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July 8, 2015

Stratospheric accomplice for Santa Ana winds and California wildfires

Southern Californians and writers love to blame the hot, dry Santa Ana winds for tense, ugly moods, and the winds have long been associated with destructive wildfires. Now, NOAA researchers have found that on occasion, the winds have an accomplice with respect to fires, at least: Atmospheric events known as stratospheric intrusions, which bring extremely dry air from the upper atmosphere down to the surface, adding to the fire danger effects of the Santa Anas, and exacerbating some air pollution episodes.
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July 7, 2015

Measuring methane loss in Texas’ Barnett Shale

About 170,000 pounds (76,000 kg) of the greenhouse gas methane leak per hour from the Barnett Shale region of Texas, including the urban areas of Dallas and Fort Worth, according to a new study led by Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and NOAA researchers...
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July 2, 2015

Surveillance tech reveals greater ice sheet detail, and more

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is well known for its data on frozen parts of the Earth. But soon, it will have data on something more warm-blooded. Scientists on a mission to measure Greenland’s melting ice sheet have been exploring heat-seeking cameras typically used by the police, the military, and pilots.
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June 4, 2015

Stricter limits for ozone pollution would boost need for science, measurements

A tougher federal standard for ozone pollution, under consideration to improve public health, would ramp up the importance of scientific measurements and models, according to a new commentary published in the June 5 edition of Science by researchers at NOAA and its cooperative institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.
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June 1, 2015

The ebb and flow of Greenland’s glaciers

In northwestern Greenland, glaciers flow from the main ice sheet to the ocean in see-sawing seasonal patterns. The ice generally flows faster in the summer than in winter, and the ends of glaciers, jutting out into the ocean, also advance and retreat with the seasons.
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May 20, 2015

Colorado’s biggest storms can happen anytime, new study finds

Colorado’s biggest storms can happen anytime, new study finds. Storms show a “diverse seasonality,” following seasonal patterns in some regions, but not others In a state known for its dramatic weather and climate, Colorado’s history of extreme precipitation varies considerably by season and location, according to research published in the current issue of the Journal of Hydrometeorology.
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May 14, 2015

Recent adjustments to the Montreal Protocol help protect ozone layer, but newer chemicals contribute to warming

An international agreement in 2007 to deal with the last remaining ozone-depleting chemicals used in large quantities is working, according to a new analysis published today. Atmospheric emissions of those chemicals, called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and used in refrigeration and air conditioning, are no longer increasing, after having increased consistently over the past few decades, according to NOAA measurements published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
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