New study tracks increase in summertime haze in Colorado wilderness
Longer and hotter droughts and wildfires are polluting the once clear blue skies of the high country in the West, according to new research from the University of Utah.
The study, published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters, found a link between the severity of drought in the Intermountain West and summertime air quality. Climate projections suggest that drought and wildfire risk will continue to increase in coming decades.
New research tracks aerosols from volcanic eruptions
FRISCO — Sunlight-reflecting particles from relatively small volcanic eruptions may add up to have a significant effect on global temperatures, according to a new climate study that tries to quantify the cumulative impact of aerosols from volcanoes.
According to the research, based on a combination of measurements taken on the ground, in the air and from satellites, small volcanic eruptions that occurred between 2000 and 2013 deflected almost double the amount of solar radiation previously estimated.
‘Human activity has played a significant role in altering the seasonal monsoon rainfall on which billions of people depend’
FRISCO — A 10 percent drop in overall monsoon rainfall in the northern hemisphere during past 50 years is outside the range of natural climate variability, Scottish researchers said after a detailed analysis of weather data.
Researchers starting to take nuanced look at chemical composition of aerosols
FRISCO —Scientists have long known that tiny grains of airborne dust are key players in the formation of rain and snow, driving precipitation patterns across the drought-stricken western U.S. and other areas.
New research suggests that the exact chemical make-up of that dust, including microbes found in it, is the key to how much rain and snow falls from clouds. The information could help better predict rain events, as well as explain how air pollution from a variety of sources influences regional climate in general.
Study traces pollution levels by analyzing 500 years of art
FRISCO — Looking closely at some of the world’s great paintings from the past 500 years has enabled scientists to track the history of atmospheric pollution, based on the colors the artists used to depict the sky.
For example, when he Tambora volcano in Indonesia erupted in 1815, painters in Europe could see the colors of the sky changing. The volcanic ash and gas spewed into the atmosphere traveled the world and, as these aerosol particles scattered sunlight, they produced bright red and orange sunsets in Europe for up to three years after the eruption.