Posted on May 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Cirrus cloud study helps inform climate predictions.
Composition of seed material suggests human activity could be a significant factor
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Mineral dust and metallic aerosols are the key seeding agents for the formation of high-altitude cirrus clouds, which cover nearly a third of the globe at any given time. Often forming more than 10 miles up, cirrus clouds can cool the planet by reflecting solar radiation, and warm it, by trapping heat like a blanket.
A nine-year study of cirrus clouds using using instruments aboard high-altitude research aircraft is helping scientists get a better handle on the mechanisms driving cirrus cloud formation, and that, in turn, could help scientists predict future climate patterns. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: airborne dust, cirrus clouds, climate, cloud formation, Earth System Research Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mineral dust, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 21, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Valuable program threatened by NOAA funding cuts
A NASA map shows global temperature anomalies in March 2012.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — An intensive long-term monitoring program has enabled researchers to analyze and compare emissions from man-made fossil fuels and trace gases in the atmosphere, which could help measure the effectiveness of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases — but the program is being threatened by budget cuts.
“We think the approach offered by this study can increase the accuracy of emissions detection and verification for fossil fuel combustion and a host of other man-made gases,” said CU-Boulder Senior Research Associate Scott Lehman, who led the study with CU-Boulder Research Associate John Miller.
Lehman, with the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, said the approach of using carbon-14 has been supported by the National Academy of Sciences and could be an invaluable tool for monitoring greenhouse gases by federal agencies like NOAA. (more…)
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Earth System Research Laboratory, global warming, greenhouse gases, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Leave a Comment »