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Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change
  • BVOCs emitted into the atmosphere

    Capturing those Beguiling BVOCs

    Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and their collaborators used a "mash-up" of several models to simulate BVOCs and compare them to real-life observations. The coupled system reasonably simulated the BVOCs, and using sensitivity experiments they showed that land surface formulas in the models do influence how BVOCs are simulated, but the impact is much smaller than the influence of vegetation distribution.

  • soot pollution in the Russian Arctic near Mumansk

    Estimates of Diesel Soot Pollution Will Help Arctic Environment

    Researchers at PNNL and EPA estimated black carbon emissions from diesel sources in Russia during 2014. Even though on-road vehicles consumed 70 percent of the diesel fuel, they produced only 42 percent of the soot emissions because of new emission standards. They found that recent diesel vehicle emission standards are reducing those emissions in the climate-sensitive Arctic region.

  • irrigating fields with water uses energy

    A Global View of Energy Use
    for Water

    Researchers at PNNL, working at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, led a first-of-its-kind study to fill a knowledge gap in global energy for water. They quantified its use from 1973 to 2012 with details about water sources, and by market sector, global region, and process-level uses. They found that energy for water has been rapidly increasing across the globe with high consumption in regions of USA, Middle East, China, and India, with the largest share in the municipal sector.

  • Amazon River with ARM sites marked near Manaus

    Laying a Baseline
    for Convective Challenges

    PNNL researchers and collaborators quantified the spatial representativeness of the field campaign sites used during the observations and modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon 2014-2015 experiment. Their work paves the way for next steps in determining how much human-caused emissions affect the otherwise pristine environment of the Amazon.

  • sugary molecules hop aboard floating oily molecules

    Sugar Hitches a Ride
    on Organic Sea Spray

    PNNL researchers and collaborators found a "sticky" strategy binds organic sugar-like molecules to floating fatty molecules on the sea surface which can be flung into the atmosphere by bursting bubbles. This mechanism may explain the discrepancies between models and the actual sea spray aerosol composition measurements that influence the amount of sunlight reflected by marine clouds.

How do human activities and natural systems interact to affect the Earth's climate? Ultimately, that is the question challenging scientists in PNNL’s Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division.

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