Carbon dioxide levels measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.
As station chief at NOAA’s Point Barrow, Alaska, observatory, Bryan Thomas works close to the edge of the Arctic Ocean. What he saw from his office in early February, looking north toward the horizon, was troubling.
The hole in the Earth’s ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September grew to about 8.9 million square miles in 2016 before starting to recover, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who monitor the annual phenomenon.
Carbon dioxide levels in the Earth’s atmosphere passed a troubling milestone for good this summer, locking in levels of the heat-trapping gas not seen for millions of years.
Every year, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) rises during winter and then falls slightly during the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, as plants take up this greenhouse gas during photosynthesis.
But this year, for the first time since before the Ice Age, CO2 will not fall below 400 ppm.
The NASA Pacific Oxidants, Sulfur, Ice, Dehydration, and cONvection (POSIDON) Experiment is a focused airborne science mission to study the ozone distribution, sulfur chemistry, very short-lived ozone depleting species (VSLS), cloud microphysics, and dehydration in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over the western Pacific.
Brad Hall, a research scientist in the Global Monitoring Division of NOAA/ESRL, has been named a winner of the 2016 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research for his work on improving existing techniques to make calibration standards and measurements of very low concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone-depleting gases like chlorofluorocarbons.
A deep sea fishing rod is probably not the first tool that comes to mind when thinking about how to study air pollution in a remote inland desert, but it’s the heart of a new NOAA system that has given scientists a minute-by-minute look at how quickly the sun can convert oil and gas facility emissions to harmful ground-level ozone.
Using measurements taken worldwide, scientists estimated that 2015’s global average carbon dioxide concentration was 399.4 parts per million (ppm), a new record high. At Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawai’i, where atmospheric carbon dioxide has been recorded longer than anywhere else in the world, the annual average carbon dioxide concentration was 400.8—also a new record, and a new milestone.
Robert (Bob) D. Evans of ESRL Global Monitoring Division receives the prestigious IO3C Farman Award Nomination For Sustaining a Long-term Inter-calibrated World-wide Dobson Total Ozone Observing Network. The "Joseph C. Farman Award" is granted to one or more outstanding scientists who have created and used high-quality, long-term time series of atmospheric measurements related to the study of atmospheric ozone and/or surface ultraviolet radiation.
The Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) is a NASA-funded multi-agency effort using the NASA DC-8 research aircraft to systematically sample trace gases and aerosols from sea level to the stratosphere on 10 pole-to-pole flights covering the Atlantic and Pacific oceans over the next 3 years. ATom will study the impact of human-produced air pollution on greenhouse gases and on chemically reactive gases in the atmosphere with a focus on ozone, methane, and black carbon, as well as atmospheric particulate matter.
Analysis of nearly three decades of air samples from Alaska’s North Slope shows little change in long-term methane emissions despite significant Arctic warming over that time period, according to new research published in Geophysical Research Letters.