After an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, on March 11, 2011, an unknown quantity of radioactive material was released into the surrounding air and sea.
Burning fossil fuels has led to a warmer, moister atmosphere and a shifting background for extreme weather and climate events, according to a study that analyzes noteworthy weather events from the last two years.
When a geomagnetic storm blasted Earth on January 24, commercial airlines redirected a handful of flights were originally routed to fly over the North Pole. Behind the scenes, NCAR scientists play a role in safety precautions such as these.
A new computer modeling study from NCAR investigates how an increase in shrubs in the Arctic may affect permafrost. Over the past few decades, a warming climate has meant that the Arctic’s grassy tundra is being increasingly overtaken by shrubs.
The effects of a warming climate on hail are largely unknown, as global climate models are too coarse in resolution to simulate hailstorms in detail. But a new modeling study now tackles this subject, looking at the future of hail in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains over the coming decades.
New research led by NCAR scientist Thomas Galarneau provides an in-depth analysis of two extreme weather events whose connection may come as a surprise: Russia’s intense heat wave in summer 2010 and the heavy rains that occurred simultaneously in Pakistan.
New research from NCAR is helping wind energy developers determine the best potential sites for capturing wind. Energy companies can lose money if they install turbines where winds are either too low to generate much power or so high that the turbines often need to be shut down to avoid damage.
NCAR scientists have performed one of the most detailed simulations ever of a massive tornado outbreak. They simulated two waves of tornadic storms that occurred on April 27,2011 in Alabama, the deadliest U.S. tornado day since 1925.
Climate change is not expected to affect the extent or frequency of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation over the 21st century, but it could worsen its impacts. That’s the conclusion of a modeling study published in Journal of Climate in September.
New research that involves NCAR's Bette Otto-Bliesner questions conventional wisdom with regard to massive iceberg discharges in the North Atlantic Ocean during the last glacial period, pointing toward climate rather than ice sheet instability as a cause.
A new study involving NCAR's Bette Otto-Bliesner looks at rising sea levels during the warmth of the last interglacial period (130,000 to 120,000 years ago) and finds that melting ice sheets contributed far more to rising sea levels than thermal expansion.
Prior to massive flooding early in 2011, long-term drought plagued the Australian state of Queensland . As part of a broad research program on cloud seeding, NCAR researchers have been steadily crunching data from a 2008–09 field project that looked into how to make the clouds drop more rain on the region.
The solar minimum that bottomed out from 2006 to 2010 was the longest and deepest since modern space observations began. Among other effects, it reorganized the areas of flux from open magnetic field lines that produce solar wind. NCAR postdoctoral researcher Liang Zhao is using data from the last two minima to revise a model of how open magnetic flux is transported through the solar atmosphere.
A new study led by NCAR’s Wei Yu and CU-Boulder’s Weiqing Han looks at the effects of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the largest source of intraseasonal (within one season) variability in the tropics, causing wet and dry periods to alternate.
A new study looks at how the anticipated recovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica and simultaneous increase in greenhouse gas concentrations will combine to affect weather and climate in the Southern Hemisphere.
Alaska is among the fastest-warming places on Earth, with its interior region warming the most statewide. A study by NCAR’s Shannon McNeeley looks at the vulnerability to climate change of native rural communities.
An international team of astronomers that includes NCAR’s Savita Mathur has observed mixed waves—a mixture of acoustic and gravity waves—that run all the way to the cores of red giant stars. Astronomers already knew that such waves (known as stellar oscillations) existed, but until now had only observed pure acoustic waves traveling through the outer parts of stars.
New research indicates that a regional nuclear war would deplete Earth’s protective ozone layer so profoundly that levels of ultraviolet radiation across the world would exceed levels now considered extreme.
A study led by NCAR postdoctoral researcher Jia Hu and Julia Klein from Colorado State University looks at the relationship between plants, water, carbon, and climate on the Tibetan Plateau, which is warming at a rate twice that of the global average.
Last year, a team of NCAR scientists verified that the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) can be used to depict seasonal snowfall in Colorado with a high degree of accuracy. Now the team is using WRF to forecast future snowfall.