Dr. Alek Aaron Petty

Dr. Alek Aaron Petty

  • ASSISTANT RESEARCH SCIENTIST
  • 301.614.6120
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 615
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
  • Brief Bio

    Alek Petty is an Associate Research Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the University of Maryland; specializing in polar sea ice variability. He is a member of NASA's Operation IceBridge and ICESat-2 Project Science Offices where he works on the production and analysis of new sea ice data. Alek graduated with an M.Sci in Physics from the University of Bristol in 2010, and a PhD in Climate Science from University College London in 2014. His PhD research involved modeling the sea ice and ocean surrounding Antarctica. His postdoctoral studies extended this research approach to include the remote sensing of Arctic and Southern Ocean sea ice across scales. Alek's research approach now involves utilizing a combination of polar remote sensing data and models to improve our understanding of the polar regions and the wider climate system. More information can be found below and on his personal website: www.alekpetty.com.

    Research Interests

    Polar sea ice variability

    Alek's research is centered on improving our understanding of polar sea ice; the physics governing its mean state, the factors contributing to its spatial and temporal variability, and its coupling with the atmosphere and ocean. The transfer of heat, salt, water and momentum through sea ice is a key theme throughout much of his work. Alek utilizes sea ice models (of varying complexity) and remote sensing data (airborne and satellite sensors) to increase our understanding of these fundamental concepts. Research foci include:

    • Remote sensing of sea ice (freeboard, thickness, concentration, roughness)
    • Sea ice predictions (seasonal forecasts and long-term projections)
    • Sea ice dynamics and momentum transfer
    • Idealized and high-resolution sea ice modeling
    • Snow on sea ice
    • Extreme events in the polar regions
    • Linkages between sea ice, ice sheets and global climate

    Alek is a strong proponent of open science and strives to make this a continued focus of his research approach (e.g. github.com/akpetty).

    Positions/Employment

    7/2020 - Present

    Associate Research Scientist

    Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    7/2017 - 6/2020

    Assistant Research Scientist

    Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    10/2015 - 6/2017

    Research Associate

    Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    2/2014 - 9/2015

    Research Associate

    Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), University of Maryland,, NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP)

    Education

    Ph.D. Climate Science, University College London, London, UK, 2010-2014 (Thesis: Sea ice and the ocean mixed layer over the Antarctic continental shelf, Supervisors: Daniel L. Feltham and Paul R. Holland)

    M.Sci Physics, University of Bristol, 2006-2010.

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union, 2011 - Present
    Member

    Awards

    2020 Robert H. Goddard Award, Science Team (Operation IceBridge)

    2019 Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Geophysics (HBG) Annual Peer Award for Scientific Achievement

    Current Projects

    ICESat-2

    A member of the ICESat-2 Project Science Office (PSO) and Co-I on a newly funded Science Team proposal (PI Tilling) I'm working to better understand the data from this new satellite laser altimeter and provide state-of-the-art estimates of the sea ice state (freeboard, thickness, roughness, floe size). Data product/algorithm lead for the ATL07/10 sea ice products (starting June 2020).

    Operation IceBridge

    A member of the Operation IceBridge Project Science Office (PSO) I'm working to provide novel sea ice data products/analysis and support efforts to produce a long-term sea ice thickness product.

    PolarMERRA

    A new initiative to help produce a new, polar-focussed, atmospheric reanalysis with colleagues in the Cryospheric Sciences Lab (615) and the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO).

    Publications

    Refereed

    Kwok, R., A. A. Petty, M. Bagnardi, et al. N. T. Kurtz, G. F. Cunningham, and A. Ivanoff. 2020. "Refining the sea surface identification approach for determining freeboards in the ICESat-2 sea ice products." The Cryosphere Discuss, (Submitted) [10.5194/tc-2020-174]

    Kwok, R., G. F. Cunningham, S. Kacimi, et al. M. A. Webster, N. T. Kurtz, and A. A. Petty. 2020. "Decay of the snow cover over Arctic sea ice from ICESat‐2 acquisitions during summer melt in 2019." Geophysical Research Letters, 47: (In Press) [10.1029/2020gl088209]

    Horvat, C., E. Blanchard‐Wrigglesworth, and A. Petty. 2020. "Observing waves in sea ice with ICESat‐2." Geophysical Research Letters, 47: [10.1029/2020gl087629]

    Landy, J. C., A. A. Petty, M. Tsamados, and J. C. Stroeve. 2020. "Sea ice roughness overlooked as a key source of uncertainty in CryoSat‐2 ice freeboard retrievals." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125: [10.1029/2019jc015820]

    Notz, D., J. Dörr, D. A. Bailey, et al. E. Blockley, M. Bushuk, J. B. Debernard, E. Dekker, P. DeRepentigny, D. Docquier, N. S. Fučkar, J. C. Fyfe, A. Jahn, M. Holland, E. Hunke, D. Iovino, N. Khosravi, F. Massonnet, G. Madec, S. O'Farrell, A. Petty, A. Rana, L. Roach, E. Rosenblum, C. Rousset, T. Semmler, J. Stroeve, B. Tremblay, T. Toyoda, H. Tsujino, and M. Vancoppenolle. 2020. "Arctic Sea Ice in CMIP6." Geophysical Research Letters, 47: [10.1029/2019gl086749]

    Petty, A. A., N. T. Kurtz, R. Kwok, T. Markus, and T. Neumann. 2020. "Winter Arctic sea ice thickness from ICESat-2 freeboards." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125: e2019JC015764 [10.1029/2019jc015764]

    Kwok, R., S. Kacimi, M. Webster, N. Kurtz, and A. Petty. 2020. "Arctic snow depth and sea ice thickness from ICESat‐2 and CryoSat‐2 freeboards: A first examination." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125: e2019JC016008 [10.1029/2019jc016008]

    Armitage, T. W., G. E. Manucharyan, A. A. Petty, R. Kwok, and A. F. Thompson. 2020. "Enhanced eddy activity in the Beaufort Gyre in response to sea ice loss." Nature Communications, 11 (1): 761 [10.1038/s41467-020-14449-z]

    Cabaj, A., P. Kushner, C. Fletcher, S. Howell, and A. Petty. 2020. "Constraining reanalysis snowfall over the Arctic Ocean using CloudSat observations." Geophysical Research Letters, [10.1029/2019gl086426]

    Boisvert, L., M. Webster, A. A. Petty, et al. T. Markus, R. I. Cullather, and D. Bromwich. 2020. "Intercomparison of Precipitation Estimates Over the Southern Ocean from Atmospheric Reanalyses." Journal of Climate, (Submitted)

    Kwok, R., T. Markus, N. Kurtz, et al. A. Petty, T. Neumann, S. Farrell, G. Cunningham, D. Hancock, A. Ivanoff, and J. Wimert. 2019. "Surface height and sea ice freeboard of the Arctic Ocean from ICESat‐2: Characteristics and early results." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2019JC015486 [10.1029/2019jc015486]

    Frew, R. C., D. L. Feltham, P. R. Holland, and A. A. Petty. 2019. "Sea Ice – Ocean Feedbacks in the Antarctic Shelf Seas." Journal of Physical Oceanography, JPO-D-18-0229.1 [10.1175/jpo-d-18-0229.1]

    Petty, A. A., M. Webster, L. Boisvert, and T. Markus. 2018. "The NASA Eulerian Snow on Sea Ice Model (NESOSIM) v1.0: initial model development and analysis." Geoscientific Model Development, 11 (11): 4577-4602 [10.5194/gmd-11-4577-2018]

    Petty, A. A., M. M. Holland, D. A. Bailey, and N. T. Kurtz. 2018. "Warm Arctic, increased winter sea-ice growth?" Geophysical Research Letters, [10.1029/2018gl079223]

    Boisvert, L., M. A. Webster, A. A. Petty, et al. T. Markus, D. Bromwich, and R. I. Cullather. 2018. "Intercomparison of precipitation estimates over the Arctic Ocean and its peripheral seas from reanalyses." Journal of Climate,

    Petty, A. A. 2018. "A Possible Link Between Winter Arctic Sea Ice Decline and a Collapse of the Beaufort High?" Geophysical Research Letters, [10.1002/2018gl077704]

    Petty, A. A., J. C. Stroeve, P. R. Holland, et al. L. N. Boisvert, A. C. Bliss, N. Kimura, and W. N. Meier. 2018. "The Arctic sea ice cover of 2016: a year of record-low highs and higher-than-expected lows." The Cryosphere, 12 (2): 433-452 [10.5194/tc-12-433-2018]

    Cole, S. T., J. M. Toole, R. Lele, et al. M.-L. Timmermans, S. G. Gallaher, T. P. Stanton, W. J. Shaw, B. Hwang, T. Maksym, J. P. Wilkinson, M. Ortiz, H. Graber, L. Rainville, A. A. Petty, S. L. Farrell, J. A. Richter-Menge, C. Haas, J. W. Deming, and J. Thomson. 2017. "Ice and ocean velocity in the Arctic marginal ice zone: Ice roughness and momentum transfer." Elem Sci Anth, 5: [10.1525/elementa.241]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Atmospheric form drag coefficients over Arctic sea ice using remotely sensed ice topography data, spring 2009-2015." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 122: [10.1002/2017jf004209]

    Armitage, T. W., S. Bacon, A. L. Ridout, et al. A. A. Petty, S. Wolbach, and M. Tsamados. 2017. "Arctic Ocean geostrophic circulation 2003-2014." The Cryosphere, 11: 1767-1780 [10.5194/tc-2017-22]

    Graham, R. M., L. Cohen, A. A. Petty, et al. L. N. Boisvert, A. Rinke, S. R. Hudson, M. Nicolaus, and M. A. Granskog. 2017. "Increasing frequency and duration of Arctic winter warming events." Geophysical Research Letters, 44: [10.1002/2017gl073395]

    Petty, A. A., D. Schröder, J. C. Stroeve, et al. T. Markus, J. Miller, N. T. Kurtz, D. L. Feltham, and D. Flocco. 2017. "Skillful spring forecasts of September Arctic sea ice extent using passive microwave sea ice observations." Earth's Future, 5: 254–263 [10.1002/2016EF000495]

    Boisvert, L. N., A. A. Petty, and J. C. Stroeve. 2016. "The Impact of the Extreme Winter 2015/16 Arctic Cyclone on the Barents–Kara Seas." Monthly Weather Review, [http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-16-0234.1]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, N. T. Kurtz, et al. S. L. Farrell, T. Newman, J. P. Harbeck, D. L. Feltham, and J. A. Richter-Menge. 2016. "Characterizing Arctic sea ice topography using high-resolution IceBridge data." The Cryosphere, 10 (3): 1161-1179 [10.5194/tc-10-1161-2016]

    Petty, A. A., J. K. Hutchings, J. A. Richter-Menge, and M. A. Tschudi. 2016. "Sea ice circulation around the Beaufort Gyre: The changing role of wind forcing and the sea ice state." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121 (5): 3278-3296 [10.1002/2015jc010903]

    Tsamados, M., D. Feltham, A. Petty, D. Schroeder, and D. Flocco. 2015. "Processes controlling surface, bottom and lateral melt of Arctic sea ice in a state of the art sea ice model." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 373 (2052): 20140167 [10.1098/rsta.2014.0167]

    Petty, A. A., P. R. Holland, and D. L. Feltham. 2014. "Sea ice and the ocean mixed layer over the Antarctic shelf seas." The Cryosphere, 8 (2): 761-783 [10.5194/tc-8-761-2014]

    Petty, A. A., D. L. Feltham, and P. R. Holland. 2013. "Impact of Atmospheric Forcing on Antarctic Continental Shelf Water Masses." Journal of Physical Oceanography, 43 (5): 920-940 [10.1175/jpo-d-12-0172.1]

    Non-Refereed

    Zhou, L., J. Stroeve, S. Xu, et al. A. Petty, R. Tilling, M. Winstrup, P. Rostosky, I. R. Lawrence, G. E. Liston, A. Ridout, M. Tsamados, and V. Nandan. 2020. "Inter-comparison of snow depth over sea ice from multiple methods." The Cryosphere (Submitted) [10.5194/tc-2020-65]

    Petty, A. A., T. Markus, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Improving our understanding of Antarctic sea ice with NASA's Operation IceBridge and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission." US CLIVAR Variations 15 (3):

    Brief Bio

    Alek Petty is an Associate Research Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the University of Maryland; specializing in polar sea ice variability. He is a member of NASA's Operation IceBridge and ICESat-2 Project Science Offices where he works on the production and analysis of new sea ice data. Alek graduated with an M.Sci in Physics from the University of Bristol in 2010, and a PhD in Climate Science from University College London in 2014. His PhD research involved modeling the sea ice and ocean surrounding Antarctica. His postdoctoral studies extended this research approach to include the remote sensing of Arctic and Southern Ocean sea ice across scales. Alek's research approach now involves utilizing a combination of polar remote sensing data and models to improve our understanding of the polar regions and the wider climate system. More information can be found below and on his personal website: www.alekpetty.com.

    Publications

    Refereed

    Kwok, R., A. A. Petty, M. Bagnardi, et al. N. T. Kurtz, G. F. Cunningham, and A. Ivanoff. 2020. "Refining the sea surface identification approach for determining freeboards in the ICESat-2 sea ice products." The Cryosphere Discuss (Submitted) [10.5194/tc-2020-174]

    Kwok, R., G. F. Cunningham, S. Kacimi, et al. M. A. Webster, N. T. Kurtz, and A. A. Petty. 2020. "Decay of the snow cover over Arctic sea ice from ICESat‐2 acquisitions during summer melt in 2019." Geophysical Research Letters (In Press) 47 [10.1029/2020gl088209]

    Horvat, C., E. Blanchard‐Wrigglesworth, and A. Petty. 2020. "Observing waves in sea ice with ICESat‐2." Geophysical Research Letters 47 [10.1029/2020gl087629]

    Landy, J. C., A. A. Petty, M. Tsamados, and J. C. Stroeve. 2020. "Sea ice roughness overlooked as a key source of uncertainty in CryoSat‐2 ice freeboard retrievals." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125 [10.1029/2019jc015820]

    Notz, D., J. Dörr, D. A. Bailey, et al. E. Blockley, M. Bushuk, J. B. Debernard, E. Dekker, P. DeRepentigny, D. Docquier, N. S. Fučkar, J. C. Fyfe, A. Jahn, M. Holland, E. Hunke, D. Iovino, N. Khosravi, F. Massonnet, G. Madec, S. O'Farrell, A. Petty, A. Rana, L. Roach, E. Rosenblum, C. Rousset, T. Semmler, J. Stroeve, B. Tremblay, T. Toyoda, H. Tsujino, and M. Vancoppenolle. 2020. "Arctic Sea Ice in CMIP6." Geophysical Research Letters 47 [10.1029/2019gl086749]

    Petty, A. A., N. T. Kurtz, R. Kwok, T. Markus, and T. Neumann. 2020. "Winter Arctic sea ice thickness from ICESat-2 freeboards." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125 e2019JC015764 [10.1029/2019jc015764]

    Kwok, R., S. Kacimi, M. Webster, N. Kurtz, and A. Petty. 2020. "Arctic snow depth and sea ice thickness from ICESat‐2 and CryoSat‐2 freeboards: A first examination." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125 e2019JC016008 [10.1029/2019jc016008]

    Armitage, T. W., G. E. Manucharyan, A. A. Petty, R. Kwok, and A. F. Thompson. 2020. "Enhanced eddy activity in the Beaufort Gyre in response to sea ice loss." Nature Communications 11 (1): 761 [10.1038/s41467-020-14449-z]

    Cabaj, A., P. Kushner, C. Fletcher, S. Howell, and A. Petty. 2020. "Constraining reanalysis snowfall over the Arctic Ocean using CloudSat observations." Geophysical Research Letters [10.1029/2019gl086426]

    Boisvert, L., M. Webster, A. A. Petty, et al. T. Markus, R. I. Cullather, and D. Bromwich. 2020. "Intercomparison of Precipitation Estimates Over the Southern Ocean from Atmospheric Reanalyses." Journal of Climate (Submitted)

    Kwok, R., T. Markus, N. Kurtz, et al. A. Petty, T. Neumann, S. Farrell, G. Cunningham, D. Hancock, A. Ivanoff, and J. Wimert. 2019. "Surface height and sea ice freeboard of the Arctic Ocean from ICESat‐2: Characteristics and early results." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 2019JC015486 [10.1029/2019jc015486]

    Frew, R. C., D. L. Feltham, P. R. Holland, and A. A. Petty. 2019. "Sea Ice – Ocean Feedbacks in the Antarctic Shelf Seas." Journal of Physical Oceanography JPO-D-18-0229.1 [10.1175/jpo-d-18-0229.1]

    Petty, A. A., M. Webster, L. Boisvert, and T. Markus. 2018. "The NASA Eulerian Snow on Sea Ice Model (NESOSIM) v1.0: initial model development and analysis." Geoscientific Model Development 11 (11): 4577-4602 [10.5194/gmd-11-4577-2018]

    Petty, A. A., M. M. Holland, D. A. Bailey, and N. T. Kurtz. 2018. "Warm Arctic, increased winter sea-ice growth?" Geophysical Research Letters [10.1029/2018gl079223]

    Boisvert, L., M. A. Webster, A. A. Petty, et al. T. Markus, D. Bromwich, and R. I. Cullather. 2018. "Intercomparison of precipitation estimates over the Arctic Ocean and its peripheral seas from reanalyses." Journal of Climate

    Petty, A. A. 2018. "A Possible Link Between Winter Arctic Sea Ice Decline and a Collapse of the Beaufort High?" Geophysical Research Letters [10.1002/2018gl077704]

    Petty, A. A., J. C. Stroeve, P. R. Holland, et al. L. N. Boisvert, A. C. Bliss, N. Kimura, and W. N. Meier. 2018. "The Arctic sea ice cover of 2016: a year of record-low highs and higher-than-expected lows." The Cryosphere 12 (2): 433-452 [10.5194/tc-12-433-2018]

    Cole, S. T., J. M. Toole, R. Lele, et al. M.-L. Timmermans, S. G. Gallaher, T. P. Stanton, W. J. Shaw, B. Hwang, T. Maksym, J. P. Wilkinson, M. Ortiz, H. Graber, L. Rainville, A. A. Petty, S. L. Farrell, J. A. Richter-Menge, C. Haas, J. W. Deming, and J. Thomson. 2017. "Ice and ocean velocity in the Arctic marginal ice zone: Ice roughness and momentum transfer." Elem Sci Anth 5 [10.1525/elementa.241]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Atmospheric form drag coefficients over Arctic sea ice using remotely sensed ice topography data, spring 2009-2015." Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 122 [10.1002/2017jf004209]

    Armitage, T. W., S. Bacon, A. L. Ridout, et al. A. A. Petty, S. Wolbach, and M. Tsamados. 2017. "Arctic Ocean geostrophic circulation 2003-2014." The Cryosphere 11 1767-1780 [10.5194/tc-2017-22]

    Graham, R. M., L. Cohen, A. A. Petty, et al. L. N. Boisvert, A. Rinke, S. R. Hudson, M. Nicolaus, and M. A. Granskog. 2017. "Increasing frequency and duration of Arctic winter warming events." Geophysical Research Letters 44 [10.1002/2017gl073395]

    Petty, A. A., D. Schröder, J. C. Stroeve, et al. T. Markus, J. Miller, N. T. Kurtz, D. L. Feltham, and D. Flocco. 2017. "Skillful spring forecasts of September Arctic sea ice extent using passive microwave sea ice observations." Earth's Future 5 254–263 [10.1002/2016EF000495]

    Boisvert, L. N., A. A. Petty, and J. C. Stroeve. 2016. "The Impact of the Extreme Winter 2015/16 Arctic Cyclone on the Barents–Kara Seas." Monthly Weather Review [http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-16-0234.1]

    Petty, A. A., M. C. Tsamados, N. T. Kurtz, et al. S. L. Farrell, T. Newman, J. P. Harbeck, D. L. Feltham, and J. A. Richter-Menge. 2016. "Characterizing Arctic sea ice topography using high-resolution IceBridge data." The Cryosphere 10 (3): 1161-1179 [10.5194/tc-10-1161-2016]

    Petty, A. A., J. K. Hutchings, J. A. Richter-Menge, and M. A. Tschudi. 2016. "Sea ice circulation around the Beaufort Gyre: The changing role of wind forcing and the sea ice state." Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 121 (5): 3278-3296 [10.1002/2015jc010903]

    Tsamados, M., D. Feltham, A. Petty, D. Schroeder, and D. Flocco. 2015. "Processes controlling surface, bottom and lateral melt of Arctic sea ice in a state of the art sea ice model." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 373 (2052): 20140167 [10.1098/rsta.2014.0167]

    Petty, A. A., P. R. Holland, and D. L. Feltham. 2014. "Sea ice and the ocean mixed layer over the Antarctic shelf seas." The Cryosphere 8 (2): 761-783 [10.5194/tc-8-761-2014]

    Petty, A. A., D. L. Feltham, and P. R. Holland. 2013. "Impact of Atmospheric Forcing on Antarctic Continental Shelf Water Masses." Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (5): 920-940 [10.1175/jpo-d-12-0172.1]

    Non-Refereed

    Zhou, L., J. Stroeve, S. Xu, et al. A. Petty, R. Tilling, M. Winstrup, P. Rostosky, I. R. Lawrence, G. E. Liston, A. Ridout, M. Tsamados, and V. Nandan. 2020. "Inter-comparison of snow depth over sea ice from multiple methods." The Cryosphere (Submitted) [10.5194/tc-2020-65]

    Petty, A. A., T. Markus, and N. T. Kurtz. 2017. "Improving our understanding of Antarctic sea ice with NASA's Operation IceBridge and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission." US CLIVAR Variations 15 (3):

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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