Walt Meier

Walt Meier

  • RSCH AST, EARTH SCIENCES REMOTE SENS
  • 301.614.6572
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 615
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Walt Meier is a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory. His research focuses on remote sensing of sea ice, development of new sea ice products and sea ice climate data records, and analyzing changes in the Arctic sea ice cover. He has been principal investigator on a project to create a sea ice climate data record. From 2008-2013, he was the principal investigator for the NASA-funded NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis project, a widely-used resource providing near-real-time analysis of sea ice conditions. Walt was a coordinating lead author for the Arctic Council's "Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) Assessment Report", published in Fall 2011. He has contributed to the NOAA State of the Climate reports, the EPA Climate Indicators, and several NASA Earth Observatory features. He served as a consultant on the "A Tour of the Cryosphere" DVD produced by the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio. He has served on numerous international and national committees on sea ice, Arctic climate, and climate data. Finally, he has participated in several outreach activities including: teacher workshops, public lectures, and interviews with media.

    Research Interests

    Remote sensing of sea ice

    Investigate various remote sensing methods for sea ice parameters, including concentration, motion, age/type, and thickness. Develop new methods for improved data and combined data products.

    Passive microwave remote sensing

    Update and improve long-term record of sea ice concentration and extent. Create and enhance climate data record of sea ice that meets standards for documentation and provenance. Develop products for new sensors and create enhanced fields that include uncertainty estimates.

    Arctic sea ice and climate interactions

    Use satellite data to investigate interaction of sea ice and Arctic climate. Develop and provide sea ice products that will improve synoptic and season ice forecasting capabilities. 

    Current Projects

    Improved estimates of the seasonal and inter annual evolution of Arctic sea ice age through tracking of sea ice parcels

    Sea ice motion tracked by remote sensing and autonomous buoys can be used to advect important surface and atmospheric properties to better account for the dynamical contribution to the seasonal evolution of the ice cover. Melt onset, thickness, temperature are tracked through the summer melt season to assess how dynamics affects the processes. 

    Climate indicators to track the seasonal evolution of the Arctic sea ice cover to support stakeholders

    New remote-sensing based sea ice climate indicators are being developed to extend and enhance current common indicators such as sea ice extent. The new indicators will provide a different way of assessing Arctic change and will be relevant to stakeholder interests.

    Enhancing the utility of the AMSR-E NASA Team 2 sea ice concentration product with uncertainty and variability estimates

    The uncertainty estimates previously developed for AMSR-E sea ice concentration will be validated and calibrated via comparison with other satellite products. These validated uncertainties will provided improved fields in the AMSR-E and AMSR sea ice products.

    Towards a network for Arctic sea ice prediction

    A multi-agency (ONR, NSF, NASA) project to coordinate sea ice prediction efforts, including the annual SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook. The project will improve access to useful data sets for prediction and coordinate modeling activities, including forecast assessments and development of metrics.

    Sea ice concentration climate data record sustainment, enhancement and production of value-added products through the Sea Ice Index

    Work with the National Snow and Ice Data Center to extend and update the NOAA/NSIDC sea ice climate data record. A major part of the effort will be to create a near-real-time version of the product to support NSIDC and NOAA's analysis activities.

    Forecasting future sea ice conditions in the marginal ice zone: a Lagrangian approach

    A project supported by the Office of Naval Research to use sea ice drift observations to track sources and sinks of sea ice and compare with climate models. Such comparisons will provide valuable information in supporting U.S. Navy and other activities in the Arctic and the comparison with the models will yield improved understanding of the future evolution of the ice cover.

    Tracking and predicting fine scale sea ice motion by constructing super-resolution images and fusing multiple satellite sensors

    Use resolution enhancement techniques to create high spatial resolution sea ice motion fields from multiple satellite sources. These will be able to track fine-scale features of the sea ice, such as lead formation and ridging.

    Aqua AMSR-E sea ice ice algorithm existing data products: Maintenance and minor refinement

     The current AMSR-E sea ice products will be updated with refinements to add concentration uncertainty estimates and improve snow depth estimates.

    Assess the magnitude of change in the Arctic using multi sensor satellite data

     Several data products will be combined to create a suite of cryospheric products over sea ice and Greenbelt to estimate sea ice concentration, ice surface temperature and albedo, Greenland temperature and albedo.

    Operationally merged satellite visible/IR and passive microwave sea ice information for improved sea ice forecasts and ship routing

     A collaboration with the Naval Research Lab in Stennis, Mississippi to combine passive microwave and visible/infrared data to create improved ice concentration fields to initialize the NRL's sea ice forecast model.

    Positions/Employment

    8/2013 - Present

    Research scientist

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Cryospheric Sciences Lab, Greenbelt, MD  
    8/2003 - 8/2013

    Research scientist

    National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO  
    8/2001 - 8/2003

    Adjunct Assistant Professor

    U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD  
    2/1999 - 8/2001

    Visiting scientist

    U.S. National Ice Center, Suitland, MD  

    Teaching Experience

    At the U.S. Naval Academy, taught upper-level undergraduate courses in Environmental Remote Sensing of and Polar Oceanography and Meteorology.

    Guest lecturer at University of Colorado for classes in Energy Fundamentals and Topics in Physical Geography.

    Guest lecturer at Metro State University of Denver for a course in Climate and Meteorology.

    Education

    Ph.D., 1998, University of Colorado, Boulder, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

    M.S., 1992, University of Colorado, Boulder, Aerospace Engineering Sciences

    B.S., 1991, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Aerospace Engineering

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union, 1999 - Present

    Professional Service

    WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Sea Ice Working Group, 2009-present
    WCRP World Data Advisory Committee, 2012-present
    International Arctic Science Committee Cryosphere Workng Group Vice-Chair, 2011-present
    Arctic Council AMAP Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) assessment report, coordinating lead author, 2009-2012
    National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC User Working Group, 2013-present
    Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Integration Teams, 2013-present
    Submarice Arctic Science Program (SCICEX) Science Advisory Committee, 2013-present

    Awards

    International Data Rescue Award, December 2013
    Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Outstanding Performance Award, May 2013

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Hobbs, W. R., R. Massom, S. Stammerjohn, et al. P. Reid, G. Williams, and W. Meier. 2016. "A review of recent changes in Southern Ocean sea ice, their drivers and forcings." Global and Planetary Change, 143: 228-250 [10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.06.008]

    Meier, W. N., F. Fetterer, J. S. Stewart, and S. Helfrich. 2015. "How do sea-ice concentrations from operational data compare with passive microwave estimates? Implications for improved model evaluations and forecasting." Annals of Glaciology, 56 (69): 332-340 [10.3189/2015AoG69A694]

    Meier, W. N., and T. Markus. 2015. "Remote sensing of sea ice." Tedesco/Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere, 248-272 [10.1002/9781118368909.ch11]

    Gallaher, D., G. Campbell, W. Meier, J. Moses, and D. Wingo. 2015. "The process of bringing dark data to light: The rescue of the early Nimbus satellite data." GeoResJ, 6: 124-134 [10.1016/j.grj.2015.02.013]

    Posey, P., E. J. Metzger, A. J. Wallcraft, et al. D. A. Hebert, R. A. Allard, O. M. Smedstad, M. W. Phelps, F. Fetterer, J. S. Stewart, W. N. Meier, and S. R. Helfrich. 2015. "Improving Arctic sea ice edge forecasts by assimilating high horizontal resolution sea ice concentration data into the US Navy’s ice forecast systems." The Cryosphere, 9 (4): 1735-1745 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/tc-9-1735-2015]

    Eisenman, I., W. N. Meier, and J. R. Norris. 2014. "A spurious jump in the satellite record: has Antarctic sea ice expansion been overestimated?" The Cryosphere, 8 (4): 1289-1296 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/tc-8-1289-2014]

    Meier, W. N., G. K. Hovelsrud, B. E. van Oort, et al. J. R. Key, K. M. Kovacs, C. Michel, C. Haas, M. A. Granskog, S. Gerland, D. K. Perovich, A. Makshtas, and J. D. Reist. 2014. "Arctic sea ice in transformation: A review of recent observed changes and impacts on biology and human activity." Reviews of Geophysics, 51: early view [10.1002/2013RG000431]

    Meier, W. N., D. Gallaher, and G. G. Campbell. 2013. "New estimates of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent from recovered Nimbus I satellite imagery." The Cryosphere, 7: 699-705 [Full Text (Link)]

    Wohlleben, T., A. Tivy, J. Stroeve, et al. W. Meier, F. Fetterer, J. Wang, and R. Assel. 2013. "Computing and Representing Sea Ice Trends: Toward a Community Consensus." Eos Trans. AGU, 94 (40): 352 [10.1002/2013EO400006]

    Peng, G., W. N. Meier, D. J. Scott, and M. H. Savoie. 2013. "A long-term and reproducible passive microwave sea ice concentration data record for climate studies and monitoring." Earth System Science Data, 5 (2): 311-318 [10.5194/essd-5-311-2013]

    Meier, W. N., J. Stroeve, A. Barrett, and F. Fetterer. 2012. "A simple approach to providing a more consistent Arctic sea ice extent timeseries from the 1950s to present." The Cryosphere, 6: 1359-1368 [Full Text (Link)] [doi:10.5194/tc-6-1359-2012]

    Meier, W. N., S. S. Khalsa, and M. H. Savoie. 2011. "Intersensor calibration between F-13 SSM/I and F-17 SSMIS near-real-time sea ice estimates." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49 (9): 3343-3349 [10.1109/TGRS.2011.2117433]

    Meier, W. N., S. Gerland, M. A. Granskog, and J. R. Key. 2011. "Sea Ice." Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) Assessment Report, [Full Text (Link)]

    Richter-Menge, J., J. Comiso, S. Nghiem, W. Meier, and D. Perovich. 2008. "Sea ice cover in State of the Climate in 2007." Special Supplement to the Bull. Amer. Met. Soc, 7 (89): 90-94.

    Meier, W. N., J. Stroeve, and F. Fetterer. 2007. "Whither Arctic sea ice? A clear signal of decline regionally, seasonally and extending beyond the satellite record." Annals of Glaciology, 46: 428-434 [10.3189/172756407782871170]

    Stroeve, J., T. Markus, W. Meier, and J. Miller. 2006. "Recent changes in the Arctic melt season." Annals of Glaciology, 44 (1): 367-374 [10.3189/172756406781811583]

    Gallaher, D., G. G. Campbell, and W. N. Meier. . "Anomalous Variability in Antarctic Sea Ice Extents During the 1960s With the Use of Nimbus Data." IEEE J. Sel. Top. Appl. Earth Observations Remote Sensing, 7 (3): 881-887 [10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2264391]

    Talks, Presentations and Posters

    Invited

    Everything you wanted to know about sea ice remote sensing (but were afraid to ask) - abridged version

    5 / 27 / 2016

    An overview of the current state of sea ice remote sensing, including limitations, estimates of uncertainty, and implications for combining remote sensing data with models and in situ data.

    New satellite-derived observational sea ice concentration adn extent products for modeling

    11 / 6 / 2015

    Sea ice products are discussed in the context of use with sea ice and ocean models.

    Passive microwave sea ice: NASA perspectives and activities

    3 / 17 / 2015

    NASA sea ice remote sensing projects are presented, including new sea ice concentration and thickness products.

    Trends and variability in the distribution of Arctic sea ice extent and age in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas 12 / 2014
    Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
    New Visions of the Earth: A revolution in how humans view their world 4 / 11 / 2014
    Keynote Address at the 59th Annual Colorado Science and Engineering Fair, Fort Collins, CO

    Other

    Development of a prototype operational NOAA sea ice concentration product from AMSR2 12 / 2014
    Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
    The role of ice age distribution in the trends and variability of summer sea ice extent in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas 3 / 10 / 2014
    Presented at the International Glaciological Society Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment in Hobart, Australia
    How do sea-ice concentrations from operational data compare with passive microwave estimates? Implications for improved model evaluation and forecasting 3 / 14 / 2014
    Presented at the International Glaciological Society Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment in Hobart, Australia

    Selected Public Outreach

    Arctic Live Shots March 2016 3 / 2016 - Present
    https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12178

    Live interviews with media near time of the Arctic maximum sea ice extent

    Arctic Live Shots August 2013 8 / 2013 - Present
    https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11343

    Live interviews during summer Arctic sea ice melt season

    Arctic Live Shots August 2014 8 / 2014 - Present
    https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/11627

    Live media interviews on Arctic summer sea ice.

    Arctic Alerts 7 / 2016 - Present
    https://www.arcus.org/events/arctic-calendar/25712

    Panelist on media roundtable to discuss record conditions in the Arctic during the first six months of 2016.

    NASA global temperature and Arctic sea ice media telecon 7 / 2016 - Present
    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/climate-trends-continue-to-break-records

    Media telecon to announce that the first six months of 2016 were the warmest on record and had the lowest sea ice. Also, summer IceBridge flights over Arctic sea ice were discussed.

    Viewing sea ice change from a distance 4 / 2016 - Present

    Guest lecture in remote sensing class at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

    Brief Bio

    Walt Meier is a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory. His research focuses on remote sensing of sea ice, development of new sea ice products and sea ice climate data records, and analyzing changes in the Arctic sea ice cover. He has been principal investigator on a project to create a sea ice climate data record. From 2008-2013, he was the principal investigator for the NASA-funded NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis project, a widely-used resource providing near-real-time analysis of sea ice conditions. Walt was a coordinating lead author for the Arctic Council's "Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) Assessment Report", published in Fall 2011. He has contributed to the NOAA State of the Climate reports, the EPA Climate Indicators, and several NASA Earth Observatory features. He served as a consultant on the "A Tour of the Cryosphere" DVD produced by the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio. He has served on numerous international and national committees on sea ice, Arctic climate, and climate data. Finally, he has participated in several outreach activities including: teacher workshops, public lectures, and interviews with media.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Hobbs, W. R., R. Massom, S. Stammerjohn, et al. P. Reid, G. Williams, and W. Meier. 2016. "A review of recent changes in Southern Ocean sea ice, their drivers and forcings." Global and Planetary Change 143 228-250 [10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.06.008]

    Meier, W. N., F. Fetterer, J. S. Stewart, and S. Helfrich. 2015. "How do sea-ice concentrations from operational data compare with passive microwave estimates? Implications for improved model evaluations and forecasting." Annals of Glaciology 56 (69): 332-340 [10.3189/2015AoG69A694]

    Meier, W. N., and T. Markus. 2015. "Remote sensing of sea ice." Tedesco/Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere 248-272 [10.1002/9781118368909.ch11]

    Gallaher, D., G. Campbell, W. Meier, J. Moses, and D. Wingo. 2015. "The process of bringing dark data to light: The rescue of the early Nimbus satellite data." GeoResJ 6 124-134 [10.1016/j.grj.2015.02.013]

    Posey, P., E. J. Metzger, A. J. Wallcraft, et al. D. A. Hebert, R. A. Allard, O. M. Smedstad, M. W. Phelps, F. Fetterer, J. S. Stewart, W. N. Meier, and S. R. Helfrich. 2015. "Improving Arctic sea ice edge forecasts by assimilating high horizontal resolution sea ice concentration data into the US Navy’s ice forecast systems." The Cryosphere 9 (4): 1735-1745 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/tc-9-1735-2015]

    Eisenman, I., W. N. Meier, and J. R. Norris. 2014. "A spurious jump in the satellite record: has Antarctic sea ice expansion been overestimated?" The Cryosphere 8 (4): 1289-1296 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/tc-8-1289-2014]

    Meier, W. N., G. K. Hovelsrud, B. E. van Oort, et al. J. R. Key, K. M. Kovacs, C. Michel, C. Haas, M. A. Granskog, S. Gerland, D. K. Perovich, A. Makshtas, and J. D. Reist. 2014. "Arctic sea ice in transformation: A review of recent observed changes and impacts on biology and human activity." Reviews of Geophysics 51 early view [10.1002/2013RG000431]

    Meier, W. N., D. Gallaher, and G. G. Campbell. 2013. "New estimates of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent from recovered Nimbus I satellite imagery." The Cryosphere 7 699-705 [Full Text (Link)]

    Wohlleben, T., A. Tivy, J. Stroeve, et al. W. Meier, F. Fetterer, J. Wang, and R. Assel. 2013. "Computing and Representing Sea Ice Trends: Toward a Community Consensus." Eos Trans. AGU 94 (40): 352 [10.1002/2013EO400006]

    Peng, G., W. N. Meier, D. J. Scott, and M. H. Savoie. 2013. "A long-term and reproducible passive microwave sea ice concentration data record for climate studies and monitoring." Earth System Science Data 5 (2): 311-318 [10.5194/essd-5-311-2013]

    Meier, W. N., J. Stroeve, A. Barrett, and F. Fetterer. 2012. "A simple approach to providing a more consistent Arctic sea ice extent timeseries from the 1950s to present." The Cryosphere 6 1359-1368 [Full Text (Link)] [doi:10.5194/tc-6-1359-2012]

    Meier, W. N., S. S. Khalsa, and M. H. Savoie. 2011. "Intersensor calibration between F-13 SSM/I and F-17 SSMIS near-real-time sea ice estimates." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 49 (9): 3343-3349 [10.1109/TGRS.2011.2117433]

    Meier, W. N., S. Gerland, M. A. Granskog, and J. R. Key. 2011. "Sea Ice." Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) Assessment Report [Full Text (Link)]

    Richter-Menge, J., J. Comiso, S. Nghiem, W. Meier, and D. Perovich. 2008. "Sea ice cover in State of the Climate in 2007." Special Supplement to the Bull. Amer. Met. Soc 7 (89): 90-94

    Meier, W. N., J. Stroeve, and F. Fetterer. 2007. "Whither Arctic sea ice? A clear signal of decline regionally, seasonally and extending beyond the satellite record." Annals of Glaciology 46 428-434 [10.3189/172756407782871170]

    Stroeve, J., T. Markus, W. Meier, and J. Miller. 2006. "Recent changes in the Arctic melt season." Annals of Glaciology 44 (1): 367-374 [10.3189/172756406781811583]

    Gallaher, D., G. G. Campbell, and W. N. Meier. . "Anomalous Variability in Antarctic Sea Ice Extents During the 1960s With the Use of Nimbus Data." IEEE J. Sel. Top. Appl. Earth Observations Remote Sensing 7 (3): 881-887 [10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2264391]

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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