Atmospheric

Soot and methane were little-considered factors in climate change models a decade ago but with the drop of CO2 in Western nations, activists have begun to worry about those. 

It would have been smart to factor them in all along. Every year, wildfires clear millions of hectares of land and emit around 34 percent of global soot mass into the atmosphere. In remote parts of Southeast Asia and Russia, these fires can contribute as much as 63 percent of regional soot mass. 


The dose makes the poison, it is often said, and it is true. Lots of medicines and chemicals are harmless or beneficial in reasonable quantities but dangerous in high quantities. What about CO2 in plants? Plants need it for food but they also recognize too much is a bad thing. 

Biologists have been studying a long-standing mystery concerning the way plants reduce the numbers of their breathing pores in response to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

The authors report the discovery of a new genetic pathway in plants, made up of four genes from three different gene families that control the density of breathing pores—or "stomata"—in plant leaves in response to elevated CO2 levels.


When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Arthur on July 2 at 2:50 PM EDT on July 2nd, it saw a cloud-covered eye as the storm was on the way to becoming a hurricane.  

This visible image of Tropical Storm Arthur was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. Arthur's center was over the Atlantic Ocean and east of Florida's northeast coast.

By 5 AM EDT on July 3, Arthur's eye had formed but remained cloud covered even as the storm hit hurricane-strength with maximum sustained winds near 75 MPH.  


Invasion by exotic plant species affects the ability of soil to store greenhouse gases, which could have far-reaching implications for how we manage agricultural land and native ecosystems, according to a paper in New Phytologist, which found that invasive plants can accelerate the greenhouse effect by releasing carbon stored in soil into the atmosphere.

Since soil stores more carbon than both the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined, the repercussions for how we manage agricultural land and ecosystems to facilitate the storage of carbon could be dramatic.


We all know how fire works, the same way we know how gravity works. But, like gravity, there is a lot we don't know about combustion. 

There are many reasons to delve into its secrets. For modern culture, combustion insight could lead to more efficient fuel use and that means less pollution. Today, gasoline has amazing energy density and that makes it difficult to replace so while we research something better, more efficient combustion would mean less waste.

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) and the University of Hawaii have uncovered the first step in the process that transforms gas-phase molecules into solid particles like soot and other carbon-based compounds.


As carbon dioxide (CO2) in America has declined, environmentalists and the federal government have begun to focus on the energy that got us CO2 emissions back at early 1990s levels - natural gas.

What was once the preferred solution of environmentally conscious people became worse than coal and methane, they began to claim, would make CO2 irrelevant if natural gas were not banned. That was a claim so crazy even the National Resources Defense Council disavowed it, though it got a prominent place, bolstered by lots of anonymous sources, in the New York Times.


Climate change is predicted to have major impacts on the many species that call our rocky shorelines home.

Species living in these intertidal habitats, which spend half their day exposed to air and the other half submerged by water, could subjected to a double whammy if air and water temperatures rise. 


What big environmental win has happened in the last 10 years for Americans? Most importantly, the country switched to natural gas from coal, and that is a good thing because emissions from energy plummeted, and a lot of manufacturing has left the country due to a punitive regulatory environment, that is bad, but the upside has been a reduction in pollution across the country.

New satellite images from
the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA's Aura satellite
demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country.

After ten years in orbit, has been in orbit sufficiently long to show that people in major U.S. cities are breathing less nitrogen dioxide – a yellow-brown gas that can cause respiratory problems.


Knowing where water vapor is in the atmosphere is one of many factors forecasters use to identify weather features and so the GOES Project has created animations that indicate where water vapor is moving over the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific oceans.

Observations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) measure the local air temperature in kelvins (degrees Kelvin) at different layers of the atmosphere.

A new study using snow during a Minnesota blizzard gave researchers new insight into the airflow around large wind turbines.

Thanks to subsidies, wind turbines are not going away until at least February of 2017, so improving wind energy efficiency is essential, especially in wind farms where airflows from many large wind turbines interact with each other, a problem that no one included in estimates of cost versus value.