Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Tamas Varnai


Tamas Varnai's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6408
Org Code: 613
Mail Code 613
Greenbelt, MD 20771


Research Associate Professor

University of Maryland Baltimore County: Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology and the Department of Physics - Baltimore, MD

2008 - Present


Research Assistant Professor

University of Maryland Baltimore County: Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology and the Department of Physics - Baltimore, MD

2001 - 2008


Assistant Research Scientist

University of Maryland Baltimore County: Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology - Baltimore, MD

1999 - 2001


Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ

1997 - 1999


Postdoctoral Research Associate

McGill University - Montreal, Canada

1996 - 1997


Research Meteorologist

Hungarian Meteorological Service - Budapest, Hungary

1989 - 1991



1996 - Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Dissertation: "Reflection of solar radiation by inhomogeneous clouds"
1989 - M.Sc. equivalent degree in Meteorology, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary, Thesis: "The adaptation of a spectral global circulation model"

Professional Service

2019 - present: Member of the editorial board for the journal Remote Sensing



2021. "Analysis of Near-Cloud Changes in Atmospheric Aerosols Using Satellite Observations and Global Model Simulations." Remote Sensing 13 (6): 1151 [10.3390/rs13061151] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "A new measurement approach for validating satellite-based above-cloud aerosol optical depth." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 14 (2): 1405-1423 [10.5194/amt-14-1405-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Deep Space Observations of Terrestrial Glitter." Earth and Space Science 8 (2): 2020EA001521 [10.1029/2020ea001521] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Deep Space Observations of Cloud Glints: Spectral and Seasonal Dependence." IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 1-5 [10.1109/lgrs.2020.3040144] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Deep Space Observations of Sun Glints from Marine Ice Clouds." IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 17 1-5 [10.1109/lgrs.2019.2930866] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Developing an Aircraft-Based Angular Distribution Model of Solar Reflection from Wildfire Smoke to Aid Satellite-Based Radiative Flux Estimation." Remote Sensing 11 (13): 1509 [10.3390/rs11131509] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "MISR Radiance Anomalies Induced by Stratospheric Volcanic Aerosols." Remote Sensing 10 (12): 1875 [10.3390/rs10121875] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Satellite Observations of Cloud-Related Variations in Aerosol Properties." Atmosphere 9 (11): 430 [10.3390/atmos9110430] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Scale dependence of cirrus heterogeneity effects. Part II: MODIS NIR and SWIR channels." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18 (16): 12105-12121 [10.5194/acp-18-12105-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "EPIC Spectral Observations of Variability in Earth’s Global Reflectance." Remote Sensing 10 (2): 254 [10.3390/rs10020254] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Observation-Based Study on Aerosol Optical Depth and Particle Size in Partly Cloudy Regions." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122 (18): 10,013-10,024 [10.1002/2017jd027028] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Scale dependence of cirrus horizontal heterogeneity effects on TOA measurements – Part I: MODIS brightness temperatures in the thermal infrared." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17 (13): 8489-8508 [10.5194/acp-17-8489-2017] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Terrestrial glint seen from deep space: Oriented ice crystals detected from the Lagrangian point." Geophysical Research Letters Online [10.1002/2017gl073248] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Testing the Two-Layer Model for Correcting Near Cloud Reflectance Enhancement Using LES/SHDOM Simulated Radiances ." J. Geophys. Res., Atmos. (121): 9661–9674 [10.1002/2016JD025021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Radiative characteristics of Clouds Embedded in Smoke derived from airborne multi-angular measurements." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 121 (15): 9140–9152 [10.1002/2016jd025309] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Effect of cloud fraction on near-cloud aerosol behavior in the MODIS atmospheric correction ocean color product." Rem. Sens 7 5283-5299 [10.3390/rs70505283] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "CALIPSO observations of near-cloud aerosol properties as a function of cloud fraction." Geophys. Res. Lett 41 9150-9157 [10.1002/2014GL061896] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Near-cloud aerosol properties from the 1 km resolution MODIS ocean product." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119 (3): 1546-1554 [10.1002/2013JD020633] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Extending 3D near-cloud corrections from shorter to longer wavelengths." Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer 147 79-85 [10.1016/j.jqsrt.2014.05.022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Shape-induced gravitational sorting of Saharan dust during transatlantic voyage: Evidence from CALIOP lidar depolarization measurements." Geophys. Res. Lett 40 (12): 3281-3286 [10.1002/grl.50603] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Improvement of MODIS aerosol retrievals near clouds." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118 (16): 9168-9181 [10.1002/jgrd.50617] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Multi-satellite aerosol observations in the vicinity of clouds." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 13 (8): 3899-3908 [10.5194/acp-13-3899-2013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "CALIPSO observations of transatlantic dust: vertical stratification and effect of clouds." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (23): 11339-11354 [Full Text] [10.5194/acp-12-11339-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Effect of CALIPSO cloud–aerosol discrimination (CAD) confidence levels on observations of aerosol properties near clouds." Atmospheric Research 116 134-141 [10.1016/j.atmosres.2012.03.013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Taking the pulse of pyrocumulus clouds." Atmospheric Environment 52 121-130 [10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.01.045] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Cloud droplet size and liquid water path retrievals from zenith radiance measurements: examples from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program and the Aerosol Robotic Network." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 (21): 10313-10329 [10.5194/acp-12-10313-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Analysis of co-located MODIS and CALIPSO observations near clouds." Atmos Meas Tech 5 (2): 389-396 [10.5194/amt-5-389-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "A Variational Method to Retrieve the Extinction Profile in Liquid Clouds Using Multiple-Field-of-View Lidar." J Appl Meteor Climatol 51 (2): 350-365 [10.1175/JAMC-D-10-05007.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Cloud Impact on Surface Altimetry From a Spaceborne 532-nm Micropulse Photon-Counting Lidar: System Modeling for Cloudy and Clear Atmospheres." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing 49 (12): 4910-4919 [Full Text] [10.1109/TGRS.2011.2153860] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Implementation on Landsat Data of a Simple Cloud-Mask Algorithm Developed for MODIS Land Bands." IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lett. 8 (4): 597-601 [10.1109/LGRS.2010.2095409] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Global CALIPSO Observations of Aerosol Changes Near Clouds." IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lett. 8 (1): 19-23 [10.1109/LGRS.2010.2049982] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Multiyear Statistics of 2D Shortwave Radiative Effects at Three ARM Sites." J Atmos Sci 67 (11): 3757-3762 [10.1175/2010JAS3506.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Uncertainties in Ice-Sheet Altimetry From a Spaceborne 1064-nm Single-Channel Lidar Due to Undetected Thin Clouds." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing 48 (1): 250-259 [10.1109/TGRS.2009.2028335] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "MODIS observations of enhanced clear sky reflectance near clouds." Geophys. Res. Lett. 36 (6): L06807 [10.1029/2008GL037089] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "The Potential for Improved Boundary Layer Cloud Optical Depth Retrievals from the Multiple Directions of MISR." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 65 (10): 3179-3196 [10.1175/2008JAS2627.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Potential for airborne offbeam lidar measurements of snow and sea ice thickness." J. Geophys. Res. 112 (C12): C12S90 [10.1029/2007JC004091] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "View angle dependence of cloud optical thicknesses retrieved by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)." J. Geophys. Res. 112 (D6): D06203 [10.1029/2005JD006912] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Impact of three-dimensional radiative effects on satellite retrievals of cloud droplet sizes." J. Geophys. Res. 111 (D9): D09207 [10.1029/2005JD006686] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "New directions in the radiative transfer of cloudy atmospheres." Eos Trans. AGU 87 (5): 52 [10.1029/2006EO050006] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "The International Intercomparison of 3D Radiation Codes (I3RC): Bringing together the most advanced radiative transfer tools for cloudy atmospheres." Bull Amer Meteor Soc 86 (9): 1275-1293 [10.1175/BAMS-86-9-1275] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "THOR—Cloud Thickness from Offbeam Lidar Returns." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 22 (6): 605-627 [10.1175/JTECH1740.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "A method for analyzing how various parts of clouds influence each other's brightness." J. Geophys. Res. 108 (D22): 4706 [10.1029/2003JD003561] [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Observations of three-dimensional radiative effects that influence satellite retrievals of cloud properties." Quart Jour of Hungarian Meteor Service (Idojaras) 106 265-278 [Journal Article/Letter]

2002. "Observations of three-dimensional radiative effects that influence MODIS cloud optical thickness retrievals." J Atmos Sci 59 1607-1618 [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "Statistical analysis of the uncertainties in cloud optical depth retrievals caused by three-dimensional radiative effects." J Atmos Sci 58 1540-1548 [Journal Article/Letter]