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November 20th, 2013

Methane paper wins NOAA Outstanding Scientific Paper Award

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded a team of scientists, including INSTAAR director James White, with the most recent Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Outstanding Scientific Paper Award.

The team, including scientists from NOAA, NCAR, CIRES, and the Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares, Brazil, looked at measurements of atmospheric methane from air samples collected weekly at dozens of sites from around the world. They found that, after a decade of near-zero growth, methane in the atmosphere increased in 2007 and 2008, mostly likely driven by high arctic temperatures and tropical rainfall. They published their results in the paper “Observational constraints on recent increases in the atmospheric CH4 burden” in Geophysical Research Letters.

Reviewers from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research deemed the paper to be “one of the most original, important, useful, and best written” research articles, noting that it highlighted NOAA’s commitment to the value of long-term environmental data. The 2009 paper has already been cited more than 130 times.

Lead author was Ed Dlugokencky of the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder; co-authors include Lori Bruhwiler, Louisa Emmons, Paul Novelli, Steve Montzka, Ken Masarie, Patricia Lang, Andy Crotwell, John Miller, and Luciana Vanni Gatti.