Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Lesley L. Smith

Lesley L. Smith

Research Interests

Dr. Lesley L. Smith is a physicist in the University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Her research interests include climate diagnostics and variability on seasonal to centennial time scales, ENSO impacts, attribution of weather and climate-related extremes, chemistry climate interactions and climate modeling. 

Dr. Smith is committed to increasing diversity in the scientific community and is a longtime mentor in NSF's Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program. She has also participated in programs of organizations such as PROmoting Geoscience Research, Education & SuccesS (PROGRESS)Blacks in Government (BIG), and The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Current Research

Dr. Smith is currently working on extreme weather including drought in the U.S. Great Plains, extreme precipitation in Texas and California, and changes in the Arctic.

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May 2015 had extreme precipitation in the Texas/Oklahoma region which seemed to be tied to the El Nino that spring. We're doing a statistical analysis.

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Ice extent maps of northe pole

Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) Data 2016 ice extent as compared to the 1980-1989 climatology shows Arctic ice is decreasing.Why? What could be the cause(s)? And what will be the effects on mid-latitudes?

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View Publications

  • Tegtmeier, S, MI Hegglin, J Anderson, B Funke, J Gille, A Jones, L Smith, T von Clarmann and KA Walker (2016), The SPARC Data Initiative: comparisons of CFC-11, CFC-12, HF and SF6 climatologies from international satellite limb sounders. Earth Syst. Sci. Data Version: 1 8 (1) 61-78, issn: 1866-3508, ids: DP0VB, doi: 10.5194/essd-8-61-2016
  • Smith, L.L., J.C. Gille (2014), Validation of the Aura High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder geopotential heights.. Atmos. Meas. Tech. Version: 1 7 (8) 2775-2785, doi: 10.5194/amt-7-2775-2014
  • Tegtmeier, S, MI Hegglin, J Anderson, A Bourassa, S Brohede, D Degenstein, L Froidevaux, R Fuller, B Funke, J Gille, A Jones, Y Kasai, K Kruger, E Kyrola, G Lingenfelser, J Lumpe, B Nardi, J Neu, D Pendlebury, E Remsberg, A Rozanov, L Smith, M Toohey, J Urban, T von Clarmann, KA Walker and RHJ Wang (2013), SPARC Data Initiative: A comparison of ozone climatologies from international satellite limb sounders. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 118 (21) 12229-12247, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 302NS, doi: 10.1002/2013JD019877
  • Toohey, M, MI Hegglin, S Tegtmeier, J Anderson, JA Anel, A Bourassa, S Brohede, D Degenstein, L Froidevaux, R Fuller, B Funke, J Gille, A Jones, Y Kasai, K Kruger, E Kyrola, JL Neu, A Rozanov, L Smith, J Urban, T von Clarmann, KA Walker and RHJ Wang (2013), Characterizing sampling biases in the trace gas climatologies of the SPARC Data Initiative. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 118 (20) 11847-11862, issn: 2169-897X, ids: V45WS, doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50874
  • Gille, J., Cavanaugh, C., Halvorson, C., Hartsough, C., Nardi, B., Rivas, M., Khosravi, R., Smith, L., Francis, G. (2012), Final Correction algorithms for HIRDLS version 7 data. Proc. SPIE Version: 1 8511 ( ) - , Art. No. 85110K, doi: 10.1117/12.930175
  • Trenberth, KE., Smith, L. (2009), Variations in the Three-Dimensional Structure of the Atmospheric Ciruclation with Different Flavors of El Nino. Clim. Dynam. Version: 1 22 (11) 2978-2991, doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2691.1
  • Trenberth, KE., Smith, L. (2009), The three dimensional structure of the atmospheric energy budget methodology and evaluation. Clim. Dynam. Version: 1 32 ( 7-8) 1065- 1079, doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0389-3
  • Trenberth, KE., Smith, L. (2008), Atmospheric Energy Budgets in the Japanese Reanalysis Evaluation and Variability. J. Met. Soc. Japan Version: 1 86 (5) 579-592, issn: 0026-1165, doi:
  • Trenberth, KE., Smith, L., Qian, TT., Dai, A., Fasullo, J. (2007), Estimates of the global water budget and its annual cycle using observational and model data. J. Hydrometeorol. Version: 1 8 (4) 758-769, doi: 10.1175/JHM600.1
  • Trenberth, KE., Smith, L. (2006), The vertical structure of temperature in the tropics Different flavors of El Nino. J. Clim. Version: 1 19 (19) 4956-4970, doi: 10.1175/JCLI3891.1
  • Trenberth, KE., Stepaniak, DP., Smith, L. (2005), Interannual variability of patterns of atmospheric mass distribution. J. Clim. Version: 1 18 (15) 2812-2825, doi: 10.1175/JCLI3333.1
  • Trenberth, KE., Fasullo, J., Smith, L. (2005), Trends and variability in column-integrated atmospheric water vapor. Clim. Dynam. Version: 1 24 (7-8) 741-758, doi: 10.1007/s00382-005-0017-4
  • Trenberth, KE., Smith, L. (2005), The mass of the atmosphere A constraint on global analysis. J. Clim. Version: 1 18 (6) 864-875, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-3299.1
  • Klonecki, A., Hess, P., Emmons, L., Smith, L., Orlando, J., Blake, D. (2003), Seasonal changes in the transport of pollutants into the Arctic troposphere-model study. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 108 (D4) - , doi: 10.1029/2002JD002199