Climate and Radiation (613) Local News Archive

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Earth Day Webcast Features Earth Science and Engineering

Ryan Kramer (613/UMBC), along with Aprille Ericsson (550) and Janelle Wellons, appeared on the educational webcast “All Things Aviation & Aerospace” on Earth Day to discuss their jobs and provide advice for pursuing a career in earth science and engineering.

Study Directly Links Humans to Climate Change

Ryan Kramer was interviewed by FOX for a story reported through FOX-affiliated TV stations about his recent study “Observational Evidence of Increasing Global Radiative Forcing” with Lazaros Oreopoulos (613) and collaborators. The study has been reported on by other media outlets nationally and internationally, including CBS News.

2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers

Several 610 researchers were named to the annual list identifying scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% of citations for their field and year of publication. Congratulations to Matthew Rodell (610), Gregory Faluvegi (611/CU), Alexei Lyapustin (613), Joanna Joiner (614), Jeffrey Masek (618), Douglas Morton (618), Benjamin Poulter (618), and Eric Vermote (619) for being named to this year's list.

Ralph Kahn Named 2020 AGU Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Ralph Kahn of the Climate and Radiation Laboratory for his election as a 2020 AGU Fellow. AGU’s announcement states: “The members of this year’s class of Fellows have made exceptional contributions in our Earth and space sciences community through breakthrough, discovery, or innovation in their disciplines. Since 1962, AGU has elected fewer than 0.1% of members to join this prestigious group of individuals.Thanks to their dedication and sacrifice, AGU Fellows serve as global leaders and experts who have propelled our understanding of geosciences.” That describes Ralph perfectly, and we are honored to have another AGU Fellow in the Division.

Lyapustin Named a Highly Cited Researcher

Congratulations to Alexei Lyapustin for being named to the 2020 Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers List. Recipients are recognized for their exceptional research influence, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in Web of Science.

West Coast Smoke Highlighted by The Washington Post and Reuters

Santiago Gassó (613/UMD) provided quotes to The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang and Reuters on the unusually high levels of West coast smoke over the Washington, DC area.

MISR Active Aerosol Plume-Height (AAP) Project Focuses on California Wildfire Properties

On August 20, 2020, multiple wildfires were burning across California. Laboratory scientists on the Multi-Angle Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MISR) Active Aerosol Plume-Height (AAP) Project used remote sensing techniques to map the smoke plume and aerosol transport from the Milepost 21 Fire on August 15, 2020.

HARP Wins AIAA Award

The Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter (HARP) CubeSat has won the “Small Satellite Mission of the Year” American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) award. The award is presented annually by the AIAA to the mission that has demonstrated a significant improvement in the capability of small satellites. The PI is Vanderlei Martins (613/UMBC)

Tan Selected for AMS Editor's Award

The Council of the American Meteorological Society voted to award Jackson Tan (613/USRA) an Editor’s Award for his reviews in the Journal of Hydrometeorology. The citation reads “For insightful and timely reviews of numerous manuscripts in the field of precipitation remote sensing.”

Gong Receives Citation for Excellence in Refereeing

Each year, the American Geophysical Union publications department recognizes outstanding reviewers selected by the editors of each AGU journal. Congratulations to Dr. Jie Gong (613/USRA) for her selection for the 2019 AGU Editors' citation for excellence in refereeing for Geophysical Research Letters.

Earth Day Countdown Blog: T-23–Measuring Earth’s Power Source

For more than 40 years, NASA has measured Earth’s energy budget with global, direct observations of solar radiation entering and exiting Earth.

Gassó Interviewed for Science Studio Podcast

Santiago Gassó (613/UMD) was interviewed by the local NPR station (KTEP) at the University of Texas, El Paso for the broadcast SCIENCE STUDIO. He discussed the different tools available to scientists at NASA and how satellite detectors are used to study aerosol, clouds and their interactions.

Coronavirus Impacts Field Work

Goddard Space Flight Center airborne campaigns are highlighted in a recent Capital Weather Gang article in The Washington Post. The article describes the novel coronavirus's impact on scientific research and field campaigns.

HARP Released into Earth Orbit from ISS

HARP, a NASA-funded CubeSat, will collect vital information about clouds and aerosols, tiny particles in the atmosphere that can act as nuclei on which cloud droplets and ice particles form. These measurements will help us better understand how aerosol particles impact weather, climate and air quality. Read more about HARP here.

Eos Focuses on Wildfire Emissions

Dr. Ralph Kahn's work was highlighted in a recent Eos news article promoting the February 2020 Eos issue dedicated to the study of wildfire emissions. Kahn's article, "A Global Perspective on Wildfires," is included in the issue.

Earth Matters Blog: Smoky Australian Skies

As satellites track Australian wildfire smoke from above, GLOBE Observer citizen scientists have been keeping tabs on hazy skies from the ground.

Ralph Kahn to receive 2019 Nordberg Award

Photo of Ralph Kahn We are thrilled to announce the selection of Ralph Kahn as the 2019 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science winner. Ralph Kahn has dedicated most of his scientific career to studying aerosols and their major influences on air quality, aviation safety, cloud properties, and global climate. He has conducted pioneering work to greatly advance our understanding of aerosol interactions with their environment and to influence relevant research directions of GSFC, NASA, and the Earth science community as a whole. His work as MISR Aerosol Scientist has resulted in more than 15 years of global high quality aerosol observations from MISR. Ralph has validated detection algorithms of key sources of biomass burning aerosols, characterized their strength and injection heights into the atmosphere, and showed how to identify and track ash plumes from volcanic eruptions. These techniques are routinely used by aerosol scientists worldwide. Kahn has built an enduring legacy at GSFC for his outstanding ability to build collaborations between NASA mission teams. He has been instrumental in bringing together the aerosol teams of MISR, MODIS, CALIPSO, and OMI and urged the modeling and satellite communities to come together. Kahn’s scientific influence is also evident in his prodigious publication record. Publication prowess is only one facet of his scientific reputation and standing. Kahn entertains a ceaseless stream of invitations for talks at scientific meetings and educational/research institutions. Ralph also cares deeply about community outreach and mentoring early-career scientists. His educational credentials include contributions to the Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing, lending frequently his expertise for Earth Observatory stories, and being a founder and editor of PUMAS, an on-line journal providing pre-college teachers peer-reviewed enrichment material (Outstanding Education Product Award in 1999). Many of his former mentees have moved on to successful positions in academia and government.

Earth Expeditions Blog: A New Flame- Airborne Campaign the First to Sample Borneo Fire Smoke in Detail

Read about the Cloud, Aerosol, and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex) studying the impact of smoke from fires and pollution on clouds.

Earth Expeditions Blog: A Scavenger Hunt for Fire

After nearly a month flying missions out of Boise, Idaho, to sample smoke from big wildfires in the western U.S., the Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality, or FIREX-AQ, is pulling up stakes and moving to America’s heartland — Salina, Kansas, to be exact.

Siberian Wildfires Attract Media Attention

Santiago Gassó (613/UMD) was recently interviewed by multiple media outlets about the current wildfires in Siberia, dust transport over the North Atlantic, and long-range transport smoke. Articles appeared in such outlets as Forbes,, and Australia's ABC World News.

Earth Expeditions: Plumes Go the Distance

From Alberta, Canada, to Michigan, USA. That’s how far the plumes of smoke traveled in a few short days, from July 21 to July 24. Smoke from wildfires has staying power.

Earth Expeditions: FIre Weather, Pyro Weather

Each morning Amber Soja gets up at 5:00 a.m. to check the fire weather. She’s an associate scientist from the National Institute of Aerospace based at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, one of the lead forecasters for FIREX-AQ with one of the most important jobs.

Earth Expeditions: A Visit to the National Interagency Fire Center

The FIREX-AQ campaign is flying out of Boise, Idaho. The choice of location was no accident. Boise is also home to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the nerve center of all major firefighting operations for the United States. Earlier this week, we took a tour.

Earth Expeditions: The Shady Fire, a Deviation From the Plan

“It’s nice to have a flight plan to deviate from,” said DC-8 pilot Tim Vest at the debrief on Thursday night. It was just after 10 p.m. and the DC-8 had just returned from a 6-hour flight over a fire they weren’t planning on visiting.

Earth Expeditions Blog: Laying Down with Smoke in the Valley, an Unexpected Camping Trip

We were ready to fly. We’d heard Tuesday evening that there were two seats open on the DC-8 for the communications team on Wednesday, but as often happens in the field, plans change.

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