Dr. Hyun Cheol Kim visited the National Institute of Environmental Research, Korea for a project progress meeting. In collaboration with Ajou University, ARL scientists (Drs. Hyun Cheol Kim, Tianfeng Chai and Fong Ngan) have worked on the Korea-Monitoring Emissions Modeling System (K-MEMs) project which aims to design a framework of State Implementation Plan in Korea. He also gave invited talks at the Korea institute of Nuclear Safety and the Korea Institute of Atmospheric Prediction systems, on the recent approaches in HYSPLIT modeling system.

Mark Cohen completed the report Modeling Atmospheric Mercury Deposition to the Great Lakes: Analysis for 2011, a final technical report for work conducted with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The analysis described in the report estimates the amount and source-attribution for mercury deposition to the Great Lakes for 2011 using the HYSPLIT-Hg model, a special version of the NOAA HYSPLIT model developed to simulate the fate and transport of atmospheric mercury. Direct anthropogenic contributions from active sources emitting mercury to the air ranged from ~40% for Lake Erie to ~25% for Lake Superior. If indirect contributions are included, arising from re-emissions of previously deposited emissions, anthropogenic sources likely contributed 70% or more of the atmospheric deposition to each of the Great Lakes in 2011. Model estimates indicate that U.S. emissions continue to contribute more to the Great Lakes than any other country. However, the contribution from U.S. sources has declined significantly in recent years due to decreased mercury emissions. The modeling methodology was evaluated by comparison of results with ambient measurements of mercury concentrations and deposition, including data from ARL’s long-term mercury measurement sites at Beltsville (MD), Grand Bay (MS), and the Mauna Loa Observatory (HI). Despite numerous uncertainties in simulation and measurement data, results were encouragingly consistent with observations. The project is continuing with a collaboration with NOS Office of Response and Restoration to include the results of the analysis into the Environmental Management and Response Application (ERMA) system. Work to incorporate the results into Great Lakes ERMA is ongoing. (mark.cohen@noaa.gov)

Pius Lee attended the International Aerosol Modeling Algorithms Conference in U.C. Davis and gave a talk in the Particulate Matter (PM) Modeling for Policy Assessment Section. Pius’ talk entitled: “Implementation, evaluation, and impact of the U.S. PM concentration forecast by NOAA”. The presentation was well received as the increasing interest in PM modeling related to weather, public health and ecosystem feedback provides impetus for furthering PM sciences in both the modeling and observational disciplines. NOAA’s National Air Quality Forecasting Capability (NAQFC) PM forecast at present emphasizes the public health outcomes. NAQFC provides a means to protect and minimize harm of poor air quality for sensitive groups. However, the same PM sciences can be used to study weather and ecological impacts caused by the changes in atmospheric composition — where PM is a critical constituent. The latest version of the Community Multiple-scale Air Quality Model (CMAQ version 5.2) to be used by NAQFC was discussed for a potential advancement in PM forecast as well as capturing PM concentrations to modulate weather and other earth systems.


On December 5, 2017, ATDD’s Howard Diamond had a conversation with James Geppner, Executive Director of an organization called Erase40 (http://erase40.org); the conversation was an outgrowth of an answer that Howard provided to a question posed by Mr. Geppner in Howard’s role in fielding questions for NOAA’s Climate Portal.  Erase40’s mission is to develop market-based initiatives that result in the widespread adoption of a low carbon building technology called Passive House. Adopting this technology may be one of the easiest and least costly ways to greatly reduce carbon emissions around the world. Buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of all carbon emissions in the U.S. and globally, but a switch to this low carbon building technology can reduce this number drastically.  Mr. Geppner contacted Howard to ask questions related to climate science as Erase40 believes that the adoption of passive house technology is the easiest mitigation tool available.  The intent of the conversation was that Erase40 would like to partner with climate scientists so that they can model the climate impact of different rates of adoption of Passive House technology.  They believe that people just saying they want to convert the building industry is worthless, and so they wanted to set targets and then develop plans to hit those targets.  So, Howard provided some basics of the climate science with respect to climate change, and in particular pointed Mr. Geppner to resources on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) web site at http://ipcc.ch, where IPCC Working Group III (dealing with mitigation activities) has an entire chapter related to buildings and climate change, and Howard stepped him through that.  Mr. Geppner indicated that the conversation more than met his expectations, and that he was thankful for the information received.  He indicated that it “offered validation for our approach and listed some research that will be important to us.”


Karen Balecha attended the EEO/Diversity Committee training for ARL.  This training helped to define the roles and responsibilities of committee members and, when necessary, to advise management on EEO related issues.  The face-to-face meeting also connected new members to the rest of the committee.  She also attended the Diversity & Inclusion Summit held in Silver Spring.  The summit included discussions of recruiting, retaining, and supporting the advancement of talent within the agency as well as how to be a successful leader.

James Wood and Walt Schalk continued the latest round of station instrumentation calibration/verification, 2 were completed this week as well as swapping out a sonic anemometer that had a broken emitter/receiver.

DOE Meteorological Coordinating Council (DMCC): Walt Schalk prepared and distributed pre-call notes, finalized the agenda, and conducted a DOE Meteorological Coordinating Council conference call.  The call consisted of: a round robin update of program status of those on the call, a discussion on the path forward with the new DOE Order, recent DMCC activities and projects, and some information about the 2018 EMI-SIG meeting.

Walt Schalk and Rick Lantrip participated in an emergency response Exercise as the Consequence Assessment Team (CAT) for the NNSA Nevada Field Office. The exercise was conducted on the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). For this exercise, Walt and Rick generated dispersion products in real time based on the worst case event scenario information provided for the event.  The exercise event involved radiological materials.  These events were conducted with the DOE/NNSA/NFO Emergency Response Organization.  James Wood participated as a controller/evaluator.

Walt Schalk participated in a planning meeting for the Airborne Diagnostics to be fielded for the Dry Alluvium Geology series of Source Physics Experiments next year.  The purpose of this meeting was to lay out all of the assets that will be fielded and to deconflict or prepare to deconflict any airspace issues.  Numerous balloons, UAVs, and aircraft will be used during the experiment.

Walt Schalk participated in a meeting to prepare for the completion of the Vulnerability Screening for the NNSS in support of the Site Sustainability/Climate Resiliency project.