Atmospheric composition

  • Global picture of greenhouse gases Featured News Article Global picture of greenhouse gases Global picture of greenhouse gases

    A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the... More »

  • Black Carbon and Climate Change Featured Article Black Carbon and Climate Change Black Carbon and Climate Change

    This data visualization (image) uses data from NASA’s GEOS-5 Goddard Chemistry Aerosol and Transport (GOCART) climate model to show atmospheric concentrations of black... More »

  • Methane Featured Article Methane Methane

      Introduction Methane is a simple chemical molecule, having the formula CH4. It is the the principal component of natural gas. Complete combustion of methane... More »

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Carbon dioxide milestone in Arctic Last Updated on 2012-06-03 00:00:00 Carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations at Barrow, Alaska, reached 400 parts per million this spring—the first time a monthly average measurement for the greenhouse gas attained the 400 ppm mark in a remote location. NOAA: Carbon dioxide levels reach milestone at Arctic sites NOAA cooperative measurements in remote, northern sites hit greenhouse gas milestone in April 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. Carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted by fossil fuel combustion and other human activities, is the most significant greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. “The northern sites in our monitoring network tell us what is... More »
Black carbon Last Updated on 2012-05-17 00:00:00 Black carbon is the fancy name for soot. And like carbon dioxide, it’s causing changes in the Arctic climate. View the NOAA Video on Black Carbon. Black carbon comes from the burning of fossil fuels, like coal and diesel, and from forest fires, and cookstoves. The majority reaching the Arctic comes from North America and Eurasia. Studies suggest that black carbon is contributing to the acceleration of sea ice melting in the Arctic.  Loss of this ice would lead to more rapid warming and possibly irreversible climate change. Black carbon is dark in color and warms the Earth in two ways:  When it’s in the air, the particles absorb sunlight and generate heat in the atmosphere.  This can affect cloud formation and rain patterns.  When it covers snow and ice, the sun’s radiation is absorbed instead of... More »
Global picture of greenhouse gases Last Updated on 2011-09-09 00:00:00 A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the atmosphere. Three-year series of scientific missions from Arctic to Antarctic produces views of atmospheric chemistry View YouTube videos of the HIPPO V's flight plan and Harvard scientist Bruce Daube.   View a video of HIPPO V 's flight plan that took the scientists and their mission from pole-to-pole. Credit: NCAR The far-reaching field project, known as HIPPO, ends this week, and has enabled researchers to generate the first detailed mapping of the global distribution of gases and particles that affect Earth's climate. HIPPO, which stands for HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations, has brought together scientists from organizations across the nation, including the National Center for Atmospheric... More »
AIRNow: national air quality information Last Updated on 2011-07-24 00:00:00 The U.S. EPA, NOAA, NPS, tribal, state, and local agencies have developed the AIRNow Web Site to provide the public with easy access to national air quality information. Click Here for Today's Forecast of Air Quality The AIRNow Web site The Web site offers daily AQI forecasts as well as real-time AQI conditions for over 300 cities across the US, and provides links to more detailed State and local air quality Web sites. Air Quality Forecasts - Nationwide daily air quality forecasts provided by State and local Air Agencies for over 300 major U.S. cities. Air Quality Conditions - Nationwide and regional real-time ozone air quality maps covering 46 US States and parts of Canada. These maps are updated daily every hour. The Air Quality Index The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or... More »
Black Carbon and Climate Change Last Updated on 2011-04-21 00:00:00 This data visualization (image) uses data from NASA’s GEOS-5 Goddard Chemistry Aerosol and Transport (GOCART) climate model to show atmospheric concentrations of black carbon on 26 September 2009. More than three-quarters of the world’s black carbon is thought to come from developing countries, discharged from cookstoves, open burning, and older diesel engines. Aerosol optical thickness ranges nonlinearly from 0.002 (transparent) to 0.02 (purple) to 0.2 (white). Animations of global black soot transport are available at http://tinyurl.com/64nbykb and http://tinyurl.com/69w9s6z. This article, written by Charles W. Schmidt*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or... More »