Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Donifan Barahona


Donifan Barahona's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6103
Org Code: 610.1
Mail Code 610.1
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Research Interests

Improving clouds in climate models

Earth Science: Clouds

Human activities affect the composition of the atmosphere and the Earth's climate. To understand the extent of this effect we need to understand the chemical reactions and the physicochemical processes occurring at the microscopic scale in the atmosphere. Issues like the nature of particle formation, phase change, cloud droplet and ice crystal growth, are still poorly understood and introduce uncertainty in our assessments of climate. My main interest is to develop comprenhesive representations of the physics of cloud formation and evolution by merging new theories and state-of-the-art observations within global climate models.


Ph.D. Chemical Engineering/ Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology 
M.S. Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University
B.S. Chemical Engineering, National University of Colombia



2024. "Deep Learning Parameterization of Vertical Wind Velocity Variability via Constrained Adversarial Training." Artificial Intelligence for the Earth Systems 3 (1): [10.1175/aies-d-23-0025.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "A Comprehensive Machine Learning Study to Classify Precipitation Type over Land from Global Precipitation Measurement Microwave Imager (GPM-GMI) Measurements." Remote Sensing 14 (15): 3631 [10.3390/rs14153631] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Earth system model parameter adjustment using a Green's functions approach." Geoscientific Model Development 15 (5): 2309-2324 [10.5194/gmd-15-2309-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "The impacts of immersion ice nucleation parameterizations on Arctic mixed-phase stratiform cloud properties and the Arctic radiation budget in GEOS-5." Journal of Climate 1-69 [10.1175/jcli-d-21-0368.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Potential Link Between Ice Nucleation and Climate Model Spread in Arctic Amplification." Geophysical Research Letters 49 (4): [10.1029/2021gl097373] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "A Dusty Atmospheric River Brings Floods to the Middle East." Geophysical Research Letters 48 (23): [10.1029/2021gl095441] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "The response of the Amazon ecosystem to the photosynthetically active radiation fields: integrating impacts of biomass burning aerosol and clouds in the NASA GEOS Earth system model." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21 (18): 14177-14197 [10.5194/acp-21-14177-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Effect of volcanic emissions on clouds during the 2008 and 2018 Kilauea degassing events." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21 (10): 7749-7771 [10.5194/acp-21-7749-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Linkage among Ice Crystal Microphysics, Mesoscale Dynamics and Cloud and Precipitation Structures Revealed by Collocated Microwave Radiometer and Multi-frequency Radar Observations." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics [10.5194/acp-20-12633-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Bias‐Free Estimation of Ice Nucleation Efficiencies." Geophysical Research Letters [10.1029/2019gl086033] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "GEOS-S2S Version 2: The GMAO high resolution coupled model and assimilation system for seasonal prediction." Journal of Geophysical Research 125 (5): [10.1029/2019JD031767] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "On the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of immersion ice nucleation." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18 (23): 17119-17141 [10.5194/acp-18-17119-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Implementation of a comprehensive ice crystal formation parameterization for cirrus and mixed-phase clouds in the EMAC model (based on MESSy 2.53)." Geoscientific Model Development 11 (10): 4021-4041 [10.5194/gmd-11-4021-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Dust Impacts on the 2012 Hurricane Nadine Track during the NASA HS3 Field Campaign." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences JAS-D-17-0237.1 [10.1175/jas-d-17-0237.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Direct estimation of the global distribution of vertical velocity within cirrus clouds." Scientific Reports 7 (1): 6840 [10.1038/s41598-017-07038-6] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Understanding cirrus ice crystal number variability for different heterogeneous ice nucleation spectra." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16 (4): 2611-2629 [10.5194/acp-16-2611-2016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Thermodynamic derivation of the activation energy for ice nucleation." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 15 (24): 13819-13831 [10.5194/acp-15-13819-2015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Quantifying sensitivities of ice crystal number and sources of ice crystal number variability in CAM 5.1 using the adjoint of a physically based cirrus formation parameterization." J. Geophys. Res. - Atmos 120 (7): 2834-2854 [10.1002/2014JD022457] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Analysis of the effect of water activity on ice formation using a new thermodynamic framework ." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14 7665-7680 [10.5194/acp-14-7665-2014] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Development of two-moment cloud microphysics for liquid and ice within the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Model (GEOS-5)." Geosci. Model Dev. 7 1733-1766 [10.5194/gmd-7-1733-2014] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Assessing the Impact of Mineral Dust and Adsorption Activation on Cloud Droplet Formation." Advances in Meteorology, Climatology and Atmospheric Physics 515-520 [Article in Book]

2013. "The Role of Aerosol Properties on Cloud Nucleation Processes." Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXII 27-34 [10.1007/978-94-007-5577-2_5] [Article in Book]

2013. "Cirrus cloud seeding has potential to cool climate." Geophys.Res. Lett. 40 178-182 [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Performance of McRAS-AC in the GEOS-5 AGCM: aerosol-cloud-microphysics, precipitation, cloud radiative effects, and circulation." Geosci. Model Dev. 6 (1): 57-79 [10.5194/gmd-6-57-2013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Climate impacts of ice nucleation." J. Geophys. Res. 117 D20201 [10.1029/2012JD0179] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "On the ice nucleation spectrum." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (8): 3733-3752 [10.5194/acp-12-3733-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Sensitivity of cirrus and mixed-phase clouds to the ice nuclei spectra in McRAS-AC: single column model simulations." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (22): 10,679-10,692 [10.5194/acp-12-10679-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Saharan dust event impacts on cloud formation and radiation over Western Europe." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (9): 4045-4063 [10.5194/acp-12-4045-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Sensitivity studies of dust ice nuclei effect on cirrus clouds with the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (24): 12061-12079 [10.5194/acp-12-12061-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "On the effect of dust particles on global cloud condensation nuclei and cloud droplet number." J. Geophys. Res. 116 (D23204): [:10.1029/2011JD01628] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Global distribution of cloud droplet number concentration, autoconversion rate, and aerosol indirect effect under diabatic droplet activation." J. Geophys. Res. 116 (D9): D09203 [10.1029/2010JD015274] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Dynamical states of low temperature cirrus." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 11 3757-3771 [10.5194/acp-11-3757-2011] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Sensitivity of the global distribution of cirrus ice crystal concentration to heterogeneous freezing." J. Geophys. Res. 115 (D23): 23213 [10.1029/2010JD014273] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Comprehensively accounting for the effect of giant CCN in cloud activation parameterizations." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 10 2467-2473 [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Parameterizing the competition between homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing in ice cloud formation – polydisperse ice nuclei." Atm. Chem. Phys. 9 5933-5948 [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Parameterizing the competition between homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing in cirrus cloud formation – monodisperse ice nuclei." Atm. Chem. Phys. 9 369-381 [10.5194/acp-9-369-2009] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Parameterization of cirrus cloud formation in large‐scale models: Homogeneous nucleation." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 113 D11 [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Parameterization of cloud droplet formation in large-scale models: Including effects of entrainment." J. Geophys. Res. 112 D16206 [10.1029/2007JD00847] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Effect of water activity on the lipase catalyzed esterification of geraniol in ionic liquid [bmim]PF6." Biotechnology and Bioengineering 93 (2): 318-324 [Journal Article/Letter]