2005 Stories

ESRL Scientists to Validate Aura Satellite Measurements
December 28, 2005
Scientists will operate an automated gas chromatograph, developed by ESRL, on the NASA WB-57F high altitude research aircraft during the Costa Rica-Aura Validation Experiment 2 (CR-AVE2) to calibrate observations of NASA's Aura (Latin for breeze) satellite in the tropics and subtopics. NASA and NOAA are extremely interested in extending Aura measurements to lower altitudes in the atmosphere where trace gases that influence climate change are present in higher concentrations. Full Story

NOAA Deploys 2006 Hydrometeorological Testbed In Flood-Prone Western Watershed
December 28, 2005
Operations for the first full-scale implementation of the Hydrometeorological Testbed 2006 program were initiated this winter, targeting California's flood-vulnerable American River Basin (ARB) near Sacramento. The Hydrometeorological Testbed (HMT) is a concept designed to accelerate the testing and infusion of new technologies, models, and scientific results from the research community into daily forecasting operations. Full Story

NOAA Makes Key Ozone Measurements Aboard the HAIPER Aircraft
December 27, 2005
Working with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), ESRL scientists have made measurements of ozone from the new NSF HIAPER aircraft. These measurements were made in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, an atmospheric region that is important for issues related to climate as well as the depletion of the ozone layer. Full Story

ESRL Extends Partnership with Sinte Gleska Native American University
December 13, 2005
ESRL partnership with Sinte Gleska University establishes meteorology/climate monitoring network on Rosebud Reservation. Full Story

International Team Studying Ice Formation
November 22, 2005
The Particle Analysis by Laser Mass Spectrometry (PALMS) instrument developed at ESRL will be used to study the formation of ice on aerosol particles, advanacing our understanding of the influence of ice clouds on the atmosphere and climate. Full Story

ESRL/GMD and CIRES Initiating Upper Air Water Vapor and Ozone Observations
November 21, 2005
Sixty high altitude balloons carrying water vapor and ozone measurement instruments will be launched over the next 4 months to study dehydration and transport processes occurring in the tropical upper troposphere and in the arctic stratosphere. Full Story

GSD's FX-Net Team Receives Fire Weather Honor Award
November 17, 2005
The FX-Net Team received an Honor Award from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service's Predictive Services Program. Full Story

Briefing on Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Pilot Project
November 8, 2005
NOAA scientists from multiple groups and line offices met this week on November 7, 2005, in Silver Spring, MD, to discuss the development of new high-resolution , multi-sensor based satellite sea surface temperature products. Full Story

"Return to Flight" of NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Demonstration Aircraft
November 7, 2005
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and National Ocean Service scientists are again operating instruments on the NOAA Altair Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Demonstration Project off the west coast of the U.S.. Full Story

NOAA/OAR Scientist Receives Presidential Rank Award
November 1, 2005
Dr. Petrus (Pieter) Tans, Senior Scientist in the Global Monitoring Division of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL), will receive a Presidential Rank, Meritorious level award. Full Story

Two NOAA Scientists Earn Vienna Convention Award
October 31, 2005
Dan Albritton and Susan Solomon, of the Chemical Sciences Division of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory, have been recognized with the United Nations Environment Programme/World Meteorological Organization (UNEP/WMO) Vienna Convention Award. Full Story

2005 Antarctic Ozone Hole Rivals Deepest
October 20, 2005
According to NOAA's balloon soundings at the South Pole Station, this year's springtime Antarctic ozone hole was as severe as any on record in the past 10 years. The total column of ozone went from 266 Dobson Units (DU) on August 7 to a minimum of 110 DU on September 28 with the balloon ozonesondes indicating zero ozone in the 15-20 kilometer altitude range. The 2005 minimum was similar to that of 2003, the lowest in the 1994-2004 period. Full Story

Gases Trapped in Ice Cores Show Probable Influence of Ancient Humans
October 20, 2005
A NOAA Joint Institute scientist working in the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Global Monitoring Division (GMD) was a co-author of a recent report published in Science, 9 September, 2005, describing changes in the budget of atmospheric methane (CH4) over the past 2000 years. Full Story

NASA Award for ESRL/GSD's Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) Team
October 14, 2005
At the recent NASA Aviation Weather Accident Prevention Project Review meeting in Virginia, William R. Moninger, lead scientist for ESRL/GSD's TAMDAR efforts, received an award and GSD team members received certificates for "outstanding contributions to aviation weather safety research and development." Full Story

NOAA Collaboration on Aerosol Monitoring in China and South Africa
October 7, 2005
With funding from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), two aerosol syste ms designed and built by researchers at the NOAA ESRL Global Monitoring Division (GMD) have been deployed to remote sites in China and South Africa to measure a erosol properties relevant to global climate change. These new stations will expand NOAA's network of global aerosol monitoring sites which are necessary to decrease the uncertainties associated with aerosol radiative forcing and contribute to efforts to quantify climate forcing. Full Story

The Great Drying of Africa
Located just south of the scorching sands of the Sahara Desert is an expansive, semi-arid region of Africa called the Sahel. This sparsely vegetated area receives an average of four to eight inches of rainfall per year during its July to September monsoon season. During this warm time of year, summer rains are usually abundant with the heating of the sun. However, the Sahel experienced a severe drying trend during the last half of the 20th century that led to devastating drought during the 1970s and 1980s, and resulted in widespread famine and the loss of more than 1,000,000 human lives. Full Story

Planning for Air Quality and Climate Research in Texas
September 22, 2005
A planning meeting for the 2005-2006 Texas Air Quality Study/Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (TexAQS/GoMACCS) will be held October 11-12 in Austin, Texas. ESRL scientists will be among those in attendance at the meeting, which is being hosted and organized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Full Story

NOAA Halocarbon Intercomparison Tanks Reach Australia and South Africa
September 21, 2005
Two sets of halocarbon gases in pressurized cylinders prepared by the NOAA/Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL), that form the core of the International HALocarbons in Air Comparison Experiment (IHALACE), reached research laboratories in South Africa and Australia in September (their furthest points south). The cylinders will return to NOAA/CMDL near the end of 2005 after having traveled the globe being measured by laboratories in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Full Story

Sensor Demonstrates Hydrological Mapping Capabilities During SMEX04/NAME
September 21, 2005
Airborne remotely-sensed measurements of soil moisture provide a valuable new means of quantifying the surface moisture state. Surface soil moisture maps can be used to understand runoff and storage mechanisms and assess runoff potential during precipitation events, thus contributing an important flash flood warning capability. Trends in soil moisture also reflect climate and regional weather, and affect drought and fire danger levels. Full Story

FX-Net Used to Support Clean-up Efforts in the Aftermath of Katrina
September 12, 2005
FX-NET provides emergency response forecasters access to high-resolution satellite, radar, observational and weather prediction model data to assist with response to wildfires, chemical spills, and other catastrophes which threaten life, property, or other valuable resources. Full Story