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Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change
  • space station picture of Himalayas

    Soot Sources and the Tibetan Plateau

    A new method developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory tagged sources of soot from different global regions in a climate model, and tracked where it lands on China's Tibetan Plateau. Researchers determined which areas around the plateau contributed the most soot-and where. The technique also pointed to the most effective way to reduce soot on the plateau to ease the amount of warming the region undergoes.

  • Dr. Phil Rasch

    Rasch, Ghan, and Easter Named to 2015 List of Highly Cited Researchers

    Three PNNL scientists, all experts in Earth systems analysis and modeling, have been named to the prestigious Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers 2015 for Geosciences. Honored are researchers Drs. Phil Rasch, Steven Ghan, and Richard Easter.

  • brown haze over Mexico City

    The Color of Smog

    Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory determined that high concentrations of nitrogen oxides influence the creation of the brown haze that hangs over the world's megacities. Their work provides new insights that can create higher accuracy climate and atmospheric models.

  • Niagra river through urban area

    Proud Model: Rolling on the River

    PNNL researchers led a study to couple a newly developed river-routing model with an Earth system model and compare the simulated streamflow against the observed streamflow from over 1,600 major worldwide river stations. The new toolset will facilitate understanding the feedbacks between human and Earth systems and their potential impacts on the water and nutrient cycle at a regional and global scale.

  • satellite photo of tropical cyclone

    Sizing Up Cyclones

    A PNNL-led research team modified the current formula to calculate the Potential Intensity of tropical hurricanes by including the effects of upper-ocean mixing, sea-surface cooling, and salinity during a cyclone. The improved formula nearly doubles the accuracy in forecasting tropical cyclone intensification. With widespread social and economic impacts associated with a cyclone's power, improving the accuracy of tropical cyclone forecasts is of paramount importance for mitigating damage.

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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