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Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change
  • Dr. Ghassem Asrar

    Ghassem Asrar Selected Chair of ERA4CS Expert Panel

    Dr. Ghassem R. Asrar, scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, was selected chair of the international European Research Area for Climate Services (ERA4CS) Experts Panel. His background in the fundamental understanding of the connections between human activities and Earth's land, oceans, ice, and atmosphere will provide invaluable insight for the panel's deliberations.

  • Meredydd Evans

    PNNL Team Contributes to Outstanding Project Award at EPA

    Meredydd Evans and her team at PNNL's Joint Global Change Research Institute, including Nazar Kholod and Sha Yu, contributed the methods and project skills that earned an Office of International and Tribal Affairs Award for the Environmental Protection Agency's project on black carbon.

  • night lights over Greater Beijing Metropolitan Area

    Beijing's Growing Urban Area Spells Rain Change

    Atmospheric researchers at PNNL found that the impact of urbanization around Beijing, China, creates two opposite regional effects, one of which dictates seasonal rainfall in the area. Urbanization increases particle emissions from combustion that impact clouds and suppress rainfall in the upwind area while increasing it in the downwind area. The urban heat island effect to increase regional temperatures had less of an impact on rainfall.

  • 2009 Flooding of Snoqualmie River, Washington

    More Frequent Extreme Precipitation Ahead

    Researchers at PNNL found that Western North America and Canada can expect a 28 percent increase in the number of extreme precipitation days, thanks to global climate warming. In addition, the wintertime storm systems that often carry those extreme rainy days will hit the coast 35 percent more often in the future. The response to warming they found is well beyond what is expected just in the natural climate variability.

  • teahouse on top of Mt. Hua in China

    Pollution Stifles Wind, Squelches Rain

    Scientists at PNNL found that human-caused air pollution suppresses up to 40% of the precipitation over Mt. Hua during one month in the summer. The major force responsible for the decline of mountain precipitation is the heavy pollution that interacts with sunlight energy to weaken the valley breeze and reduce surface moisture.

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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