AER authors 43 oral/poster presentations at AGU Fall Meeting & AMS Annual Meeting

Ron Isaacs
December 4, 2014

We look forward to seeing colleagues at both the AGU Fall Meeting and the AMS Annual Meeting and hope you'll take a few moments to stop by some of AER's technical presentations.

As always, scientists and software engineers from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) are contributing significantly to the meetings, giving 43 oral and/or poster presentations over the course of these two scientific conferences. In all, 38 AER authors contributed to this research.

American Geophysical Union, December 15-19

AER scientists and software engineers will author and/or coauthor a total of 25 oral and poster presentations on cutting-edge environmental research at the 2014 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco. The AER papers represent a broad set of key research undertakings in the environmental sciences, including important advances in:

  • Remote sensing and quantitative retrieval of atmospheric constituents (including carbon dioxide and methane) and land surface properties from satellite instruments,
  • Understanding and modeling of atmospheric pollutants for air quality applications,
  • Meteorological measurements, data assimilation, and numerical weather prediction,
  • Characterization and prediction of solar flares and energetic particle events, as well as other studies of the space environment, and
  • Searching for climate signals in the fluctuations and distributions of oceanic mass and density.

See details about AER’s topics at AGU.

American Meteorological Society, January 5-8

Our scientists and software engineers will author and/or coauthor 18 oral and poster presentations at the 2015 American Meteorological Society (AMS) Annual Meeting in Phoenix. In addition to many of the interesting topics mentioned above for the Dec. 2014 AGU conference, the AER papers at the AMS meeting will describe key findings on the following subjects:

  • Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) systems, and determining the impacts of new sensors on numerical weather prediction,
  • Algorithms and products for the new GOES-R satellite system,
  • Active remote sensing of atmospheric carbon dioxide using LIDAR techniques, and
  • Science support to operational weather analysis and forecasting.

View the topics and AER authors at AMS.

See you in San Francisco and/or Phoenix! Drop us a note if you would like to connect while there.

Ron Isaacs
Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a division of Verisk Climate

Verisk Climate’s Atmospheric and Environmental Research Adds Winter Temperature Animation to Arctic Oscillation Blog

Judah Cohen
December 3, 2014

We created a new animation that shows the observed evolution of temperature anomalies throughout the Northern Hemisphere landmasses based on snow cover alone. We composited daily temperatures (using a five day filter) of years with observed high Eurasian October snow cover minus low Eurasian October snow cover.  The animation runs from September 1 through February 28. You can view it on the Arctic Oscillation blog toward the bottom of the page.

Given the high snow cover observed this past October, the animation may provide insight into periods and regions when strong temperature anomalies are favored based on snow cover alone.  This is not a temperature forecast and of course many other factors influence observed temperature anomalies including global sea surface temperatures, the stratosphere, sea ice and the random nature of the atmospheric circulation.

The Arctic Oscillation is the climate mode most highly correlated with surface temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere continents. Drs. Judah Cohen and Jason Furtado from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER is a division of Verisk Climate) are analyzing and predicting the variability in the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the dominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Northern Hemisphere, in a new blog series.  AER’s published research shows that October Eurasian snow cover is a leading indicator of the mean winter Arctic Oscillation.

AER launches Arctic Oscillation Analysis and Forecasts blog

Judah Cohen
November 5, 2014

Drs. Judah Cohen and Jason Furtado from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a division of Verisk Climate, are analyzing and predicting the variability in the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the dominant mode of atmospheric variability in the Northern Hemisphere, in a new blog series Arctic Oscillation Analysis and Forecasts.  The blog will also discuss the climate impact associated with AO variability: the AO has a strong relationship with temperature variability across the entire Northern Hemisphere.  The time period discussed will be from the more immediate (the next several days) to the longer term (a season ahead). 

Motivations for the AO blog have been recent advances in understanding significant climate variability associated with the AO and in predicting the AO using dynamical models and statistical techniques.  Leading up to the winter months, we will focus on Eurasian snow cover, which has been shown to be a skillful predictor of the winter AO and of winter temperatures across northern Eurasia and the Eastern United States.  On cue to help generate enthusiasm for this blog, Eurasian snow cover has advanced rapidly this past October, clocking in with the second highest total since record keeping began back in the late 1960’s (See Figure), promising to make for interesting observation of the AO variability this winter.

Ron Isaacs appointed as IEEE GRSS Corporate Liaison

Brenda Kelly
March 3, 2014

Ron Isaacs has been appointed the Director of Corporate Relations for the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). Ron is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the relationship between GRSS and private sector organizations involved in geoscience and remote sensing activities.

Ron's IEEE GRSS involvement spans numerous roles. He was elected a Senior Member of the GRSS in 2007 and served on the local organizing committee for IGARSS08, the society’s annual meeting, when it was held in Boston.

Under Ron's guidance, AER along with their government, academic and private sector partners, have been at the forefront of innovations in remote sensing and geoscience for more than 35 years. Fifteen staff at AER are members of IEEE.

IEEE GRSS subscribers can read more about AER's innovations in remote sensing and geoscience in the industry spotlight article "A Geoscience and Remote Sensing Research Paradigm in Industry".

NSF website features AER research on worst-case “exigent” weather forecasting

Daniel Gombos
January 8, 2014

Research performed by AER scientists Dr. Daniel Gombos and Dr. Ross Hoffman is featured on the NSF Science, Engineering, and Education (SEE) innovation website.

The NSF website reports on a new technique developed by AER scientists called exigent analysis (EA) that produces a forecast map of worst-case or “exigent” damages for a particular weather event based on an ensemble of forecasts.  For any chosen forecast confidence level, EA supplies an upper bound of the number of people and value of property that the storm would affect at each location.  The resulting exigent damage map gives the worst-case damage scenario for a given probability, or equivalently, the most likely pattern of damage for a given value of area-wide damage.

This research has direct application for emergency situations affecting life and property.  In advance of a disaster, emergency responders could use exigent damage maps as extreme but plausible scenarios, and agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross could use exigent forecasts to preposition resources and personnel.

Drs. Gombos and Hoffman applied EA to several recent major weather events including Superstorm Sandy (2012).  In the figure that appears at the SEE website and reproduced here, the left panel shows the ensemble mean forecast wind damage to households for Superstorm Sandy based on the ECMWF ensemble forecasts of 10-meter wind from 00 UTC 26 October 2012, approximately 96 hours before New Jersey landfall.  In the most likely scenario (left panel), total residential property damage is forecast to be $5.8B, with damage concentrated along the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts and Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.  The exigent damage at the 90% risk level (right panel) is greater than the most likely scenario at these locations and more inland penetration of damage in all areas north of the landfall location and especially near New York Harbor.  The total forecast damage for the exigent scenario is $16.5B.

AER Recognized by Northrop Grumman for Supplier Excellence

Brenda Kelly
December 19, 2013

AER has received a highly coveted Supplier Excellence Award from Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Information Systems (NGIS) sector for technical innovation and quality products and services.

AER was recognized for its work on the System Engineering Maintenance and Sustainment (SEMS) II program at the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency, the largest supplier of terrestrial and space weather data for military users worldwide.

Under the SEMS II program, AER provides subject matter expertise and development support to Northrop Grumman’s team, including those members assigned to the Cloud Depiction and Forecast System (CDFS) II. CDFS II, based on AER-developed science algorithms, is the world’s only operational, hourly, global cloud analysis and forecast system.

“This award from Northrop Grumman underscores AER’s ability to innovate and solve operational problems that affect the Air Force’s ability to provide warfighters with value-added environmental data for efficient decision making. The close collaboration between our companies not only translates into good science and engineering but also provides a substantial increase in Air Force Weather capabilities, with across-the-board benefits to defense and national programs,” said Ron Isaacs, president of AER.



AER SEMS II Team:Standing: Marc Hidalgo, Mark Conner, Eric Hunt.Seated: Becky Selin, Suseela Sarasamma.


Trent Dalton from Northrop Grumman (far right) presented the award to AER team members Suseela Sarasamma, Becky Selin, and Marc Hidalgo.

AER SEMS team members Bob d'Entremont, Gary Gustafson, and Hilary (Ned) Snell.


33 AER scientists contribute 28 research studies at AGU Fall Meeting 2013

Eli Mlawer
December 12, 2013

AER is proud that 10 of our scientists were the lead authors presenting their research on a wide range of topics at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual Fall meeting. In all, 33 AER scientists contributed to 28 research studies in 7 science categories ranging from greenhouse gases to land surface processes to space weather.

Science category AER studies contributed AER is lead author and presenter
AER science research presented at AGU
Greenhouse gases 10 2
Climate analysis 3 1
Numerical Weather Prediction 3 1
Land Surface Processes 5 3
Air Quality 4 1
Space Weather 2 2
Gravity and geodesy 1 0
Total 28 10

Click here to view the authors and their research topics in each science category.

AER scientists at the cutting edge of GHG research

Janusz Eluszkiewicz
November 26, 2013

AER scientists involved in greenhouse gas (GHG) research, Janusz Eluszkiewicz and Thomas Nehrkorn, are co-authors of a Harvard-led study "Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States" just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and receiving considerable attention worldwide for its conclusion that methane emissions in the U.S. are significantly greater than previous estimates.

AER's contribution to this research was the development of the atmospheric transport simulations that underlie the study. These simulations utilize the Stochastic Time Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model driven by customized meteorological fields from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model. The coupled WRF-STILT model is the linchpin of multiple GHG-related efforts worldwide and has been developed at AER over the past decade with support from NSF, NASA, NOAA, the intelligence community, and private industry. Among on-going applications of WRF-STILT are urban methane leaks, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions in the Boston-DC corridor, and GHG sources in the Arctic.

Besides Janusz and Thomas, scientists contributing to GHG research at AER include John Henderson, Marikate Ellis Mountain, Jennifer Hegarty and Scott Zaccheo.

Additional information about this study can be viewed in many news sources including:

15 Research Studies by AER Scientists Cited in IPCC WG1 AR5 Report on Climate Change

Ron Isaacs
October 27, 2013

When the U.N.’s IPCC released the WG-1 AR5 report, we were proud to see the breadth of research by AER scientists cited in the report. It’s an indication that AER scientists have helped advance the scientific discourse about the Earth’s climate by providing research covering a broad range of topics from the ocean depths to the top of the atmosphere.

15 peer-reviewed publications by AER scientists were cited in 7 of the 14 chapters in the WG-1 AR5 report and cover a broad range of topics from the ocean depths to the top of the atmosphere.


For example:

  • Climate modeling and simulations
    • Evaluations of climate model performance with respect to climate patterns such as El Niño and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation as well as water vapor in the upper tropospheric
    • Developing and validating aerosol and cloud models
  • Ocean
    • Developing state-of-the-art datasets of ocean surface winds
    • Measuring and modeling regional variability in sea level
    • Evaluating the accuracy of ocean mass trends
  • Atmosphere
    • Assessing sudden warming trends in the stratosphere
    • Retrieving information about size distributions of ice clouds from satellite measurements

Many of the global models that provided simulations of future climate for the WG-1 AR5 report use an AER-developed computer code to calculate accurately the radiative impact of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric constituents.

“For more than two decades, the atmospheric community has relied on AER scientists for expertise in the field of radiative transfer including the impact of increased greenhouse gases,” said Robert Morris, Ph.D., AER vice president of Research and Development.

The cited research studies were sponsored by a broad cross section of federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Office of Naval Research. The audience for AER's scientific environmental expertise includes academic and government communities who look to AER for authoritative analysis of environmental trends past, present and future.

In addition to research, contributions by AER staff included peer review of portions of the IPCC WG1 AR5 report.

GRL features AER research on Ocean Bottom Pressure

Christopher Piecuch
August 13, 2013

Knowledge of changes in ocean bottom pressure, and their relation to fluctuations in sea surface height, is important for understanding aspects of ocean circulation and climate variability; for example, facilitating estimation of ocean heat content variations and elucidating causes for regional sea level variability. However, historical measurements of bottom pressure have been extremely sparse, limiting observational understanding of the nature of ocean bottom pressure behavior on scales relevant for climate studies.

Taking advantage of nearly a decade of measurements of ocean mass variability from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) — a collaboration between the space agencies of the United States and Germany — along with observations of sea level from satellite radar altimeter missions, AER authors Christopher Piecuch, Katherine Quinn, and Rui Ponte recently published the first observation-based investigation of the relationship between ocean bottom pressure and sea level over the global ocean on interannual time scales.

The authors found a tight relationship between sea level and bottom pressure variations over a number of oceanic regions; for example, abyssal plains in the Southern Ocean and shallow seas around the Indonesian archipelago. Their results demonstrate the high quality of mass measurements derived from GRACE, which is a “first-of-its-kind” mission, and also highlight important exceptions to the generally held paradigm that year-to-year changes in regional sea levels mostly represent redistribution of heat within the ocean.

The findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters and appear as a featured article on the journal's homepage.

See related research articles in the AER Research Library.


Shading represents standard deviations of large-scale, low-frequency ocean bottom pressure signals from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission in units of equivalent cm of water.