I. Atmospheric Sciences
1. Looking Up: Taking Photos May Improve Climate Models
Snapshots of clouds taken from the ground reveal orders of magnitude more detail than satellites.
2. Meteorologists Track Wildfires Using Satellite Smoke Images
Enhancements to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's decision support system give forecasters new capabilities for tracking smoke from fires using satellite data.
3. Volcanic Ash Particles Hold Clues to Their History and Effects
Volcanic Ash as an Active Agent in the Earth System (VA3): Combining Models and Experiments; Hamburg, Germany, 12–13 September 2016
4. Responding to Climate Change Deniers with Simple Facts and Logic
A sequence of five questions and answers that can be used by scientists to communicate some simple concepts of climate change to broader audiences.
II. Science Policy
1. Scientists, Legislators Take Off Their Gloves at Climate Hearing
Although scientists bickered about the science, all agreed that cutting federal funding for climate monitoring and associated research is not a good idea.
III. Hydrology, Cryosphere & Earth Surface
1. Stream Network Geometry Correlates with Climate
A "big data" analysis of nearly 1 million river junctions in the contiguous United States shows that branching angles in dendritic drainages vary systematically between humid and arid regions.
2. Mysterious "Fairy Circles" Continue to Enchant Scientists
Researchers revisit an old theory about the ethereal patterns of vegetation that form in some arid landscapes.
3. Incoming Editor Seeks Interdisciplinary, Collaborative Research
Martyn Clark, incoming editor in chief for Water Resources Research, foresees interdisciplinary and collaborative hydrology research, increased article impact, and an improved article review process.
IV. Hazards & Disasters
1. Balloons of Lava Bubble into the Ocean from Seafloor Blisters
These peculiar features of submarine volcanic eruptions could be the result of undersea lava lakes.
V. Ocean Sciences
1. How the Deep, Cold Currents of the Labrador Sea Affect Climate
Seventeen years of ocean current data link global atmospheric and oceanic circulation.
VI. Climate Change
1. High Arctic Emissions of a Strong Greenhouse Gas
Isotope data bring scientists one step closer to revealing the microbial processes behind nitrous oxide emission in the tundra.
VII. Natural Resources
1. Global Drought Clustering Could Mean Big Losses for Mining
Long-term climate records could help mining companies and their investors assess the financial risk of water shortages.
VIII. Geophysical Research Letters
1. Ambient observations of dimers from terpene oxidation in the gas phase: Implications for new particle formation and growth
We present ambient observations of dimeric monoterpene oxidation products (C16–20HyO6–9) in gas and particle phases in the boreal forest in Finland in spring 2013 and 2014, detected with a chemical ionization mass spectrometer with a filter inlet for gases and aerosols employing acetate and iodide as reagent ions. These are among the first online dual-phase observations of such dimers in the atmosphere. Estimated saturation concentrations of 10−15 to 10−6 μg m−3 (based on observed thermal desorptions and group-contribution methods) and measured gas-phase concentrations of 10−3 to 10−2 μg m−3 (~106–107 molecules cm−3) corroborate a gas-phase formation mechanism. Regular new particle formation (NPF) events allowed insights into the potential role dimers may play for atmospheric NPF and growth. The observationally constrained Model for Acid-Base chemistry in NAnoparticle Growth indicates a contribution of ~5% to early stage particle growth from the ~60 gaseous dimer compounds.
IX. AGU Blogs
1. Research links decline in hemlock forests to changes in water resources
An insect infestation killing hemlock trees in New England is having a significant impact on essential water supplies in one of the nation’s most populous regions, a new study finds. The study is the first to show an increase in water yield, the amount of water reaching streams and rivers, resulting from forest damage caused by an insect pest called the hemlock woolly adelgid.
2. Impending weak solar activity could expose aircrews to higher radiation levels
Aircrews and frequent fliers may soon experience an uptick in radiation exposure due to the upcoming low point in the solar cycle, when weak solar activity provides less protection against cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.
3. Untangling Uranus’s topsy-turvy magnetosphere
New observations of Uranus being buffeted by shock waves from the sun have revealed auroral activity and fresh clues to the workings of the seventh planet’s unusual magnetosphere, the region of space dominated by its magnetic field.
4.Lightning could be sending powerful electromagnetic radiation into space
During a thunderstorm, lightning that hits the ground may be shooting powerful electromagnetic radiation skyward. At least that is the new theory from a physicist in China who specializes in laser-plasma interactions
5. New study shows how impacts generated Martian tsunamis
A study published last year interpreted images of the red planet and suggested the deposits were made by impact-generated tsunamis more than 3 billion years ago. In a new study, Costard and his colleagues independently build on that work by including the geological characteristics of the deposits and modeling how impact-generated tsunamis could have created them. They conclude the deposits may have come from asteroids slamming into a northern ocean billions of years ago, generating waves 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet) high.