Dinosaur-killing asteroid could have thrust Earth into 2 years of darkness

Aug. 21, 2017

Tremendous amounts of soot, lofted into the air from global wildfires following a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago, would have plunged Earth into darkness for nearly two years, according to a news release from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This event would have shut down photosynthesis, drastically cooled the planet and contributed to the mass extinction that marked the end of the age of dinosaurs.

solar instrument

$90 million solar instruments head to Florida for launch

Aug. 8, 2017

A solar instrument package designed and built by CU Boulder and considered a key tool to help monitor the planet’s climate has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a targeted November launch.

kris karnauskas

Flight to Philadelphia Encounters ‘Severe’ Turbulence, 10 Hurt

Aug. 7, 2017

An Americans Airlines flight from Greece to Philadelphia encountered "severe turbulence" shortly before landing Saturday that was so violent 10 people were taken to a local hospital for evaluation, the airline said.

Brian Toon

CU Boulder researcher seeks to extend understanding of nuclear winter

July 25, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump in December grabbed the attention of nuclear weapons experts and others across the world by commenting in a television interview, "Let it be an arms race."

mushroom cloud

Researchers to study environmental, human impacts of nuclear war

July 18, 2017

Scientists and students led by CU Boulder and Rutgers University are calculating the environmental and human impacts of a potential nuclear war using the most sophisticated scientific tools available. The lead researchers, CU Boulder Professor Brian Toon and Rutgers Professor Alan Robock, have been studying the threat in-depth for decades.

ATOC logo

ATOC Faculty Receive AGU Early Career Awards

June 28, 2017

Congratulations to ATOC faculty Kristopher Karnauskas (Ocean Scientists early Career Award) and Jan Lenaerts (Cryosphere Early Career Award) who have received accolades from groups representing their disciplines within the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest Earth and space science society. They have been chosen for this recognition for their innovative research, important contributions to promoting better understanding of their scientific fields, and meritorious work and service to their communities

cloud seeding

As drought looms, could this team of scientists prove cloud seeding works?

June 27, 2017

THE RESEARCHERS HAD ALREADY DONE FOUR FLIGHTS, earlier in January, before they saw the first hints of what they were looking for. The crew of meteorologists, atmospheric scientists, and students had converged near Idaho’s Snake River Basin, a horseshoe-shaped depression between ranges of the Rocky Mountains that is 125 miles at its widest point.

Cora Randall

Arvada 8-year-old ponders existence of mermaids, receives detailed letter from real scientist

June 15, 2017

"Your question about mermaids in an excellent one," the letter started, which was printed on official CU letterhead. "I'm glad you decided to ask our department for the answer."

wind mill

Offshore wind turbines vulnerable to Category 5 hurricane gusts

June 7, 2017

ATOC graduate student Rochelle Worsnop is the lead author of a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters assessing hurricane impacts on wind turbines. Offshore wind turbines built according to current standards may not be able to withstand the powerful gusts of a Category 5 hurricane, creating potential risk for any such turbines built in hurricane-prone areas, new University of Colorado Boulder-led research shows. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, highlights the limitations of current turbine design and could provide guidance for manufacturers and engineers looking to build more hurricane-resilient turbines in the future.

wind farm

Monitoring Wind in Portugal’s Mountains Down to Microscales

May 31, 2017

Researchers are now gathered for the Perdigão field campaign, an effort to study wind flow physics at scales down to tens of meters. The effort should help engineers harness wind energy in Europe.