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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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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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The average person spends 90 percent of his or her time indoors—yet little is understood about how chemical compounds indoors interact and transform throughout our daily lives.

Collaborative research team outfits house with scientific instrumentation to demystify indoor air chemistry
Monday, June 18, 2018
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Western wildfire seasons are worse when it’s dry and fuel-rich, and the chances of ignition are high—and all three factors were pushed to their limits last year, triggering one of the largest and costliest U.S. wildfire seasons in recent decades, according to a new paper. Climate change likely helped exacerbate fuels and dryness, the paper found, and people’s behavior contributed the sparks.

CIRES-led team uncovers series of wildfire triggers that culminated in the big burn of 2017
Sunday, June 3, 2018
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In recent years, interdisciplinary research has been promoted widely, yet it can represent a risky pursuit for early career scientists. For example: climate science integrates research from across disciplines—yet taking a deliberately interdisciplinary approach can be perceived as 'less-than-rigorous' compared to a single discipline—according to a new study by Virginia Institute of Marine Science, National Weather Service, CIRES/NOAA, and other researchers across the country.

New assessment identifies early-career barriers—and solutions—to improve climate research
Thursday, May 24, 2018
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