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Accounting for Denver’s Ozone

Accounting for Denver’s Ozone

The first peer-reviewed study to quantify oil and gas emissions on Colorado's northern Front Range confirms that energy development is an important contributor to the region’s chronic ozone problem. The NOAA-CIRES research was published August 8 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

August 9, 2016 0 Comments
North Dakota’s Bakken oil and gas field leaking 275,000 tons of methane per year

North Dakota’s Bakken oil and gas field leaking 275,000 tons of methane per year

The Bakken oil and gas field is leaking a lot of methane, but less than some satellites report, and less than the latest Environmental Protection Agency inventory for petroleum systems, according to the researchers’ calculations. That's the finding of the first field study measuring emissions of this potent greenhouse gas from the Bakken, which spans parts of North Dakota and Montana. The work was published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

May 11, 2016 0 Comments
New NOAA-led study measures soot from North Dakota  flaring in oil and gas fields

New NOAA-led study measures soot from North Dakota flaring in oil and gas fields

In the lonely reaches of northwestern North Dakota and across the border into Saskatchewan, the vast Bakken oil field hosts extensive activities to extract both crude oil and natural gas. Business is booming—production increased by 30 percent between May 2013 and May 2014. More than a quarter of the total gas produced from the Bakken operations can’t be processed fast enough, though, and the common industry practice is to flare it—burn it off as it is vented to the atmosphere. Jutting 30 feet upward like enormous lit matchsticks, the flares pose a new question for atmospheric scientists: What do the flares put into the air? A new NOAA-led study has produced the first direct measurements of how much black carbon—a major component of airborne particles that are commonly referred to as soot —is emitted by the Bakken flaring operations.

September 9, 2015 0 Comments
Scientists probe methane mystery in Four Corners

Scientists probe methane mystery in Four Corners

A team of scientific investigators is now in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane hotspot detected from space by a European satellite. The joint project is working to solve the mystery from the air, on the ground, and with mobile laboratories.

April 7, 2015 0 Comments
Oil and Gas Wells Contribute Fuel for Ozone Pollution

Oil and Gas Wells Contribute Fuel for Ozone Pollution

Emissions from oil and natural gas operations north of Denver are releasing gases into the air that could add to ozone pollution in the region.

January 15, 2013 0 Comments
Research, response for future oil spills: Lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon

Research, response for future oil spills: Lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon


A special collection of articles about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill provides the first comprehensive analysis and synthesis of the science used in the unprecedented response effort by the government, academia, and industry.
December 3, 2012 0 Comments
Colorado’s governor awards scientists for air quality work during Gulf oil spill

Colorado’s governor awards scientists for air quality work during Gulf oil spill

A team of scientists from NOAA and the University of Colorado-CIRES will receive the governor’s Award for High-Impact Research for discoveries made during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis.

October 5, 2012 0 Comments
NOAA-led study: Colorado oil and gas wells emit more pollutants than expected

NOAA-led study: Colorado oil and gas wells emit more pollutants than expected

When NOAA scientists began routinely monitoring the atmosphere’s composition at a tower north of Denver a few years ago, their instruments immediately sniffed something strange: plumes of air rich with chemical pollutants including the potent greenhouse gas methane.

February 27, 2012 0 Comments
Utah’s winter air quality mystery

Utah’s winter air quality mystery

During the last two winters, air quality monitors near oil and gas fields in the Uintah Basin have picked up episodes of ozone pollution far in excess of federal health-based standards in the least likely time -- during winter. 

February 7, 2012 0 Comments
Chemical measurements confirm official estimate of Gulf oil spill rate

Chemical measurements confirm official estimate of Gulf oil spill rate

By combining detailed chemical measurements in the deep ocean, in the oil slick, and in the air, NOAA scientists and academic colleagues have independently estimated how fast gases and oil were leaking during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
January 9, 2012 0 Comments
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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

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