AER Statement on Climate Change

Dr. Guy Seeley
June 7, 2017

At AER, we have been deeply engaged for decades in advancing many aspects of the fundamental scientific understanding of weather and climate. Our work is widely known as a definitive set of methods for evaluating the radiative properties of current and future atmospheres, and these methods are used every day in the world’s major weather forecast centers.

The scientific consensus showing a significant set of risks to human society from unconstrained carbon emissions is clear. Efforts to address global emissions are valuable and important. We are very pleased to see broad attention to the science on these topics, and we strongly concur with the Verisk statement which can be found <here>.

AER to present at IMAGE 2017 conference

Karl Pfeiffer
June 1, 2017

AER will present results from ongoing research in supporting Department of Defense modeling and simulation at the IMAGE 2017 conference in Dayton, OH, 27-28 Jun.  Under the paper and talk titled Demonstrating a Weather Simulation Federate for Distributed Mission Operations, we will discuss the case for a weather simulation federate that provides control to simulation operators and exercise controllers to adjust weather scenario content to better meet required impacts, training and analysis objectives.  We demonstrate these ideas with a prototype federate called WxSim.  These results provide insight and a starting point for significantly improving the representation of the natural environment in DoD simulations, and ultimately improving their value to analysis, training and mission rehearsal.

97th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting

Bob Morris
January 20, 2017

97th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting

Bob Morris, January 20, 2017

Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc (AER) proudly announces its important contributions to the 97th American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting in Seattle the week of January 23, 2017. AER researchers across a number of weather-related disciplines, along with co-authors at other top research institutions, will present their work in the poster and oral papers listed below (AER authors in bold type), including research in advanced data assimilation, radiative transfer modeling, environmental remote sensing, algorithm and ground system development, system simulation experiments, and air quality.  The full scientific program for the Annual Meeting is found here:


  1. Modeling of precipitation-impacted microwave radiances for application to assimilation in numerical weather prediction models. Moncet, J.-L., A. Lipton and P. Liang
  2. Assimilation of Hyperspectral Satellite Data Projected on Optimal Spectral Sampling (OSS) Nodes. A. Lipton, J.-L. Moncet, and P. Liang
  3. Analysis of Real-Time Monitoring and Mapping of CO2 Concentrations over Paris, France. T. Scott Zaccheo, J. T. Dobler, T. G. Pernini, N. Blume, G. Broquet, M. Ramonet, J. Staufer, and F. Vogel
  4. GOES-R Launch: Overview of Baseline Level 2 Products Generated from End-to-End Analysis and Testing. Paul A. Van Rompay, E. J. Kennelly, A. O. Schutte III, W. Wolf, S. Sampson, R. Kaiser, H. E. Snell, and T. S. Zaccheo
  5. GOES-R: Overview of Baseline Level 2 Products Generated from End-to-End Analysis and Testing. August O. Schutte III, R. Kaiser, T. S. Zaccheo, P. A. Van Rompay, H. E. Snell, W. W. Wolf, and S. Sampson
  6. Impact of Atmospheric State Uncertainties on Retrieved XCO2 Columns from Laser Differential Absorption Spectrometer Measurements and the Effect of O2-Derived Surface Pressure on XCO2 Retrieval Accuracy. Timothy G. Pernini, T. S. Zaccheo, R. L. Pernak, and E. V. Browell
  7. A Collaborative Approach for Algorithm Operationalization. Alexander Werbos, L. E. Dafoe, S. Marley, and T. S. Zaccheo
  8. A Scalable, Cloud-Based Implementation of a Complete Ground Processing System.  Alexander Werbos, D. B. Hogan, D. Hunt, C. Oliveira, H. E. Snell, T. S. Zaccheo, and E. Steinfelt
  9. Harris Multifunctional Fiber-Laser Lidar; The Transition to an Operational Instrument for an Airborne CO2 Lidar in Support of ACT-America. Jeremy T. Dobler, D. McGregor, N. Blume, S. A. Kooi, J. Digangi, K. J. Davis, C. W. O'Dell, T. S. Zaccheo, J. Campbell, E. V. Browell, and B. Lin
  10. Creating Vector Winds from Simulated CYGNSS Ocean Surface Wind Speed Retrievals Using Variational Analysis. S. Mark Leidner, B. Annane, R. N. Hoffman, and R. Atlas
  11. Severe Weather Simulation Experiment (QuickOSSE) Using Super Constellations of GNSS Radio Occultation Satellites. S. Mark Leidner, T. Nehrkorn, J. M. Henderson, M. Mountain, T. P. Yunck, and R. N. Hoffman
  12. The Cross-Calibrated Multi-Platform (CCMP) Ocean Vector Wind Analysis (V2.0). Carl A. Mears, L. Ricciardulli, J. Scott, R. Hoffman, S. M. Leidner, R. Atlas, and F. J. Wentz
  13. Impact of Simulated CYGNSS Ocean Surface Winds on Tropical Cyclone Analyses and Forecasts in a Regional OSSE Framework. Bachir Annane, B. D. McNoldy, S. M. Leidner, R. N. Hoffman, R. Atlas, and S. J. Majumdar
  14. Assimilation of CYGNSS Ocean Surface Winds in HWRF. Bachir Annane, S. M. Leidner, B. D. McNoldy, R. N. Hoffman, and R. Atlas
  15. Evaluating Model Parameterizations of Submicron Aerosol Scattering and Absorption with In Situ Data from ARCTAS 2008. Matt Alvarado, C. R. Lonsdale, H. L. Macintyre, H. Bian, M. Chin, D. A. Ridley, C. L. Heald, and C. Wang
  16. Evaluating WRF Simulations of Planetary Boundary Layer Processes during the Baltimore – Washington, DC DISCOVER-AQ Field Campaign. Jen Hegarty, J. Henderson, J. Lewis Jr., E. McGrath-Spangler, A. J. Scarino, R. Adams-Selin, R. Ferrare, E. J. Welton, and P. L. DeCola

NPR Sea Level Rise Interview

Christopher Piecuch
December 9, 2016

AER's Dr. Christopher Piecuch was recently interviewed by NPR on the topic of his sea-level rise research.  The full interview can be experienced here:

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2016

Bob Morris
December 9, 2016

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2016

Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc (AER) is proud to announce its participation in the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco the week of December 12. AER researchers across a number of geophysical disciplines, along with co-authors at other top research institutions, will present their work in the poster and oral papers listed below (AER authors in bold type), including research in physical oceanography, atmospheric radiation and climate, environmental remote sensing, flood mapping, air quality, and space weather.  The full scientific program for the Fall Meeting is found here:



  1. G12A-07 - Annual Sea Level Changes on the North American Northeast Coast: Influence of Wind Forcing and Mass Redistribution; Rui PonteChristopher Piecuch, Sönke Dangendorf, and Marta Marcos

  2. G14A-06 - A Comparison of Full and Empirical Bayes Techniques for Inferring Sea Level Changes from Tide Gauge Records; Christopher Piecuch, Peter Huybers, and Martin Tingley

  3. G21A-0986 - Decadal variations in sea level patterns and the recent global mean surface warming slowdown; Patrick Heimbach, Rui PonteChristopher Piecuch, Gaël Forget, and Xinfeng Liang

  4. G21A-0988 - Global mean sea level: ENSO, accelerations, and mass versus steric contributions; Katherine Quinn and Christopher Piecuch

  5. OS23D-02 - Forcing of recent decadal variability in the Equatorial and North Indian Ocean; Philip Thompson, Christopher Piecuch, Mark Merrifield, Julian McCreary, and Eric Firing

  6. OS23D-03 - Dynamic sea level changes on the Northeast US coast and their relation to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; Christopher Little and Christopher Piecuch

  7. OS31B-2020 - Air pressure effects on sea level changes during the Twentieth Century; Kathleen Donohue, Christopher Piecuch, and Philip Thompson

  8. PP51E-08 - Global and regional sea level proxy-model consistency over the Common Era; Eric Morrow, Christopher Little, Robert Kopp, Ben Horton, and Andrew Kemp

  9. A31G-0123 - Impact of atmospheric state uncertainties on retrieved XCO2 columns from laser differential absorption spectrometer measurements and the effect of O2-derived surface pressure on XCO2 retrieval accuracy; T Scott Zaccheo, Timothy Pernini, Rick Pernak

  10. A51K-0242 - Results from a Year of Column CO2 Measurements over Paris France using Harris GreenLITE™; Jeremy Todd Dobler,  T Scott Zaccheo, Nathan Blume, Gregoire Broquet, Michel Ramonet, Johannes Staufer, Felix R Vogel

  11. B33C-0616 - Impact of Modeling Domain on CO2 Flux Constraints for Satellite-Based Regional Inversions; Marikate Ellis Mountain, Thomas Nehrkorn, Arlyn E Andrews, Michael Trudeau, Kirk W Thoning, T Scott Zaccheo

  12. Evaluation and application of an algorithm for atmospheric profiling continuity from Aqua to Suomi-NPP; Alan Lipton, Jean-Luc Moncet, Rich Lynch, Vivienne Payne, and Matt Alvarado

  13. Daily High-Resolution Flood Maps of Africa: 1992-present with Near Real Time Updates; John Galantowicz, Jeff Picton, and Ben Root

  14. A11I-0130 - The Spectroscopic Foundation of Radiative Forcing of Climate by Carbon Dioxide; D. P. Kratz, M. G. Mlynczak, E. J. Mlawer, T. S. Daniels, D. R. Feldman, W. D. Collins, M. J. Alvarado, J. E. Lawler, L. W. Anderson, D. W. Fahey, L. A. Hunt, and J. C. Mast

  15. A11I-0129 - Methane longwave radiative forcing uncertainty and its thermodynamic dependence; Feldman, D., T. Daniels, M. G. Mlynczak, M. J. Alvarado, E. J. Mlawer, and W. D. Collins

  16. GC51E-1225 - Regional Modeling of Biomass-Burning Aerosol Impacts; Lonsdale, C. R., C. Brodowski, M. Alvarado, J. Henderson, J. R. Pierce, and J. Lin

  17. A24F-05 - Top-Down Constraints on Air Quality Model Emissions of NH3, NOx, and SO2 using Surface, Aircraft, and Satellite Data; Alvarado, M. J., C. R. Lonsdale, E. Winijkul, C. M. Brodowski, K. E. Cady-Pereira, D. K. Henze, and S. Capps

  18. Benchmark calculations of present-day instantaneous radiative forcing in clear, aerosol-free skies; Robert Pincus, K Franklin Evans, Eli Jay Mlawer, David Paynter, James Manners, Stefan A Buehler

  19. Measured and Modeled Downwelling Far-Infrared Radiances in Very Dry Environments and Calibration Requirements for Future Experiments; Jeffrey C Mast, Martin G Mlynczak, Richard Cageao, David P Kratz, Harry Latvakoski, David Geoffrey Johnson, Eli Jay Mlawer, David D Turner

  20. Spectroscopy for Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases: Recent Advances and Outstanding Issues - Vivienne Payne, Brian J. Drouin, Malathy Devi, D. Chris Benner, Fabiano A Oyafuso, Linda R. Brown, Matthew James Cich, David Crisp, Brendan Fisher, Iouli Gordon, Alexandre Guillaume, Joseph T Hodges, David Long, Elizabeth M. Lunny, Eli Jay Mlawer, Mitchio Okumura, Mike Smyth, Keeyoon Sung, Laurence S Rothman, Shanshan Y

  21. Spectral Scaling Technique to Determine Extreme Carrington-level GIC Effects; Lisa Winter, Jenn Gannon, Rick Quinn, Stu Houston, Rick Pernak, Ed Pope

  22. SH41B-2537 - On the Origin of Long-duration Solar Gamma-ray Flares and Their Connection with SEPs; Valerie Bernstein (AER summer intern)

NASA features AER research on sea level changes

Christopher Piecuch
August 15, 2016

Sea level changes are a matter of serious concern for coastal communities, effecting recurrent flooding, beach erosion, saltwater intrusion, and wetland loss. Therefore, understanding the causes of past sea level changes, in order to more confidently predict sea level changes in the future, has been a major goal in climate science.

Past studies suggest that, along the United States’ northeastern seaboard, changes in sea level from one year to the next are strongly tied to changes to ocean currents in the North Atlantic, such as the Gulf Stream. However, recent research led by AER scientists Drs. Christopher Piecuch and Rui Ponte has now shown that such sea level changes along the northeast coast have more to do with the local meteorology, and less to do with the circulation in the North Atlantic.

Piecuch and Ponte, along with European colleagues, used decades’ worth of data from tide gauges up and down the United States’ northeast coast, from Virginia to Maine. They found that an ocean model, designed to simulate how the ocean responds to changes in coastal winds and air pressure, skillfully reproduced a large part of the observed sea level changes. The research clarifies how changes in sea level at the coast are related to changes in ocean circulation over the North Atlantic more broadly. It has implications for scientists trying to decipher past changes in major ocean currents or anticipate future changes in coastal sea level.

The findings were published in the Journal of Climate and Geophysical Research Letters and appear as a feature on NASA’s “Sea Level Change” website.

Are you ready for the next generation GEO MetSats?

David Hogan
February 25, 2016

A revolution in geosynchronous meteorological satellite (GEO MetSat) capability is just beginning.  2015 saw the transition to operations of the Japanese Himawari H8 satellite, hosting as a primary instrument the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI). Soon to follow are US satellites in the GOES-R series with a very similar instrument, the Advanced Baseline Imager – launches beginning in late 2016. And after that MetSats will be launched hosting instruments with similar capabilities from Korea (GEO-KOMPSAT) and Europe (EUMETSAT’s Meteosat Third Generation series).

This emerging generation of instruments provides dramatic improvements in spatial resolution, number and quality of the spectral bands and refresh making possible dramatic new environmental monitoring capabilities, but at a cost: an over 50x increase in throughput.

Our team at AER has recently demonstrated the capabiltiies of this emerging generation of satellites by applying technology and algorithms AER orighinally developed for to be launched GOES-R satellite on Himawari AHI data. We are tremondously excited about the power offered by this new generation satellite technology, The high resolution instrument provide stunning imagery, especially when combined with AER's multi-spectral and pan-sharpened image enhancement techniques. The additional spectral bands provide more and better quality environmental products, increasing your ability to accurately observe critical weather pheonomena.

Powered by AER’s Algorithm Workbench, we offer a complete solution:



Clouds: cloud mask, cloud properties, low cloud and fog Imagery: enhanced multi-spectral and pan sharpened
Multi-level winds: cloud and water vapor tracked Aerosols type and properties, dust and smoke
Temperature and water vapor profiles, stability indices, column water vapor Vegegation indices
Sea and land surface temperature Rainfall rate
Volcanic ash detection/ height Fires, hot spots and gas flares


Enhanced Imagery Sample Products


Here's an action-packed video to watch!


To learn more about GEO MetSat processing solutions to unlock the capabilities of this next genration of GEO MetSats for you, download this brochure or contact David Hogan using the Contact Us page.




AER Leads Research Initiative to Provide More Comprehensive View of Future Coastal Floods

Chris Little
September 21, 2015

AER scientist Chris Little led the development of an innovative, broadly applicable methodology for analyzing future coastal floods. The research was published today in Nature Climate Change.

"The newly developed technique is a significant contribution because it provides a more comprehensive view of the future coastal flood hazard, in which changes are summarized using a fully probabilistic flood index. The combines approaches to quantify both changes in storminess and increases in the baseline sea level."

According to lead author Christopher Little of Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), “These projections help lay the groundwork for more specific research that will be valuable for adapting to climate change.”

"Now we can combine changes in sea level and storminess into the same analysis, which allows us to assess the coastal flood risk more comprehensively. Similar assessments of so-called joint hazards (for example, heat and humidity, or storm surge and rainfall-driven flooding) are critical to understanding the full scope of climate change risks.”

Read more on this research and announcement:

AER Introduces the Algorithm Workbench at the 2015 NOAA Satellite Conference

Scott Zaccheo
May 12, 2015

I recently returned from the 2015 NOAA Satellite Conference, a widely attended international conference sponsored by NOAA's National Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS).  It was exciting to spend a full week interacting with an internationally diverse set of environmental satellite data users, scientists and algorithm/software developers, all interested in current and future NOAA programs and products.

At the conference, I worked with an AER team to present and demonstrate the Algorithm Workbench (AWB), a comprehensive toolkit facilitating the transition of remote sensing algorithms from research to operations (and back again) – also referred to as the R2O and O2R processes.  The AER Algorithm Workbench is the outcome of decades of experience at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) transitioning science/scientific software to practical solutions.  It evolved from the algorithm development and test framework we developed and employed as part of our work implementing and testing the level 1 and 2 product generation algorithms for GOES-R.

The Algorithm Workbench is designed to support the larger objectives of NOAA, as well as other research/operational institutions, to evolve to a standardized enterprise ground architecture.  The science algorithm development/processing framework is a key element of any ground processing architecture.  We designed the Algorithm Workbench to fit in this niche. It supports a common set of interfaces across the development, test and production environments along with a standardized algorithm template. The Algorithm Workbench provides multi-language support including C++, FORTRAN and Python.

At the conference, we presented some recent results evaluating a multi-cloud-algorithm precedence network (producing a cloud mask, cloud phase and cloud top properties) on data from Japan's recently launched Himawari satellite. The Himawari imager <<link>> has the same basic design as the GOES-R imager with only minor channel differences and so is an excellent basis for testing the GOES-R algorithms. With only minor tuning, the out of the box products look excellent.  Although this is only the first step in a rigorous validation process, these initial result indicate both the exciting capabilities that will be available in the US with the upcoming GOES-R launch next year.

I am looking forwards to next year's NSC, which will be held shortly before the GOES-R satellite launch ushers in a new era for geosynchronous satellite remote sensing.

Here are a few items of interest.

If you would like to learn more about the Algorithm Workbench and see how it might support your needs, please contact myself, Scott Zaccheo, or David Hogan.

AER Contributes to Landmark Study on Earth’s Greenhouse Effect

Eli Mlawer
February 25, 2015

Scientists who research thermal radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere are confident that we have a very detailed and accurate understanding of the nature of the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide (CO2), including the impact of rising CO2 levels. 

Recently I participated in a study that provided the first direct observation at the surface of the Earth’s increased greenhouse effect due to rising CO2 levels. This represents an important milestone in the detection of the increased greenhouse effect due to fossil fuel emissions.

Another key result of our study was that the measured trend agreed with theoretical calculations of AER’s highly accurate Line-By-Line Radiative Transfer Model (LBLRTM).

The study “Observational Determination of Surface Radiative Forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010",  published this week in the journal Nature, was led by Dr. Daniel Feldman of the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (Please see press release "First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface" summary of this research from Berkeley Lab.)

Thermal radiation exiting from the top of our atmosphere cools the planet, balancing out the radiant energy received from the sun. Rising CO2 levels lower this outgoing thermal energy (i.e. increasing the greenhouse effect), thereby affecting our planet’s energy balance and causing an overall rise in global temperatures. This same greenhouse effect physics also causes an increase in thermal radiation at the surface when CO2 rises.

In our study, an analysis of thermal radiation measurements at two surface locations, one in Oklahoma and one on the North Slope of Alaska, determined that increases in CO2 between 2000 and 2010 led to a rise in the observed thermal radiation, as expected. As each gas in the atmosphere has a particular “fingerprint” with regards to its absorption and emission of different wavelengths of thermal radiation, we were able to distinguish the impact of changes in CO2 from other effects. 

The accuracy of AER’s LBLRTM was critical in this analysis.  The foundation of the LBLRTM’s accuracy are laboratory measurements and theoretical calculations by scientists in the field of molecular spectroscopy, as well as extensive comparisons with spectral radiation measurements, such as in the recent study led by Dr. Matthew Alvarado of AER.  Many improvements to LBLRTM have been made as a result of such studies, and the model is widely utilized and relied on by atmospheric scientists.  Our fast radiation code RRTMG, which is incorporated in many global models used for climate prediction, is also based on LBLRTM. 

Our Nature article provides further confirmation that today’s climate models correctly represent the impact of CO2 on Earth’s radiation balance.  Although the impacts of rising greenhouse gases on Earth’s climate are very complex, it is important to understand that the driving force behind climate change is the simple concept of energy balance.  This study confirms that we have an excellent understanding of the direct impact of rising greenhouse gases like CO2 on Earth’s radiation energy.