Staff Notes Daily Announcements


TITLE: New Insights into Volatile Organic Compounds from Urban and Biomass Burning Sources

PRESENTER: Joost de Gouw, University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

ABSTRACT: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere can react to form important pollutants such as ozone and secondary organic aerosol, and can also have direct effects on human health. In this seminar, I will present several new insights into the sources and chemistry of VOCs in urban air and in biomass burning emissions. New analyses of VOC measurements in the Los Angeles basin made during the NOAA CalNex study will be presented with a focus on separating the effects of emissions and chemical transformations. Output from the 3-D chemistry-transport model WRF-Chem is used to evaluate our methods for data analysis. Emissions of several compounds were higher than explained by motor vehicle sources, and are attributed to emissions from the use of volatile chemical products, such as cleaners, glues, coatings, solvents and personal care products. These fugitive sources are now estimated to be one of the largest sources of reactive VOCs in urban air. Measurements of VOCs in biomass burning emissions were made at the Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, MT during the NOAA FIREX study. It will be shown how different processes such as distillation, and high- and low-temperature pyrolysis can explain the composition of VOC emissions for different fuels and phases of a burn. Finally, I will briefly discuss the development and characterization of new instrumentation for VOC measurements that have led to a new discovery phase in our science.

Date:  Monday, February 5, 2018
Time:  Refreshments 3:15pm, Seminar 3:30pm
NCAR Foothills Laboratory,  FL2-1022, Large Auditorium
Live webcast:

Posted by Bonnie Slagel at ext. 8318,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 to Monday, February 5, 2018

Title: Internal climate variability and potentially avoided impacts of the projected future regional sea level rise

Speaker: Aixue Hu, NCAR

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 11:00 a.m.
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

Observational evidence points to a warming global climate accompanied by rising sea levels. This sea level rise (SLR) imposes significant impacts on island and coastal communities, especially compounded with storm surges. Here, by analyzing two sets of ensemble simulations from a climate model, we investigate potential SLR that may be avoided if a lower emission scenario is followed instead of business-as-usual one over the 21st Century and how it may be modulated by internal climate variability. Results show almost no statistically significant difference in thermosteric and dynamic SLR on both global and regional scales in the near-term between the two scenarios, but statistically significant SLR reduction for the global mean and many regions later in the century (2061-2080). However, there are regions where the reduction is insignificant, such as the Philippines and west of Australia, associated with ocean dynamics and intensified internal variability due to external forcing. 

Posted by Barbara Middlebrook at ext. 1366,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Do you know a middle school girl? Do you know a middle school science teacher?

Please help spread the word about a fun event specifically for middle school girls!

On 24 February the 23nd annual "Expanding Your Horizons" conference for girls in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades  will take place.

Learn about careers involving engineering, math, science and technology through a day of hands-on workshops, and meet professional women. Find out what it’s like to be a crime scene investigator, build satellites, work on the ISS, disassemble hard drives, study the sun from far away, examine colorful fluids and much much more.

Where: At the University of Colorado, Boulder Engineering Center

When: Saturday, February 25, 2017      from   10 am to 2:30 pm

Parallel adult program is available on strategies for supporting girls’ academic success and paying for college

Registration now open:

For questions please contact Astrid Maute

Posted by Astrid Maute at ext. 1539,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 to Wednesday, January 31, 2018

News clips at a glance: January 6-19

Total: ~ 985; $1.15 million in advertising value
Summary: Cost of weather disasters, climate change and weather events, climate models, towering cumulus, government shutdown

Notable clips:
Insurers concerned about rising weather/climate costs (UCAR, Antonio Busalacchi)
New report shows weather disasters in 2017 cost more than $300 billion
(This story was picked up by several dozen local public radio stations)

Recent cold wave not due to climate change (CGD, Claudia Tebaldi)
USA Today
Recent cold snap was an extremely rare freak of nature
(Numerous other media outlets included mention of Claudia Tebaldi in related coverage)

Heat waves becoming more extreme (CGD, Jerry Meehl)
Hundreds of ‘boiled’ bats fall from sky in Australian heat wave
(This story was picked up by more than a dozen other news sites)

Evaluating climate models (CGD, Ben Sanderson)
Washington Post
Yes, global warming will be bad. But these scientists say it won’t reach the worst-case scenario
(Several other media outlets picked up this story)

Towering cumulus cloud photographed by astronaut (MMM, Peggy Lemone)
‘Castle Cloud’ caught in spectacular astronaut photo

Asteroid impact would have dire effects (ACOM, Charles Bardeen)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
‘Potentially hazardous’ monster asteroid will fly close to Earth
(Dozens of additional media outlets highlighted this story)

Government shutdown won’t immediately affect UCAR/NCAR (UCAR, David Hosansky)
Daily Camera
Boulder County federal workers brace for government shutdown

Social media highlights:
A pair of tweets (here and here) about a new NCAR study that finds that precipitation variability will increase substantially as the climate warms was seen by more than 4,000 people.

Posted by David Hosansky at ext. 8611,

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 to Monday, January 29, 2018

The city of Boulder has notified UCAR that the multi-use path east of Center Green will be closed for approximately two weeks beginning Monday, Jan. 22. The path, which crosses under Foothills Parkway, will be closed from Valmont Road to 47th Street.

The closure is necessary to allow the city's contractor to complete additional construction related to the ongoing Wonderland Creek Project. For more information on the project, see

Posted by Laura Snider at ext. 8605,

Monday, January 22, 2018 to Monday, February 5, 2018

Precipitation variability — the swing from dry to wet and back again — will continue to increase across the majority of the world's land area as the climate warms, according to a new study led by scientists at NCAR. The researchers expect precipitation variability to become greater from day to day, year to year, and even decade to decade. (Story by Senior Science Writer Laura Snider. Read more.)

Posted by Laura Snider at ext. 8605,

Monday, January 22, 2018 to Monday, January 29, 2018

Facing a medical challenge can be stressful enough without worrying whether you have the right diagnosis or the most effective treatment—especially when you consider that, according to the Institute of Medicine, it is likely that most of us will experience at least one diagnostic error in our lifetime.

UCAR is pleased to offer you the innovative medical benefit called Best Doctors.

Best Doctors is a better kind of second opinion service. It lets you get advice from the world’s leading physicians on everything from minor surgery and maternity challenges to more serious issues like cancer and heart disease. If you’re uncertain about a diagnosis or treatment, a Best Doctors clinician will take another look at your case and provide a confirmation or recommend a change.

What’s more: Best Doctors is 100% confidential and cost-free. It’s included in your benefits package and available at no charge to you and any of your dependents enrolled in the UCAR health plans – both Cigna and Kaiser throughout the United States. You don’t even have to make doctors’ appointments or travel. All of the Best Doctors services are provided over the phone or the Internet.

Please review the Best Doctors Web Page and Guide for additional information.

Posted by Laurie Carr at ext. 8702,

Monday, January 22, 2018 to Friday, February 2, 2018

Registration is now open for an NCAR/CISL series of four one-day workshops on Modern Fortran beginning Tuesday, February 6. Dan Nagle, CISL Consulting Services Group software engineer and a member of the U.S.  Fortran Standards Technical Committee, will provide the training at the NCAR Mesa Lab’s Fleischmann Building in Boulder.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computers with recent releases of gfortran, mpich, and opencoarrays. Each workshop will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. with an hour break at noon.

  • Scalar Fortran - February 6: Scope, definition, scalar declarations and usage, and interacting with the processor.
  • Vector Fortran - February 20: Arrays, storage order, elemental operations, and array intrinsics.
  • Object-Oriented Fortran - February 27: Derived types, defined operations, defined assignment, and inheritance.
  • Parallel Fortran - March 6: Coarray concepts, declarations, and usage; synchronization and treating failed images.

Use this form to register to attend one or more workshops. The workshops will not be webcast or recorded.

Posted by Cecilia Banner at ext. 1231,

Monday, January 22, 2018 to Tuesday, March 6, 2018

UCAR Human Resources provides a service for verifying employment and income to lenders, landlords, and others that you authorize to receive such information.  The service is contracted with InVerify, a third party that specializes in employment and income verifications.  InVerify provides secure, accurate, and timely access to employment and income information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To utilize InVerify, the employee provides the requestor (or verifier) with the authorization to contact InVerify directly by providing them with UCAR's code and specific employee data depending on the type of information being requested.  For complete instructions and FAQs, please visit the website:

Questions regarding this service may be directed to Martha Jones, x8715 ( or InVerify Customer Service, 1-866-295-7363.

Posted by Martha Jones at ext. 8715,

Thursday, January 18, 2018 to Friday, January 26, 2018

March 7, 2018, 8 AM - 12 PM

Corporate Technical Training Center
Center Green Campus, 3085 Center Green Drive (CG-2)
Boulder, CO 

There will be a four hour tutorial for wrf-python on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 8 AM to 12 PM. This tutorial provides a beginner friendly introduction to wrf-python for users of the Python programming language. The tutorial is free, but seating is limited to only 16 students, so registration is required. The deadline for registration is Febuary 21, 2018. The tutorial will be held in Boulder, Colorado. There is no travel support for this tutorial.

See the link below for more information and registration:


Posted by Bill Ladwig at ext. 1213,

Thursday, January 18, 2018 to Wednesday, February 21, 2018