ESRL's Global Monitoring Division conducts sustained observations and
research related to global distributions, trends, sources and sinks of
atmospheric constituents that are capable of forcing change in the climate
of the Earth. This research will advance climate projections and provide
scientific policy-relevant, decision support information to enhance
society's ability to plan and respond.
ESRL's Global Monitoring Division conducts research on the depletion
of the global stratospheric ozone layer and Antarctic ozone hole through
global surface-based monitoring of total-column ozone, ultraviolet radiation,
and ozone-depleting gases, including those regulated by the Montreal Protocol.
Continued surveillance is necessary in order to verify the expected
recovery of the ozone layer.
ESRL's Global Monitoring Division monitors levels of air quality
elements such as tropospheric ozone, carbon monoxide and aerosol
particles in non-source regions which may be affected by long range
transport from distant sources of industrial pollution. This large-scale
transport affects baseline air quality which must be monitored
in order to determine the importance of regional sources that may impact
the environment and public health.
The NOAA CarbonTracker-CH4 Data Assimilation Product has been developed as a companion product to NOAA's CarbonTracker (CO2), with the goal of producing quantitative estimates of emissions of methane to the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources for North America and the rest of the world. CarbonTracker-CH4 emission estimates are consistent with observed patterns of CH4 in the atmosphere.
For the first time since carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been measured, the levels of this greenhouse gas at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, have been above 400 parts per million every single day for three straight months.
The extent to which our home planet changes in response to increases in man-made heat-trapping gases is one of the foremost questions for the scientific community, policy makers, and the general public alike. To help answer this question, NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division produces the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index—a yearly report on the combined influence of long-lived greenhouse gases on Earth’s surface temperature.
Between burning fossil fuels and clearing forests, humans emit far more carbon dioxide than Earth’s natural physical and biological processes can remove from the atmosphere. Fundamental to any attempts to understand, slow, or reverse the build up of atmospheric carbon dioxide is a global accounting of where it’s released and stored. That’s why scientists at NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory created CarbonTracker: a carbon dioxide measuring and modeling system that tracks sources and sinks around the globe.
During two days of intensive airborne measurements, oil and gas operations in Colorado’s Front Range leaked nearly three times as much methane, a greenhouse gas, as predicted based on inventory estimates, and seven times as much benzene, a regulated air toxic. Emissions of other chemicals that contribute to summertime ozone pollution were about twice as high as estimates, according to the new paper, accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.
NOAA's latest Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), released Friday, May 2, 2014, shows that the warming influence from human-emitted gases continues to increase. Driven in large part by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the AGGI increased 1.5 percent between 2012 and 2013. This means the combined heating effect of human-emitted, long-lived greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere has increased by 1.5 percent in one year, and 34 percent since 1990.
Over the last five days beginning on March 16, 2014, carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million at NOAA's Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This is nearly two months earlier than last year when the concentration of this greenhouse gas was first recorded above 400 parts per million on May 9, at the historic NOAA observatory.