» Radiation

Earth Observatory: Global Maps

Sixteen maps with global views of key climate change systems. Can download animated comparisons of maps. Read More

Phytoremediation: Using Plants to Clean Soil

An article on the effects of and remediation attempts following the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant disaster in the Ukraine. Read More

Trends in Emissions of Ozone-Depleting Substances, Ozone Layer Recovery, and Implications for Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure.

This Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP 2.4) focuses on the Climate models. Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer by human-produced ozone-depleting substances has been recognized as a global environmental issue for more than three decades, and the international effort to address the issue via the United Nations Montreal Protocol marked its 20-year anniversary in 2007. Scientific understanding underpinned the Protocol at its inception and ever since. As scientific knowledge advanced and evolved, the Protocol evolved through amendment and adjustment. Policy-relevant science has documented the rise, and now the beginning decline, of the atmospheric abundances of many ozone-depleting substances in response to actions taken by the nations of the world. Projections are for a return of ozone-depleting chemicals (compounds containing chlorine and bromine) to their “pre-ozone-depletion” (pre-1980) levels by the middle of this century for the midlatitudes; the polar regions are expected to follow suit within 20 years after that. Since the 1980s, global ozone sustained a depletion of about 5 percent in the midlatitudes of both the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, where most of the Earth’s population resides; it is now showing signs of turning the corner towards increasing ozone. The large seasonal depletions in the polar regions are likely to continue over the next decade but are expected to subside over the next few decades. NOTE: This Synthesis and Assessment Product, described in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan, was prepared in accordance with Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Public Law 106-554) and the information quality act guidelines issued by the Department of Commerce and NOAA pursuant to Section 515 . Read More

Atomic Energy Act of 1954 [As Amended through P.L. 105-394, November 13, 1998]: An Act for the Development and Control of Atomic Energy

The Atomic Energy Act (AEA) established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to promote the “utilization of atomic energy for peaceful purposes to the maximum extent consistent with the common defense and security and with the health and safety of the public.” Since the abolition of the AEC, much of the AEA has been carried out by the Nuclear Regulatory Commissiouclean and the U.S. Department of Energy. When EPA was formed, however, the AEC’s authority to issue generally applicable environmental radiation standards was transferred to EPA. Other federal and state organizations must follow these standards when developing requirements for their areas of radiation protection. Read More

Aviation and the Global Atmosphere: Summary for Policymakers

Library Holdings. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988 to: (i) assess available information on the science, the impacts, and the economics of, and the options for mitigating and/or adapting to, climate change and (ii) provide, on request, scientific/technical/socio-economic advice to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since then the IPCC has produced a series of Assessment Reports, Special Reports, Technical Papers, methodologies, and other products that have become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, scientists, and other experts. This Special Report was prepared following a request from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The state of understanding of the relevant science of the atmosphere, aviation technology, and socio-economic issues associated with mitigation options is assessed and reported for both subsonic and supersonic fleets. The potential effects that aviation has had in the past and may have in the future on both stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change are covered; environmental impacts of aviation at the local scale, however, are not addressed. The report synthesizes the findings to identify and characterize options for mitigating future impacts. Read More

Reanalysis of Historical Climate Data for Key Atmospheric Features: Implications for Attribution of Causes of Observed Change

Library Holdings. This Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product addresses current capabilities to integrate observations of the climate system into a consistent description of past and current conditions through the method of reanalysis. In addition, the Product assesses present capabilities to attribute causes for climate variations and trends over North America during the reanalysis period, which extends from the mid-twentieth century to the present. This Product reviews the strengths and limitations of current atmospheric reanalysis products. It finds that reanalysis data play a crucial role in helping to identify, describe, and understand atmospheric features associated with weather and climate variability, including high-impact events such as major droughts and floods. Reanalysis data play an important role in assessing the ability of climate models to simulate the average climate and its variations. The data also help in identifying deficiencies in representations of physical processes that produce climate model errors. Read More

Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations

Library Holdings. This and a companion report constitute one of twenty-one Synthesis and Assessment Products called for in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. These studies are structured to provide high-level, integrated research results on important science issues with a particular focus on questions raised by decision-makers on dimensions of climate change directly relevant to the U.S. One element of the CCSP’s strategic vision is to provide decision support tools for differentiating and evaluating response strategies. Scenario-based analysis is one such tool. The scenarios in this report explore the implications of alternative stabilization levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, and they explicitly consider the economic and technological foundations of such response options. Such scenarios are a valuable complement to other scientific research contained in the twenty-one CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Products. The companion to the research reported here, Global-Change Scenarios: Their Development and Use, explores the broader strategic frame for developing and utilizing scenarios in support of climate decision making. Read More

National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center Modelling and Decision-support System for Radiological and Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response

This paper describes the tools and services provided by a national centre for modelling the environmental and health impacts of airborne hazardous materials. This centre can provide emergency decision support information within minutes for a wide range of radiological, nuclear, chemical, and biological hazards from fires, industrial and transportation accidents, radiation dispersal device explosions, hazardous material spills, nuclear power plant accidents and nuclear detonations. Web- and internet-based software provides quick access to advanced modelling tools, as well as expert analyses from the centre. Model predictions include the 3D spatial and time-varying effects of weather, land use and terrain, on scales from the local to regional to global. Tools provide displays of plume predictions with affected population counts, detailed maps, and reports describing model assumptions, contamination and dose levels. On-scene information and measurements are used to refine model predictions. Read More

Atmospheric Modeling Product-Related Terms and Acronyms

Atmospheric modeling programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (e.g. those utilized by the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, NARAC, and the Inter-agency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center, IMAAC) provide products (maps) of the potential effects from nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological atmospheric releases. These products typically employ a variety of specific terms and acronyms that may not be familiar to all the users of these products. Read More

Health Physics Codes for the PC

The Hotspot Health Physics codes were created to provide emergency response personnel and emergency planners with a fast, field-portable set of software tools for evaluating incidents involving radioactive material. The software is also used for safety-analysis of facilities handling nuclear material. Hotspot provides a fast and usually conservative means for estimation the radiation effects associated with the short-term (less than 24 hours) atmospheric release of radioactive materials. The Hotspot codes have been developed for the Windows‚ 95/98/00/NT/XP operating systems. Read More


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EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu