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Two years after a CIRES and CU Boulder team discovered a previously unknown class of waves rippling continuously through the upper Antarctic atmosphere, they’ve uncovered tantalizing clues to the waves’ origins. The interdisciplinary science team’s work to understand the formation of “persistent gravity waves” promises to help researchers better understand connections between the layers of Earth’s atmosphere—helping form a more complete understanding of air circulation around the world.

CU team finds link between gravity waves in upper and lower Antarctic atmosphere, helping create clearer picture of global air circulation
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
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The air in the United States is much cleaner than even a decade ago. But those improvements have come mainly in summer, the season that used to be the poster child for haze-containing particles that cause asthma, lung cancer and other illnesses.         

University of Washington, CIRES researchers show why eastern U.S. air pollution levels are more stagnant in winter
Monday, July 23, 2018
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This month, two dozen small research drones will zip, hover and soar over parts of the San Luis Valley, collecting data on how and where clouds form, storms start, and rain falls. Improving weather forecasts requires better observations from parts of the atmosphere where it can be difficult to make measurements. So to get instruments to the right place at the right time, researchers are experimenting with small, remotely-piloted drones carrying state-of-the-art weather instruments.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Banner image by Gijs de Boer/CIRES and NOAA

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Ozone pollution can harm rice, wheat, and other crops and plants, and a new global assessment shows plant-damaging ozone levels declining in North America, stable in Europe, and rising significantly in East Asia. These data will help researchers quantify the loss in yield in staple food crops based on the uptake of the pollutant by the plants’ leaves.


New study looks at global ozone pollution trends for plants and key crops
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Banner photo at top: Wikimedia Commons/ Istvan Takacs

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At the end of June, 15 middle and high school students from across southern Colorado and New Mexico journeyed to the University of Colorado Boulder to explore—in film—the effects of environmental change on their lives and in their communities. Through an immersive, CIRES-hosted science-education experience, these Upward Bound Math Science students took a deeper look at climate change topics, and used their new knowledge to create short, educational movies.

Southern Colorado and New Mexico students create engaging films during science education workshop at CU Boulder
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation have named the Earth Science Women's Network as one of 41 individuals or organizations honored with presidential awards for teaching and mentoring in the sciences. The awards recognize schools and organizations in more than 50 states and U.S. territories.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018
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Drones and other unmanned technologies can cost-effectively collect weather data in harsh or remote environments and contribute to better weather and climate models, according to a new study from CIRES and NOAA researchers. Unmanned aircraft and instrument-bearing tethered balloons are helping fill in critical data gaps over difficult-to-sample surfaces in the Arctic, including newly forming sea ice and partially frozen tundra.

CIRES and NOAA team develop unmanned aircraft systems for Arctic research
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Banner photo at top: Gijs de Boer/ CIRES

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When wildfires burn, they don’t only damage land, homes, and businesses. Wildfire emissions, which can be transported over long distances, can be toxic and contribute to the formation of secondary pollutants such as ozone and fine particles in the atmosphere. Those emissions affect human health and the environment, so scientists want to know what’s in wildfire smoke. According to new research from CIRES and NOAA, what matters most is not what kind of fuel is burning, but the temperature at which it burns.

New study informs NOAA-NASA campaign investigating western U.S. wildfires
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Banner photo: CIRES/Dan Lack

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Tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica’s ice sheet reach temperatures of nearly -100 degrees Celsius, according to a published this week in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters. The finding could change scientists’ understanding of just how low temperatures can get at Earth’s surface, and how it happens, according to the researchers.

Monday, June 25, 2018
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The U.S. oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas methane from its operations each year, 60 percent more than estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study published today in the journal Science.

High emissions findings undercut the case that gas offers substantial climate advantage over coal
Thursday, June 21, 2018
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