• Renewed Increase in Atmospheric Methane Concentrations

    12th February, 2014   (PDF Available)
    After nearly a decade with constant atmospheric concentrations, methane began increasing globally again in 2007. Scientists from the University of London, UK; Le Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, France; and NOAA ESRL have discussed the potential causes of the renewed increase in a Science Perspectives article published January 31, 2014. Based in good part on methane measurements from NOAA ESRL GMD’s ~70-site Global Cooperative Air Sampling Network, they show that total global emissions of methane increased by 15 to 22 Tg CH4 yr-1 starting in 2007.
  • Dry conditions in Amazonia reduce uptake of carbon dioxide

    7th February, 2014   (PDF Available)
    As climates change, the lush tropical ecosystems of the Amazon Basin may release more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they absorb, according to a new study published Feb. 6 in Nature .
  • UAS with NOAA ESRL instruments flies into the Earth’s coldest tropopause

    27th January, 2014   (PDF Available)
    NOAA ESRL is participating in NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) research flights from an airbase in Guam to study the coldest parts of the Earth’s tropopause over the tropical Western Pacific. At least six flights will be based out of Guam during this series, the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment-3 (ATTREX-3), that will last from January through March, 2014.
  • CO2 at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory reaches new milestone: Tops 400 ppm

    10th May, 2013   (PDF Available)
    On May 9, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time since measurements began in 1958. Independent measurements made by both NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been approaching this level during the past week. It marks an important milestone because Mauna Loa, as the oldest continuous carbon dioxide (CO2.) measurement station in the world, is the primary global benchmark site for monitoring the increase of this potent heat-trapping gas.
  • Global Hawk UAS Study of Climate Changing Stratospheric Water Vapor & Ozone

    1st Feb, 2013   (PDF Available)
    The first science flights of the NASA Global Hawk UAS in the winter portion of the Airborne Tropical TRopopause EXperiment (ATTREX) are set to begin the week of 28 January 2013. Six science flights from Edwards Air Force Base, California are scheduled. The UAS experimental payload includes two NOAA/ESRL instruments measuring water vapor, two measuring ozone and one measuring methane, nitrous oxide, hydrogen, and sulfur hexafluoride. Five NOAA/ESRL and six CIRES scientists are at the NASA Dryden facility supporting the missions.
  • Polar Sunrise and the Ozone Hole at South Pole, Antarctica: Sept. 22, 2012

    20th Sep, 2012   (PDF Available)
    At the bottom of the world, fifty people are looking forward to seeing the sun peek above the horizon on or around September 22 – the first time they have seen the sun in six months. NOAA ESRL/ GMD personnel LTJG Heather Moe and Johan Booth spent the Antarctic winter working at NOAA’s Atmospheric Research Observatory located at the geographic South Pole. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, one of three United States research stations in Antarctica, only experiences one sunrise and sunset per year due to its location at 90˚S latitude.
  • Sky-high methane mystery closer to being solved, researchers say

    22nd Aug, 2012
    Levels of atmospheric methane have puzzled researchers in recent decades, first rising steadily due to human activities, then stabilizing for about decade starting in the mid-1990s before rising again in the last four years. Now, a new paper by academic researchers and a NOAA scientist identifies one reason for the period of slow-to-no growth: Decreased leakage of natural gas from oil fields.
  • Earth’s oceans and ecosystems still absorbing about half the greenhouse gases emitted by people

    1st Aug, 2012
    Earth’s oceans, forests and other ecosystems continue to soak up about half the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activities, even as those emissions have increased, according to a study by University of Colorado and NOAA scientists published today in the journal Nature.
  • Carbon dioxide levels reach milestone at Arctic sites

    31st May, 2012
    The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Barrow, Alaska, reached 400 parts per million (ppm) this spring, according to NOAA measurements, the first time a monthly average measurement for the greenhouse gas attained the 400 ppm mark in a remote location.
  • Methane from the sea. Researchers find elevated levels of the greenhouse gas above cracks in Arctic sea ice

    16th May, 2012
    The potent greenhouse gas methane is seeping out of parts of the Arctic Ocean, according to a new study recently published in Nature Geoscience, and the discovery may represent another cycle contributing to climate warming in the region.
  • NOAA-led study: Colorado oil and gas wells emit more pollutants than expected

    27th Feb, 2012
    When NOAA scientists began routinely monitoring the atmosphere’s composition at a tower north of Denver a few years ago, their instruments immediately sniffed something strange: plumes of air rich with chemical pollutants including the potent greenhouse gas methane.
  • Utah’s winter air quality mystery. NOAA study targets high ozone pollution events in western oil and gas fields

    7th Feb, 2012
    NOAA Scientists and colleagues from the Utah Air Quality Division, the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado , and several other institutions launched the Winter Ozone Study in the Uintah Basin. The team is studying the basin with chemistry instruments for six weeks, to understand where the ingredients of ground-level ozone are coming from, and how wintertime temperature inversions and snow on the ground contribute to record-breaking ozone levels.
  • 2011 Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award to Russ Schnell

    19th Jan, 2012
    Russ Schnell, Deputy Director of the Global Monitoring Division of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) is the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award. The NOAA Research award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating the meaning and value of NOAA-related science and research to non-scientific audiences.