NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences

“21st Century Challenges for Long-Term Monitoring” draws atmospheric scientists from around the world

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More than 250 people attended ESRL’s Global Monitoring Annual Conference in May, presenting dozens of talks and posters on atmospheric trends and analyses, many of them derived from ESRL-collected data. For three days, researchers from 19 countries discussed regional emissions of greenhouse gases, how best to interpret data showing a rise in global methane levels, and the dynamics and speed of the ozone layer’s recovery.

“First: thanks,” said Barry Huebert, a professor of oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who gave a research talk. Huebert used data from NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) to analyze patterns in atmospheric particles called aerosols, which can influence both air quality and climate. “The staff at MLO is fantastic,” Huebert said. “It’s hard to imagine how much they do there, and how much we all rely on them.” ESRL’s Global Monitoring Division operates Mauna Loa as one of five baseline atmospheric observatories that stretch from northern Alaska to the Antarctic. The others are in Barrow, Alaska; Trinidad Head, Calif.; American Samoa; and the South Pole.

Jim Butler, director of ESRL’s Global Monitoring Division, opened the 36th annual monitoring conference with a commitment to continue and improve upon the division’s atmospheric monitoring, data collection, and analysis. Below are summaries from a few talks.

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