Atmospheric

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.


A  research team has revealed conflicting climate change patterns between the middle latitude areas of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in relation to glacial and interglacial cycles which have been a puzzle for the past 60 years.

Their study collected samples from the stalagmites and flowstones in limestone caves which are called 'hard disks' containing the past climate change data and revealed how much they grew in which eras through isotope analysis and age dating, and traced the past climate changes by applying them to global climate change over 550,000 years.


Transportation is a big cause of CO2 emissions so when pop star Will.i.am takes a helicopter to a climate event to tell everyone else to be more environmentally responsible, or when environmental journalists fly across the world to attend summits because their 'relationships' are too important to use a video conference, it doesn't inspire a lot of commoners to cut back.

Not that they did anyway. Most people rationalize travel, and simply cut back in ways they would anyway.