colorado Public Radio about the Black Forest wildfire near Colorado Springs. The smoke and particles from fires can affect air quality and visibility. (broadcast June 17, 2013)


Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 11:49am
Beijing_4th_Olympic_Cultural_Festival_Closing_Ceremony_5.jpg; andymiah, Wikimedia Commons.

ACD scientists Bill Randel and Helen Worden spoke on radio station KGNU with Beth Bartel, host of "How On Earth", about how volcanoes can be used to trace atmospheric currents, and how Beijing's 2008 Olympic efforts to reduce pollution helped reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. The episode aired on Tuesday morning, July 31 2012, and you can listen to it online at KGNU. The NCAR segment begins with Bill at 11:30 minutes into the recording, and Helen is introduced at 20:40.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 2:04pm
Nabro eruption, Eritrea; NASA image.

Sulfur dioxide from the Nabro volcano in Eritrea was lofted into the lower stratosphere by deep convection and the circulation associated with the Asian summer monsoon. This finding demonstrates that to affect climate, volcanic eruptions need not be strong enough to inject sulfur directly into the stratosphere.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 3:01pm
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lightning3.jpg

As spring rolls toward summer, more thunderstorms are expected to build on the plains, shooting lightning bolts into the air and shaking up the mix of gases in the atmosphere. ACD researchers Mary Barth and Chris Cantrell hope to better understand how storms churn up the upper troposphere. ACD and EOL staff are bound for Salina, Kansas, where they will use three instrument-laden research aircraft to better understand the role of thunderstorms. This field campaign is dubbed DC3 (Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry). More at the Boulder Daily Camera... More at NASA Earth Observatory...


Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 9:31am
2015 wildfires in Sumatra, as seen from spaceWildfires in Indonesia and Borneo exposed 69 million people to unhealthy air pollution, new research has shown.

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 12:43pm
An image of the Antarctic ozone hole in October 2015A team of researchers, including NCAR scientists, has identified the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer.

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 10:49am
Pollution blows across the Korean PeninsulaNCAR scientists are on the ground in South Korea as part of a field campaign to investigate the region's air quality.

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ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling