Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)
December 28, 2012
The CDIAC is the primary global-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It contains information on concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radioactively active gases in the atmosphere; the role of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases; emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; long-term climate trends; the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on vegetation; and the vulnerability of coastal areas to rising sea level.
Twice per day NOAA's National Weather Services publishes digital maps that show national forecasts for ozone, smoke, and dust. Ozone is shown as 1-hour and 8-hour concentrations. Official Air Quality point forecasts, issued by state and local air quality forecasters, along with additional information on air quality can be found under EPA's AIRNow site. Surface and column-averaged concentrations of predicted smoke for large fires are displayed as 1-hour averages, updated each day.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center provides daily forecast maps of Ultraviolet (UV) Index for 58 U.S. cities, colored coded to their anticipated level of exposure. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to the sun's UV radiation may result in acute and chronic health effects on our skin, eyes, and immune system.
The NOAA Smoke Forecasting System integrates satellite information on the location of wildfires with weather data inputs from the North American Mesoscale model and smoke dispersion simulations. The result is a daily prediction of smoke transport and concentration 48 hours into the future. The model also incorporates U.S. Forest Service estimates for wildfire smoke emissions based on vegetation cover.
Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series
December 27, 2012
The Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series, published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, gives a straightforward overview of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies that local governments can use to achieve economic, environmental, social, and human health benefits. The series covers energy efficiency, transportation, community planning and design, solid waste and materials management, and renewable energy.
Atmospheric pollution manifests itself in many ways, ranging from reduced visibility to dangerous respiratory problems and discomfort. Atmospheric pollution can be gaseous (e.g. ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and/or particulate (e.g. soot, dust). The degree of pollution is dependent on a number of factors: source, transport from source, and build up over time through air stagnation. The stagnation index maps show where in the United States air has stagnated, leading to potential impacts on human and environmental health.
The National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. These products include forecast and warnings of environmental events that can impact human health, such as excessive heat, flooding, severe cold, and more.
When both temperature and humidity are high, humans can experience considerable heat stress. In the U.S., extreme heat may have greater impact on human health, especially among the elderly, than any other type of severe weather.
This activity addresses naturally occurring climate change involving ENSO (El-NiÃo Southern Oscillation). In this activity, students play the role of a policy maker in Peru. First, they determine what sort of ENSO variation is occurring. Then, they must decide how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for possible weather-related problems.