NCAR Highlights

NCAR Highlights

For the latest news releases, as well as fact sheets on NCAR science, lists of experts in NCAR’s various research fields, multi-media (movies, visualizations, illustrations, and photos), and recent press clippings visit the NCAR & UCAR News Center.

Press inquiries? Contact the Media Office.

Feature Stories

When it comes to conveying the excitement of a career in science to students, there is no substitute for direct interaction and involvement. Two years ago, the NCAR Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL), in collaboration with CLACE (Centro Latinoamericano para la Ciencia y Educacion) and its Nuestra Tierra Dinamica program, was awarded support from the NCAR Diversity Fund for “The NCAR Careers Diversity Project,” a series of activities designed to engage Latino and other K-12 students, and expose them to atmospheric research and related sciences.

Over the past 20 years, the effects of changing climate on indigenous people have increasingly grabbed the attention of the world’s decision makers and scientists. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report on the impacts of climate change specifically considers how indigenous groups in different world regions will manage these changes, while the U.S. National Climate Assessment included for the first time a chapter devoted to these issues.

Most groups take pride in gaining recognition for their efforts. For the Health, Environment and Safety Services (HESS) at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), however, this is not the case. “Success is best measured by not being noticed by the institution, it means we’re doing our jobs,” says Milenda Powers the team’s manager.

In 2000, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame laid out a bold course of action for his nation to reach middle-income status by 2020.[1] Nicknamed “The Digital President,” Kagame’s plan focuses on Rwanda’s human capital, with special attention to its students, along with development of information technology and communications. Rwanda, and other African nations will require skilled scientists, technicians, engineers, and researchers to help these countries achieve their desired economic goals and intellectual capacity.

Prepping for the class refreshes a scientists view of the basics

Four Questions for Wen-Chau Lee 

UCAR’s University Visits in Scientific Interaction and Teaching program launched in 2013, and the first participants are returning from their time with university partners. We checked in with Wen-Chau Lee, a senior scientist in the Earth Observing Laboratory who also manages EOL’s Remote Sensing Facility.

Humans and their emissions have an undeniable effect on global, regional, and local climate; however, natural climate variability introduces shades of gray into the prediction of future effects of climate change. Extreme events such as “Snowmageddon,” the series of blizzards that hit the U.S. East Coast in 2009-2010, or even Colorado’s cooler-than-normal 2013 summer demonstrate deviations from typical climate patterns.

Satellites are critical to many of the technological capabilities that global society has come to depend on. Global positioning systems provide essential navigation for land, sea, and air transportation, weather satellites collect data critical for predicting severe weather on Earth, and communications satellites broadcast television and radio transmissions into living rooms worldwide. However, society often takes satellite capability for granted.

Water is a precious commodity underpinning not only the U.S. economy, but also the quality of life here. The U.S. federal agencies managing the availability and distribution of this basic necessity face a variety of challenges every year in ensuring a high-quality, always-ready resource to meet public and private demands, and to manage highly changeable flood risks and drought responses around the nation.

Since the dawn of the Space Age in the 1950s, solar maxima have coincided with strong upticks in sunspot activity but the current cycle, Cycle 24, which was expected to peak in Spring of 2013, has been unusually quiet. Solar activity remained at a moderate level, making it one of the weakest cycles in the past 100 years, as evidenced by the low number of sunspots appearing on the Sun's surface. With fewer and smaller sunspots, weaker magnetic fields that are associated with the sunspots, and less outgoing (radiative) energy, many wonder what might be causing the Sun's quiescence.

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NCAR & UCAR News

VAPOR scientific visualization of Hurricane KatrinaThe collaboration will expand visualization capabilities in the bio- and geosciences, thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education will ensure the long-term sustainability of NSDL.
 Photo of Ubari Oasis in southern LibyaNew research demonstrates that an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations thousands of years ago was a key factor in causing substantially more rainfall in two major regions of Africa.
As the foundation continues its focus on commercialization of research, it welcomes a new chair and two new members to its board of directors.
Participants in Super Science SaturdayThe popular day of science and family fun at NCAR's Mesa Lab focuses this year on how we measure the weather.
GPS sensor installed on Niwot Ridge, CO, to measure snow depthThe scientists who developed an innovative way to use GPS technology for moisture measurements have won one of the world's most prestigious awards for innovations related to water resources.
 Students using laptops in classroom at University Laboratory High School in Urbana, ILA software platform enabling on-demand creation of customizable curricula using curated open education resources will get a development boost from a new agreement between EdTrex, the University of Colorado, and UCAR.
Solar panels being installed on U.S. DOE buildingA cutting-edge wind and solar energy forecasting system that has saved electricity consumers $40 million to date has won a prestigious 2014 Colorado Governor’s Award.
 A farm in India, misty hills in backgroundU.S. atmospheric researchers and counterparts at the India Ministry of Earth Sciences will collaborate to advance weather forecasting and technology under a new agreement.
Job fair for veterans, people with disabilities, at UCARThe job fair, co-sponsored by UCAR, Workforce Boulder County, and the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, will take place at UCAR's Center Green campus.

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