2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

NCAR

Andrew Weekley demonstrates on-screen IODA;s capabilities of detecting bad data. Photo: Ca...

We rely so heavily on information gathered by satellites and weather instruments to help us program our daily lives, imagine what would happen if the data we received from these technologies went bad and foretold of cataclysmic outcomes in the days or weeks ahead? Panic could induce scenes on our streets reminiscent of Hollywood disaster movies. To avert such events - or just help get things right even if the forecast is more mundane - scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) have devised an innovative computational technique called Intelligent Outlier Detection Algorithm, or IODA, that draws on statistics, imaging, and other disciplines in order to detect errors in sensitive technological systems.  Read More

A construction crew paints a white roof in downtown Washington, D.C. (Image: Maria Jose-Vi...

Previous studies have indicated that painting the roofs of buildings white could be a low tech way to reduce global warming by reflecting the sun’s rays back into space. Now the first computer modeling study to simulate the impacts of white roofs on urban areas worldwide has added more weight to such a proposal indicating that painting every roof in a city entirely white could cool the world’s cities by an average of about 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.4 degrees Celsius.  Read More

The blue line shows estimates of Arctic temperatures over the last 2,000 years. The green ...

Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, new research indicates. The study, which incorporates geologic records and computer simulations, provides new evidence that the Arctic would be cooling if not for greenhouse gas emissions that are overpowering natural climate patterns. The international study, led by Northern Arizona University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), will be published in the September 4 edition of Science.  Read More

The beauty of sunspots has been revealed through the use of supercomputers (Photos: Matthi...

An international team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has created the first-ever comprehensive computer model of sunspots. It is hoped the use of the supercomputer modeling - the supercomputers undertake 76 trillion calculations per second - will help scientists unlock mysteries of the sun and its impacts on Earth.  Read More

An NCAR analysis of the storm that may have claimed Air France Flight 447. Its flight path...

Pilots routinely fly over remote stretches of ocean with almost no weather information, apart from a pre-flight briefing and updates every four hours. Yet this is where some of the worst turbulence and, as Air France Flight 447 tragically encountered on June 1, most intense weather occurs. The National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is developing a new system that combines satellite data, weather models and A.I. to identify and predict rapidly evolving storms, enabling pilots to avoid areas of potentially severe turbulence.  Read More

View from a specially outfitted C-130 aircraft operated by the National Center for Atmosph...

The climate change debate has focused our collective attention on the importance of understanding the complex workings of our planet's weather system, but there is still much we don't know. In this latest breakthrough, a UC San Diego-led team of atmospheric chemistry researchers has made the first-ever direct detection of biological particles within ice clouds. By providing insights into, for example, how particles from Asia effect rainfall in North America, the research aims to shed light on one of the most uncertain factors of climate modeling and enhance our understanding of atmospheric cooling and regional precipitation.  Read More

NCAR's AMSTAR digital storage library.

Analysis of the Earth’s climate relies on and generates a huge amount of data. No one knows this better than the folks at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), who have announced the arrival of AMSTAR, a new digital storage library that will preserve and protect 30 petabytes of valuable scientific data for the next 15 to 20 years. The new system, designed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. and based on the Sun StorageTek SL8500 Modular Library, will give NCAR five times its current storage capacity, enabling it to generate increasingly sophisticated computer studies of Earth’s climate.  Read More

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