John Cassano Group
Our research group studies the meteorology and climate of both polar regions using regional climate models and numerical weather prediction models, in-situ and remotely sensed observations, and various data analysis techniques. Key research topics include regional climate modeling and model development, analysis of coupled climate system components, and numerical weather prediction.
I am a fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. The Polar Climate and Meteorology Group is located on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus.
A Comprehensive Modeling Approach Towards Understanding and Prediction of the Alaskan Coastal System Response to Changes in an Ice-diminished Arctic
This project combines state-of-the-art regional modeling of sea ice, ocean, atmosphere and ecosystem to provide a system approach to advance the knowledge and predictive capability of the diverse impacts of changing sea ice cover on the bio-physical marine environment of coastal Alaska and over the larger region of the western Arctic Ocean.
Collaborative Research: Analysis of McCall Glacier Ice Core and Related Modern Process Studies
The proposed research addresses two overarching questions related to climate in the eastern Alaskan Arctic: “How has climate, terrestrial ecology, and pollutant transport changed over the past 250 years in this region, based on ice core reconstructions from McCall Glacier?” and “How well can we overcome the challenges of core proxy interpretations from ice cores taken from small polythermal valley glaciers through modern-process studies?” To answer these questions we will conduct an inter-disciplinary analysis of ice core proxies, atmospheric dynamics, modern processes, and numerical ice flow modeling.
Collaborative Research: Antarctic Automatic Weather Station Program
The goal of this project is to continue to build, install, and maintain an Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network in Antarcitca and make observations from these stations available freely to the community. The current network and its observations already provide critical support to the scientific, operational and educational communities. This effort also supports the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) research and operations, and will further help advance the understanding of Antarctic meteorology and climate as well as illustrate Antarctica’s role in the global climate system.
Collaborative Research: Arctic extreme temperature and precipitation - Detection and projection of their climatic change and physical causes
The goal of this project is to investigate possible changes in extreme temperatures and precipitation in the Arctic using data from both observations and regional and global climate models. The guiding hypothesis is: A robust understanding, detection and attribution of changes in extreme temperature or precipitation occurs through analysis that combines extreme temperature or precipitation events with the physical processes supporting them.
Collaborative Research: Ocean-Ice-Atmosphere Interactions in the Terra Nova Bay Polynya, Antarctica
Polynyas, large areas of open water surrounded by sea ice, act like "windows" that expose the relatively warm ocean to the colder atmosphere. Although polynyas only cover a small fraction of the ocean surface, the transfer of heat and water vapor is so large that they play a significant role in the climate system leading to modifications of both atmosphere and ocean properties. With the aid of an innovative unmanned aerial system (UAS), referred to as an Aerosonde, an intensive late winter/early spring observing period will be conducted that will quantify the surface energy budget components over the polynya and adjacent sea ice and describe the forcing for and near surface properties of regional mesoscale atmospheric flows responsible for polynya formation. The proposed measurements will build upon the successful Aerosonde missions to TNB that took place during September 2009.
Collaborative Research: Oceanic Response to Mesoscale Atmospheric Circulations in Terra Nova Bay
This project will utilize observations from an oceanographic mooring and from an unmanned aerial vehicle, known as an Aerosonde, to document the exchange of heat and moisture between the Terra Nova Bay polynya and the overlying atmosphere. This project will make the first late-winter three-dimensional atmospheric measurements over an Antarctic polynya, and as such will provide new insight into the atmospheric and oceanic processes acting in the polynya.
Hydrologic Responses to a Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice Cover
The focus of this project will be to test the hypothesis that the loss of Arctic sea ice and northern high latitude snow cover will invoke changes in the seasonality, spatial distribution and magnitudes of precipitation (P) and net precipitation (P-E) over the Arctic, which along with attendant rises in temperature, have ramifications for the freshwater budget of the Arctic Ocean and the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet.
Synoptic Climatology of Lake El'gygytgyn
In support of paleoclimate work being done at Lake El'gygytgyn an analysis of the synoptic climatology of Lake El'gygytgyn for the period 1960 to 2009 using a combination of global reanalysis and in-situ observations will be completed. This will result in an improved understanding of the relationship between near surface climate (temperature and precipitation) and changes in synoptic circulation. Analysis of any trends in temperature and precipitation over this period will also be completed, with any significant trends being attributed to changes in the frequency of occurrence of different synoptic patterns or to changes in the mean weather associated with given synoptic patterns.
Understanding and Predictive Capability of Climate Change in the Arctic using a High-Resolution RACM
The primary science objective of this project is to synthesize understanding of past and present changes in Arctic climate and to improve decadal to centennial prediction of future regimes of Arctic climate system and their potential effects on global climate. A hierarchy of high-resolution Arctic climate system model (RACM) experiments, optimized for advanced parallel computers, will be performed to provide insight into the operation of Arctic climate that is not attainable with either individual regional component or global climate model experiments.
Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction
The Extension of the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) project is supported by the National Science Foundation. Among the goals of this project are to continue to provide real-time forecast products tailored to meet the needs of U.S. Antarctic Program weather forecasters at McMurdo Station, Antarctica and to assess and improve model physical parameterizations for polar regions.
Arctic Regional Climate Model Intercomparison
The Arctic Regional Climate Model Intercomparison (ARCMIP) project aims to improve the simulation of the Arctic regional climate in numerical models. The primary ARCMIP activities focus on coordinated simulations by different regional climate models and general circulation models. Output from these models are compared and evaluated using observations from satellites, in situ measurements and field experiments.
Climate change and its impacts on the physical landscape of ARCN
This project aims to develop and implement a network to monitor climate change and its impacts on the physical landscape within their Arctic Network (ARCN) of National Parks, Preserves and Monuments in Alaska. Our contribution will be to create a synoptic climatology for the area of study, relate identified patterns to local weather in the ARCN and large-scale circulation indicies, and determine changes in frequencies of occurrences of synoptic patterns over the time period of study (1958-present).
Greenland Energy Budget
The Greenland Reanalysis of the Energy Budget of the Ice Sheet (GREBIS) project is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Among the he objectives of this project are to create a 5-year reanalysis of the atmospheric state over the Greenland ice sheet and to evaluate the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet using this dataset.
Hydrology of Arctic Rivers
The Detection and Attribution of Changes in the Hydrologic Regimes of the Mackenzie, the Kuparuk and the Lena River Basins project is supported by the National Science Foundation. The investigators on the project seek to understand how the Arctic hydrologic cycle has varied over the past 50 years and how it may change over the next 50 years.
Interconnections Among Arctic Terrestrial, Atmospheric, and Marine Systems
The developing an understanding and predictive capability of the interconnections among Arctic terrestrial, atmospheric, and marine systems project is funded under the Study of Northern Alaskan Coastal System (SNACS) program by the Nationa Science Foundation. Among the goals of this project are to evaluate the impacts of variation in radiation, climate, ocean circulation, ocean temperature, and sea ice position and extent on terrestrial processes and top provide high-resolution products (atmospheric, ice, ocean, and terrestrial) for use in future analyses, including, but not limited to, other SNACS projects.
Ross Ice Shelf Air Stream
The Ross Ice Shelf Airstream Pre-RIME Studies of Transport Processes in the Ross Sea Sector project is supported by the National Science Foundation. Among the goals of this project is to install automatic weather stations on the Ross Ice Shelf to sample the surface environment accompanying the Ross Ice Shelf air stream (RAS).
Understanding Change in the Climate and Hydrology of the Arctic Land Region
This project will synthesize research results from the ARCSS Freshwater Intitiative to document and attribute observed changes in the arctic hydrologic cycle, both for the climate of the region and the global climate system. The overarching science question is How do changes in arctic land processes affect the climate of the region, what are the implications of these changes for the arctic hydrologic cycle (including coupling and feedbacks with the atmosphere), and what are the impacts of changes in the arctic freshwater system on global climate?