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Science Features : 2017

 Unusual Variability in Tropical Measurements   Unusual Variability in Tropical Measurements Linked to the Unprecedented 2015-16 Disruption of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation
The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) consists of alternating easterly (east-to-west) and westerly (west-to-east) directions of the wind in the tropical stratosphere with an average period of 28 months.
 Ground-Level Ozone Smog Sensitive to Two Key Ingredients  Ground-Level Ozone Smog Sensitive to Two Key Ingredients
Satellite observations of Aura OMI formaldehyde and Nitrogen Dioxide to identify areas that would benefit more from reducing Nitrogen Oxide emissions versus reducing Volatile Organic Compound emissions.
A Decade of Changes in Nitrogen Oxides over U.S. Regions of Oil and Natural Gas  A Decade of Changes in Nitrogen Oxides over U.S. Regions of Oil and Natural Gas (ONG) Activity
This study shows the effect that shale oil and natural gas operations has had on tropospheric Nitrogen Dioxide levels in the Central Plains, and indicates the potential consequences for regional air quality.
Using Aura OMI data to map cancer risks from formaldehyde Using Aura OMI data to map cancer risks from formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is the top hazardous air pollutant of concern to EPA. It has a large natural atmospheric source from the oxidation of isoprene, a volatile organic compound emitted from trees, especially in the Southeast US.
The Nature of Ozone in Deep Convective Clouds  The Nature of Ozone in Deep Convective Clouds
Ozone within deep convective clouds is controlled by several factors involving photochemical reactions and transport. Gas-phase photochemical reactions and heterogeneous surface chemical reactions involving ice, water particles, and aerosols inside the clouds all contribute to the distribution and net production and loss of ozone.
 India Is Overtaking China as the World's Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide India Is Overtaking China as the World's Largest Emitter of Anthropogenic Sulfur Dioxide
Sulfate commonly makes up >10% of the fine particles in China and India, often much more during heavy pollution episodes. To predict and mitigate air pollution, air quality models require accurate information on the emissions of SO2 and other pollutants.
 Improvement in modeled tropospheric ozone Improvement in modeled tropospheric ozone
Tropospheric ozone is an important climate gas and an air pollutant. It plays a major role in tropospheric chemistry, such as serving as the main source for the hydroxyl radical, the atmosphere's primary oxidant.
science feature Decreasing Nitrogen Dioxide Levels
The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) animation of observations of decreasing nitrogen dioxide
science feature Long-Term Global Sulfur Dioxide Pollution Monitoring
From the Ozone Monitoring Instrument to the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite : As Aura has entered the stage of extended mission and OMI has lost part of its spatial coverage due to instrument issues, it is critical to continue the global anthropogenic sulfur dioxide record with new instruments.
science feature New-generation OMI Volcanic Sulfur Dioxide Dataset and continuation with SNPP OMPS
As compared with the previous OMI data product, this new version significantly reduces retrieval bias for large volcanic eruptions and improves data quality for small degassing volcanoes.
science feature NASA Sulfur Dioxide Data Featured in New Volcanic Eruption Visualization
The Global Volcanism Program at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History has created a new Eruptions, Earthquakes and Emissions web visualization using NASA volcanic sulfur dioxide data from multiple satellites.
science feature Study Estimates ~100,000 Premature Deaths from El Niño Fires in Equatorial Asia
GEOS-Chem adjoint study estimates ~100,000 premature deaths in Equatorial Asia due to severe, persistent smoke from the El Niño fires.
science feature N2O measurements are key to quantifying the photochemical and transport processes that affect Arctic spring ozone
The Arctic seasonal evolution of simulated O3 and the long lived trace gas N2O from the Global Modeling Initiative Chemistry and Transport Model (GMI CTM) both closely agree with MLS observations for all years since Aura's launch in 2004.
science feature Large ozone holes will continue to occur in very cold Antarctic winters until 2040
The next three decades will see an end of the era of big ozone holes. In a new study, scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center say that the ozone hole will be consistently smaller than 8 million square miles by the year 2040.
science feature The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation in Tropical Winds Controls Chlorine Variability inside the Antarctic Ozone Hole
A decade of MLS Nitrous oxide reveals a remarkable transport pipeline from the midlatitude middle stratosphere to the Antarctic lower stratosphere, allowing tropical winds to modulate how much chlorine reaches the Antarctic ozone hole each year.

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Aura In the News

NASA Satellite Tracks Ozone Pollution by Monitoring Its Key Ingredients
11.06.2017 - New NASA-funded research has devised a way to use satellite measurements of the precursor gases that contribute to ozone formation to differentiate among three different sets of conditions that lead to its production.

Warm Air Helped Make 2017 Ozone Hole Smallest Since 1988
11.02.2017 - Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth's ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced.

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