ARL Weekly News – October 6, 2017
Mark Cohen will be presenting a NOAA/NOS Science Seminar on Oct 24, 2017 entitled: Mercury in the Great Lakes: Can We Explain Trends? Many top predator fish in the Great Lakes (GL) have mercury (Hg) concentrations high enough to pose risks to public health and to fish-eating wildlife. Atmospheric mercury emissions and subsequent atmospheric mercury deposition is the largest current loading pathway for Hg to the GL, and newly introduced Hg may be more bioavailable than legacy contamination. Emissions, atmospheric concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury have been decreasing in recent years in the United States and Canada, but concentrations of mercury in some Great Lakes fish have been increasing. Why is this happening? This talk will discuss recent measurement and modeling results as well as possible explanations for this puzzling development. More information about the seminar can be found here, including details for webinar access.
Daniel Tong gave an invited talk (remotely) to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Pan American Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (WMO SDS-WAS) Workshop held from October 3-5, 2017 in the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Bridgeton, Barbados. His talk, titled “Dust Observations and Forecasting in the western United States”, introduced the newly developed ARL dust climatology and ongoing dust forecasting activities in partnership with the National Weather Service. Daniel has also accepted the invitation to sit in the SDS-WAS Regional Steering Group. He has previously participated in numerous WMO activities, including the GURME near-real-time data project and co-authoring a 2016 United Nation report “Global Assessment of Sand and Dust Storms”, jointly published by WMO, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). 
FRD is collaborating with staff and students at Washington State University and former ARL Director Bruce Hicks to investigate the meteorological observations collected during the total solar eclipse on 21 August. At the 60 m Grid 3 tower, the eclipse caused a roughly 20-30 m deep temperature inversion to develop at the surface. This resulted in an 80% drop in turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) at the 2 m level. The TKE at 60 m dropped about 30% due to the collapse of larger-scale thermally generated eddies in the boundary layer. With the reduced turbulence and surface coupling, the wind speed profile on the tower steepened significantly within the first 30 m above the ground. Further analysis is ongoing.
The division is planning to meet with staff from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Air Quality Program. One of the NOAA/INL Mesonet stations is located on the Fort Hall Reservation south of Idaho Falls, and the Tribes have also installed particulate samplers at this location. Among the concerns at the reservation is potential pollution coming either from activities at the Idaho National Laboratory or from industries near Pocatello. The Tribes air quality staff is interested in participating in training on the HYRad system.

A meeting was held on September 29th to evaluate the final three grid site locations in Alaska for the eventual installation of U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) stations in Alaska.  This is a milestone for the program, as all 29 selected grid points across the state of Alaska have been surveyed and evaluated for eventual installation of the last 8 stations through 2022; with the possibility of one additional station in 2023 as budgets allow.  The evaluation team consisted of scientists and engineers from ATDD; the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, NC; and the NWS Alaska Region Headquarters in Anchorage, AK, and the meeting was chaired by ARL’s Howard Diamond who serves as the USCRN Program Manager.  For more information please contact Howard Diamond at 301-427-2475.

On October 3rd, ATDD’s Howard Diamond, in his role as the U.S. National Coordinator for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), was invited to present an overview of the GCOS program – both internationally as well as with the latest on the U.S. GCOS effort – to the U.S. Global Change Research Program’ s (USGCRP) Observations Interagency Working Group  (ObsIWG).   The ObsIWG was  a key group in helping to complete the Climate Societal Benefit Area (a group co-chaired by Howard) annex for the Federal Government’s Earth Observation Assessment 2016 (EOA-2016) which was completed in December 2016.  The briefing went very well, and the new connections established will be a positive thing for helping to further any future national GCOS coordination with respect to atmospheric, oceanic, terrestrial, and remote sensing climate observing across the Federal Government.

On Thursday, 5 October, scientists at ATDD hosted a visit by a group of personnel representing NCAS (NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science). The meeting was held to explore potential collaborative research between NCAS members and ATDD.  Attending from NCAS included Dr. Vernon Morris, Director and Principal Investigator from Howard University, Ricardo Sakai, research associate from Howard U., and Dr. Jose Fuentes from Penn State University. Kafayat Olayinka and Zachary Moon, graduate students from Howard University were also in attendance.  Presentations were made by staff from both NCAS and ATDD, to provide background on current research activities and personnel involved. Part of the visit included a short field trip to KCRC (Knox County Radio Control) to demonstrate the DJI 1000, one of the drones in ATDD’s UAS fleet. Potential collaborative research projects were discussed with follow-up discussions planned in the near future. For more information contact or