ESRL's Global Monitoring Division conducts sustained observations and
research related to global distributions, trends, sources and sinks of
atmospheric constituents that are capable of forcing change in the climate
of the Earth. This research will advance climate projections and provide
scientific policy-relevant, decision support information to enhance
society's ability to plan and respond.
ESRL's Global Monitoring Division conducts research on the depletion
of the global stratospheric ozone layer and Antarctic ozone hole through
global surface-based monitoring of total-column ozone, ultraviolet radiation,
and ozone-depleting gases, including those regulated by the Montreal Protocol.
Continued surveillance is necessary in order to verify the expected
recovery of the ozone layer.
ESRL's Global Monitoring Division monitors levels of air quality
elements such as tropospheric ozone, carbon monoxide and aerosol
particles in non-source regions which may be affected by long range
transport from distant sources of industrial pollution. This large-scale
transport affects baseline air quality which must be monitored
in order to determine the importance of regional sources that may impact
the environment and public health.
A team of scientific investigators is now in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, an area where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet at one point, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane hotspot detected from space by a European satellite. The joint project is working to solve the mystery from the air, on the ground, and with mobile laboratories.
Every year the Mauna Loa Obervatory contributes to the local Science Fair event. This year, Halia Buchal won the junior research award with the project titled: Purple or Green? Does Leaf Color Affect How Plants Respond to Different Colors of Light? The Senior research recipent Keanu D. Pinner won the senior division award with the project titled: Activation of the Hepatocyte Antioxidant Response by Kava Secondary Metabolites.
The Antarctic ozone hole, which forms annually in the August to October period, reached its peak size on September 11, stretching to 9.3 million square miles (24.1 million square kilometers), roughly the same size as last year’s peak of 9.3 million square miles (24 million square kilometers) on September 16, 2013. This is an area similar in size to North America.