CIRES | Center for Limnology

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Global sea level rise is not cruising along at a steady 3 mm per year, it’s accelerating a little every year, like a driver merging onto a highway, according to a powerful new assessment led by CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem. He and his colleagues harnessed 25 years of satellite data to calculate that the rate is increasing by about 0.08 mm/year every year—which could mean an annual rate of sea level rise of 10 mm/year, or even more, by 2100.

A research team led by CIRES’ Steve Nerem detects an acceleration in the 25-year satellite sea level record
Monday, February 12, 2018

Banner image: North Carolina beach, 2017. Courtesy of Elisa Nebolsine.

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Chemical products that contain compounds refined from petroleum, like household cleaners, pesticides, paints and perfumes, now rival motor vehicle-related emissions as the top source of urban air pollution, according to a surprising NOAA-led study. People use a lot more fuel than they do petroleum-based compounds in chemical products—about 15 times more by weight, according to the new assessment. Even so, lotions, paints and other products contribute about as much to air pollution as the transportation sector does, said lead author Brian McDonald, a CIRES scientist working in NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division.

New study finds surprisingly high contribution from paints, pesticides, perfumes as vehicle emissions drop
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Authors of “Volatile Chemical Products Emerging as Largest Petrochemical Source of Urban Organic Emissions,” published in Science, are: Brian C. McDonald (CIRES and NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Joost A. de Gouw (CIRES and NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Jessica B. Gilman (NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Shantanu H. Jathar (Colorado State University and University of California Davis), Ali Akherati (Colorado State University), Christopher D. Cappa (University of California Davis), Jose L. Jimenez (CIRES and CU Boulder), Julia Lee-Taylor (CIRES and NCAR), Patrick L. Hayes (Universite of Montreal), Stuart A. McKeen (CIRES and NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Yu Yan Cui (CIRES and NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Si-Wan Kim (CIRES and NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Drew R. Gentner (Yale University), Gabriel Isaacman (NCAR), Van Wertz (Virginia Tech), Allen H. Goldstein (University of California-Berkeley), Robert A. Harley (University of California-Berkeley), Gregory J. Frost (NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), James M. Roberts (NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Thomas B. Ryerson (NOAA Chemical Sciences Division), Michael Trainer (NOAA Chemical Sciences Division).

This research was supported by NOAA, the CIRES Visiting Fellowship Program, Aerodyne Research, Inc, the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation.

Banner image: Los Angeles, Griffith Observatory and air pollution. A new study reports that emissions from common household and industrial products including perfumes, pesticides and paints now rival motor vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution. Photo: Wikimedia/David Iliff, CC-by-SA 3.0


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Although ozone pollution is dropping across many parts of the United States, western Europe and Japan, many people living in those countries still experience more than a dozen days every year in which levels of the lung irritant exceed health-based standards.

Monday, February 5, 2018

This story is based on stories from NOAA and the University of Leicester.

Image: Poor air quality in Tokyo, Japan in 2009. Since then ozone levels have improved, according to a new global assessment.

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Dust, not spring warmth, controls the pace of spring snowmelt that feeds the headwaters of the Colorado River, according to a new study. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the amount of dust on mountain snowpack controls how fast the Colorado Basin's rivers rise in the spring regardless of air temperature; more dust is associated with faster spring runoff and higher peak flows.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

This story is based on one from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Banner image is by Jeff Deems, University of Colorado Boulder

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A new grant will let a University of Washington-led project add a new fleet to its quest to learn more about past climate from the records of long-gone mariners. CIRES' Gil Compo is part of the team, which won a  2017 “Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives” award, announced earlier this month by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Library and Information Resources.

Friday, January 19, 2018

This story is provided by the University of Washington.

Image above: Coaling Admiral Farragut’s fleet at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, circa 1862. Credit: U.S. Library of Congress/Flickr

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Childhood play experiences strongly shape a person's spatial skills, according to a new CIRES-led study—those skills can be critical to success in fields like science and engineering.

Spatial skills higher among those who played with construction-based toys and video games in childhood
Monday, February 5, 2018
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Say you're developing a training program for submarine pilots. You want an underwater scene that's realistic so that their training is meaningful. NOAA's got those data, thanks to a team of CIRES and federal employees ironically located in the landlocked state of Colorado. These scientists, working as part of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), develop high-resolution, three-dimensional coastal maps, or digital elevation models (DEMs).

NOAA-based team makes 3-D coastal models for underwater navigation, emergency management, science exhibits, and more
Friday, February 16, 2018
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CIRES researchers are one step closer to finding out after compiling the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identifying a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant worldwide. 

Researchers create first global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt
Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Late Winter in Colorado brings dozens of Trout Bowl contestants to Boulder—high school students from across the Front Range and beyond who compete in an ocean science-themed, jeopardy-style competition. But instead of presenting questions about world history and pop culture, judges ask questions like: “Explain the difference between the compensation depth and the oxygen minimum in the ocean.”

Regional Trout Bowl and National Ocean Sciences Bowl competitions help bright, young students develop a future in ocean science
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Highlighted presentations by CIRES scientists during the 2018 annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society.

Click here for formatted document or scroll through presentations by day below.


Friday, January 5, 2018
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