Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Brooke Christen Medley

(Associate Deputy Director for Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Geophysics)


Org Code: 610

Mail Code: 610.9
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Research Interests

Ice-sheet surface processes

Solar System: Ice Sheets

Near surface processes such as snow accumulation and melt, firn compaction cause short-term fluctuations in ice-sheet surface elevation, which if not accounted for, can mask the underlying long-term dynamic thickness changes.  I am interested in developing methods to measure these processes remotely using airborne and satellite remote sensing.

Recent changes in ice-sheet climate

Solar System: Ice Sheets

Annual records of snow accumulation derived from both shallow firn cores and remotely sensed observations provide key insight into recent climate variability over the polar ice sheets.  I am primarily interested in using these records to not only understand recent changes in the surface climate but to also evaluate global and regional atmospheric models of net precipitation where observations are few.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

November 2013 - April 2015

Research Scientist

NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

April 2015 - Present


Middlebury College, BA (2005)

Oregon State University, MS (2008)

University of Washington, PhD (2013)



Ryan, J. C., B. Medley, C. M. Stevens, T. C. Sutterley, and M. R. Siegfried. 2023. Role of Snowfall Versus Air Temperatures for Greenland Ice Sheet Melt‐Albedo Feedbacks Earth and Space Science 10 (11): [10.1029/2023ea003158]

Xu, H., B. Medley, L. Tsang, et al. J. T. Johnson, K. Jezek, M. Brogioni, and L. Kaleschke. 2023. Polar Firn Properties in Greenland and Antarctica and Related Effects on Microwave Brightness Temperatures The Cryosphere 17 2793–2809 [10.5194/tc-17-2793-2023]

Keenan, E., N. Wever, J. T. Lenaerts, and B. Medley. 2023. A wind-driven snow redistribution module for Alpine3D v3.3.0: Adaptations designed for downscaling ice sheet surface mass balance Geoscientific Model Development [10.5194/gmd-2022-28]

Thompson-Munson, M., N. Wever, C. M. Stevens, J. T. Lenaerts, and B. Medley. 2023. An evaluation of a physics-based firn model and a semi-empirical firn model across the Greenland Ice Sheet (1980–2020) The Cryosphere 17 (5): 2185-2209 [10.5194/tc-17-2185-2023]

Smith, B. E., B. Medley, X. Fettweis, et al. T. Sutterley, P. Alexander, D. Porter, and M. Tedesco. 2023. Evaluating Greenland Surface-Mass-Balance and Firn-Densification Data Using ICESat-2 Altimetry The Cryosphere [10.5194/tc-17-789-2023]

Medley, B., J. T. Lenaerts, M. Dattler, E. Keenan, and N. Wever. 2022. Predicting Antarctic Net Snow Accumulation at the Kilometer Scale and Its Impact on Observed Height Changes Geophysical Research Letters 49 (20): [10.1029/2022gl099330]

Medley, B., T. A. Neumann, H. J. Zwally, B. E. Smith, and C. M. Stevens. 2022. Simulations of firn processes over the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets: 1980–2021 The Cryosphere 16 (10): 3971-4011 [10.5194/tc-16-3971-2022]

Stokes, C. R., N. J. Abram, M. J. Bentley, et al. T. L. Edwards, M. H. England, A. Foppert, S. S. Jamieson, R. S. Jones, M. A. King, J. T. Lenaerts, B. Medley, B. W. Miles, G. J. Paxman, C. Ritz, T. van de Flierdt, and P. L. Whitehouse. 2022. Response of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet to past and future climate change Nature 608 (7922): 275-286 [10.1038/s41586-022-04946-0]

Loomis, B. D., D. Felikson, T. J. Sabaka, and B. Medley. 2021. High‐spatial‐resolution mass rates from GRACE and GRACE‐FO: Global and ice sheet analyses Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 126 (12): e2021JB023024 [10.1029/2021JB023024]

MacGregor, J. A., L. N. Boisvert, B. Medley, et al. A. A. Petty, J. P. Harbeck, R. E. Bell, J. B. Blair, E. Blanchard‐Wrigglesworth, E. Buckley, M. S. Christoffersen, J. R. Cochran, B. M. Csathó, E. L. De Marco, R. T. Dominguez, M. A. Fahnestock, S. L. Farrell, S. P. Gogineni, J. S. Greenbaum, C. M. Hansen, M. A. Hofton, J. W. Holt, K. C. Jezek, L. S. Koenig, N. T. Kurtz, R. Kwok, C. F. Larsen, C. J. Leuschen, C. D. Locke, S. S. Manizade, S. Martin, T. A. Neumann, S. M. Nowicki, J. D. Paden, J. A. Richter‐Menge, E. J. Rignot, F. Rodríguez‐Morales, M. R. Siegfried, B. E. Smith, J. G. Sonntag, M. Studinger, K. J. Tinto, M. Truffer, T. P. Wagner, J. E. Woods, D. A. Young, and J. K. Yungel. 2021. The scientific legacy of NASA's Operation IceBridge Reviews of Geophysics (59): e2020RG000712 [10.1029/2020rg000712]

Keenan, E., N. Wever, M. Dattler, et al. J. T. Lenaerts, B. Medley, P. Kuipers Munneke, and C. Reijmer. 2021. Physics-based SNOWPACK model improves representation of near-surface Antarctic snow and firn density The Cryosphere 15 (2): 1065-1085 [10.5194/tc-15-1065-2021]

Adusumilli, S., M. Fish, H. A. Fricker, and B. Medley. 2021. Atmospheric River Precipitation Contributed to Rapid Increases in Surface Height of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in 2019 Geophysical Research Letters [10.1029/2020gl091076]

Johnson, J. T., K. C. Jezek, G. Macelloni, et al. M. Brogioni, L. Tsang, E. Dinnat, J. P. Walker, N. Ye, S. Misra, J. R. Piepmeier, R. Bindlish, D. M. Le Vine, P. E. O'Neill, L. Kaleschke, M. Andrews, C. Yardim, M. Aksoy, M. Durand, C.-C. Chen, O. Demir, A. Bringer, J. Z. Miller, S. Brown, R. Kwok, T. Lee, Y. H. Kerr, D. Entekhabi, J. Peng, A. Colliander, S. K. Chan, J. Macgregor, B. C. Medley, R. D. De Roo, and M. Drinkwater. 2021. Microwave Radiometry at Frequencies from 500 to 1400 MHz: An Emerging Technology for Earth Observations IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 1-1 [10.1109/jstars.2021.3073286]

Gorte, T., J. T. Lenaerts, and B. Medley. 2020. Scoring Antarctic surface mass balance in climate models to refine future projections The Cryosphere 14 (12): 4719-4733 [10.5194/tc-14-4719-2020]

Studinger, M., B. C. Medley, K. M. Brunt, et al. K. A. Casey, N. T. Kurtz, S. S. Manizade, T. A. Neumann, and T. B. Overly. 2020. Temporal and spatial variability in surface roughness and accumulation rate around 88° S from repeat airborne geophysical surveys The Cryosphere 14 (10): 3287-3308 [10.5194/tc-14-3287-2020]

Adusumilli, S., H. A. Fricker, B. Medley, L. Padman, and M. R. Siegfried. 2020. Interannual variations in meltwater input to the Southern Ocean from Antarctic ice shelves Nature Geoscience [10.1038/s41561-020-0616-z]

Smith, B., H. A. Fricker, A. S. Gardner, et al. B. Medley, J. Nilsson, F. S. Paolo, N. Holschuh, S. Adusumilli, K. Brunt, B. Csatho, K. Harbeck, T. Markus, T. Neumann, M. R. Siegfried, and H. J. Zwally. 2020. Pervasive ice sheet mass loss reflects competing ocean and atmosphere processes Science eaaz5845 [10.1126/science.aaz5845]

Dattler, M. E., J. T. Lenaerts, and B. Medley. 2019. Significant Spatial Variability in Radar‐Derived West Antarctic Accumulation Linked to Surface Winds and Topography Geophysical Research Letters 46 (22): 13126-13134 [10.1029/2019gl085363]

Konrad, H., A. E. Hogg, R. Mulvaney, et al. R. Arthern, R. J. Tuckwell, B. Medley, and A. Shepherd. 2019. Observations of surface mass balance on Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, and the effect of strain history in fast-flowing sections Journal of Glaciology 65 (252): 595-604 [10.1017/jog.2019.36]

Lenaerts, J. T., B. Medley, M. R. Broeke, and B. Wouters. 2019. Observing and Modeling Ice‐Sheet Surface Mass Balance Reviews of Geophysics 2018RG000622 [10.1029/2018rg000622]

Riverman, K. L., R. B. Alley, S. Anandakrishnan, et al. K. Christianson, N. D. Holschuh, B. Medley, A. Muto, and L. E. Peters. 2019. Enhanced firn densification in high-accumulation shear margins of the NE Greenland Ice Stream Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface [10.1029/2017jf004604]

Souverijns, N., A. Gossart, M. Demuzere, et al. J. T. Lenaerts, B. Medley, I. Gorodetskaya, S. Vanden Broucke, and N. P. van Lipzig. 2019. A new Regional Climate Model for POLAR-CORDEX: Evaluation of a 30-year Hindcast with COSMO-CLM2 over Antarctica Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [10.1029/2018jd028862]

Medley, B., and E. R. Thomas. 2019. Increased snowfall over the Antarctic Ice Sheet mitigated twentieth-century sea-level rise Nature Climate Change 9 (1): 34-39 [10.1038/s41558-018-0356-x]

Lenaerts, J. T., J. Fyke, and B. Medley. 2018. The Signature of Ozone Depletion in Recent Antarctic Precipitation Change: A Study With the Community Earth System Model Geophysical Research Letters 45 (23): 12,931-12,939 [10.1029/2018gl078608]

van Wessem, J. M., W. J. van de Berg, B. P. Noël, et al. E. van Meijgaard, C. Amory, G. Birnbaum, C. L. Jakobs, K. Krüger, J. T. Lenaerts, S. Lhermitte, S. R. Ligtenberg, B. Medley, C. H. Reijmer, K. van Tricht, L. D. Trusel, L. H. van Ulft, B. Wouters, J. Wuite, and M. R. van den Broeke. 2018. Modelling the climate and surface mass balance of polar ice sheets using RACMO2 – Part 2: Antarctica (1979–2016) The Cryosphere 12 (4): 1479-1498 [10.5194/tc-12-1479-2018]

Hall, D., R. Cullather, N. DiGirolamo, et al. J. Comiso, B. Medley, and S. Nowicki. 2018. A Multilayer Surface Temperature, Surface Albedo, and Water Vapor Product of Greenland from MODIS Remote Sensing 10 (4): 555 [10.3390/rs10040555]

Medley, B., J. R. McConnell, T. A. Neumann, et al. C. H. Reijmer, N. Chellman, M. Sigl, and S. Kipfstuhl. 2018. Temperature and snowfall in western Queen Maud Land increasing faster than climate model projections Geophysical Research Letters 45 (3): 1472-1480 [10.1002/2017gl075992]

Lenaerts, J. T., S. R. Ligtenberg, B. Medley, et al. W. J. Van de Berg, H. Konrad, J. P. Nicolas, J. M. Van Wessem, L. D. Trusel, R. Mulvaney, R. J. Tuckwell, A. E. Hogg, and E. R. Thomas. 2017. Climate and surface mass balance of coastal West Antarctica resolved by regional climate modelling Annals of Glaciology 1-13 [10.1017/aog.2017.42]

Thomas, E. R., J. M. van Wessem, J. Roberts, et al. E. Isaksson, E. Schlosser, T. J. Fudge, P. Vallelonga, B. Medley, J. Lenaerts, N. Bertler, M. R. van den Broeke, D. A. Dixon, M. Frezzotti, B. Stenni, M. Curran, and A. A. Ekaykin. 2017. Regional Antarctic snow accumulation over the past 1000 years Climate of the Past 13 (11): 1491-1513 [10.5194/cp-13-1491-2017]

Kuipers Munneke, P., D. McGrath, B. Medley, et al. A. Luckman, S. Bevan, B. Kulessa, D. Jansen, A. Booth, P. Smeets, B. Hubbard, D. Ashmore, M. Van den Broeke, H. Sevestre, K. Steffen, A. Shepherd, and N. Gourmelen. 2017. Observationally constrained surface mass balance of Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica The Cryosphere 11 (6): 2411-2426 [10.5194/tc-11-2411-2017]

Siegfried, M. R., B. Medley, K. M. Larson, H. A. Fricker, and S. Tulaczyk. 2017. Snow accumulation variability on a West Antarctic ice stream observed with GPS reflectometry, 2007-2017 Geophysical Research Letters 44 (15): 7808-7816 [10.1002/2017gl074039]

Scambos, T., R. Bell, R. Alley, et al. S. Anandakrishnan, D. Bromwich, K. Brunt, K. Christianson, T. Creyts, S. Das, R. DeConto, P. Dutrieux, H. Fricker, D. Holland, J. MacGregor, B. Medley, J. Nicolas, D. Pollard, M. Siegfried, A. Smith, E. Steig, L. Trusel, D. Vaughan, and P. Yager. 2017. How much, how fast?: A science review and outlook for research on the instability of Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier in the 21st century Global and Planetary Change 153 16-34 [10.1016/j.gloplacha.2017.04.008]

van de Berg, W. J., and B. Medley. 2016. Brief Communication: Upper-air relaxation in RACMO2 significantly improves modelled interannual surface mass balance variability in Antarctica The Cryosphere 10 (1): 459-463 [10.5194/tc-10-459-2016]

Ligtenberg, S., B. Medley, M. Van Den Broeke, and P. K. Munneke. 2015. Antarctic firn compaction rates from repeat-track airborne radar data: II. Firn model evaluation Annals of Glaciology 56 (70): 167-174 [10.3189/2015aog70a204]

Medley, B., S. Ligtenberg, I. Joughin, et al. M. Van Den Broeke, S. Gogineni, and S. Nowicki. 2015. Antarctic firn compaction rates from repeat-track airborne radar data: I. Methods Annals of Glaciology 56 (70): 155-166 [10.3189/2015aog70a203]

Van Wessem, J., C. Reijmer, M. Morlighem, et al. J. Mouginot, E. Rignot, B. Medley, I. Joughin, B. Wouters, M. Depoorter, J. Bamber, J. Lenaerts, W. De Van Berg, M. Van Den Broeke, and E. Van Meijgaard. 2014. Improved representation of East Antarctic surface mass balance in a regional atmospheric climate model Journal of Glaciology 60 (222): 761-770 [10.3189/2014jog14j051]

Medley, B., I. Joughin, B. E. Smith, et al. S. B. Das, E. J. Steig, H. Conway, S. Gogineni, C. Lewis, A. S. Criscitiello, J. R. McConnell, M. R. van den Broeke, J. T. Lenaerts, D. H. Bromwich, J. P. Nicolas, and C. Leuschen. 2014. Constraining the recent mass balance of Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica, with airborne observations of snow accumulation The Cryosphere 8 (4): 1375-1392 [10.5194/tc-8-1375-2014]

Joughin, I., B. E. Smith, and B. Medley. 2014. Marine Ice Sheet Collapse Potentially Under Way for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica Science 344 (6185): 735-738 [10.1126/science.1249055]

Criscitiello, A. S., S. B. Das, K. B. Karnauskas, et al. M. J. Evans, K. E. Frey, I. Joughin, E. J. Steig, J. R. McConnell, and B. Medley. 2014. Tropical Pacific Influence on the Source and Transport of Marine Aerosols to West Antarctica* Journal of Climate 27 (3): 1343-1363 [10.1175/jcli-d-13-00148.1]

Medley, B., I. Joughin, S. B. Das, et al. E. J. Steig, H. Conway, S. Gogineni, A. S. Criscitiello, J. R. McConnell, B. E. Smith, M. R. van den Broeke, J. T. Lenaerts, D. H. Bromwich, and J. P. Nicolas. 2013. Airborne-radar and ice-core observations of annual snow accumulation over Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica confirm the spatiotemporal variability of global and regional atmospheric models Geophysical Research Letters 40 (14): 3649-3654 [10.1002/grl.50706]

Criscitiello, A. S., S. B. Das, M. J. Evans, et al. K. E. Frey, H. Conway, I. Joughin, B. Medley, and E. J. Steig. 2013. Ice sheet record of recent sea-ice behavior and polynya variability in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118 (1): 118-130 [10.1029/2012jc008077]