Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

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CIRES Members Council Meeting July

CIRES Members Council Meeting July


  • Mistia Zuckerman, NSIDC (Chair)
  • Jon Kofler, GML (Secretary)
  • Eric James, GSL (Membership Chair)
  • Alessandro Franchin, CSL
  • Dawn Umpleby, Earth Lab
  • Adam Woods, NCEI
  • Molly Hardman, East Campus
  • Michael Toy, GSL
  • Lucia Harop, ESRL (zoom)
  • Antonietta Capotondi, PSL (zoom)
  • Amanda Mortonm Outreach (zoom)
  • Candida Dewes, PSL (zoom)
  • Aaron Sweeney, NCEI (zoom)’
  • Gaby Petron, GML (zoom)

Location: NSIDC Research Laboratory No. 2
Meeting called to order: 12:36

1. CIRES Picnic

Mistia and Alessandro raised the idea of restarting the CIRES picnic with Christine Weidemeyer and she thought it unlikely for Waleed to approve it, because of his concern about accountability for work hours (people taking the day off and not going to the picnic).  Ale: We need to be creative.  Discussion: We could do it on a Saturday to circumvent that issue or after work / at the end of a work day.  Ideas for location are Waneka lake and Boulder reservoir.    Action item: Mistia will reach out to Waleed to see how he feels about it and start with our original request but modify it with alternate ideas if needed.  Aim for September this year.

2. Career Track & HR

RS1 to RS2 discrepancy.  At NSIDC it is required to bring in get grant money to advance to a new level. This is different in other parts of CIRES.  Consistency and clear guidelines about career track advancement will be elevated to high priority for Angela Knight (the new HR director who started on Monday).   Action item:  Mistia will invite Angela to the next soonest CMC meeting Angela is available to attend.    Salary consistency and other topics can be raised with Angela at that meeting too.

3. Meeting with Christine Weidemeyer

Ale and Mistia met with Christine Weidemeyer and covered a few topics:

- Town Hall Meetings:  Christine will schedule town hall meetings as soon as possible.  Ale and Mistia emphasized the importance of town hall meetings to Christine.  Waleed had announced that he would be having more town hall meetings, and the CMC would like to hold him accountable to this.

- Christine also mentioned Active shooter training on July 18.  Alessandro sent out an additional email to his cluster about active shooter drill.  The drill was initiated by the Federal protective service.

4. CIRES proposals Issue

No news here.  It will be revisited at the next meeting.

5. Travel Reimbursement for Shipping Breast Milk.

A new mom in CIRES one of the CIRES clusters was away from home for a week on work travel and used a service to ship breast milk back home at a cost $200. She asked CIRES travel if she could be reimbursed and was told it is considered a personal expense.  Could she claim this as a travel expense?  Are there regulations/rules around this at the state level? Or CIRES?.  Action item: person who raised issue email Mistia and Mistia will bring it up to CIRES on her behalf.  Some companies have gone on record as covering this expense for their traveling employees and this could be used in an effort to have this expense reimbursed.  The possibility making use of reduced shipping rates of the University is also raised.

6.  CMC Member Reimbursement

Mistia (separate agenda item):  CMC members should see dollar added to their paycheck.  Ideas are tossed around about having a next set of payments to bring us up to date in October.   This way, the pay rates can be made coincident with the elections in October.   CU HR is accommodating to anything we decide on, so the logistics of how this is easiest for the membership chair to manage.  Eric James implemented the previous method, and it will require work to change it.  It is unclear to him now what the most efficient path forward is, but possibly with a small group details to determine the best way forward could be hashed out.  No decisions to make changes are made at this meeting.

7. Housing

Ale:  Waleed is going to send the letter Ale drafted and the CMC voted on and approved to housing. 

Meeting Adjourned 13:30


Monday, July 8, 2019


NSIDC Research Laboratory No. 2



Stratospheric Sulfur Geoengineering – Benefits and Risks

Stratospheric Sulfur Geoengineering – Benefits and Risks

Stratospheric Sulfur Geoengineering—Benefits and Risks by Alan Robock, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University


Geoengineering, also called climate engineering or climate intervention, has been proposed as a “solution” to global warming, involving “solar radiation management” by injecting particles into the stratosphere, brightening clouds, or blocking sunlight with satellites between the Sun and Earth.  While volcanic eruptions have been suggested as innocuous examples of sulfate stratospheric aerosols cooling the planet, the volcano analog actually illustrates many potential risks of stratospheric geoengineering, including of ozone depletion and regional hydrologic responses.  No such systems to conduct stratospheric geoengineering now exist, but the least expensive option would probably be to invent airplanes that could put sulfur gases into the stratosphere.  Nevertheless, it may be very difficult to create stratospheric sulfate particles with a desirable size distribution.

Our Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project, conducting climate model experiments with standard stratospheric aerosol injection scenarios, is ongoing.  We have found that if there were a way to continuously inject SO2 into the lower stratosphere, it would produce global cooling, stopping melting of the ice caps, and increasing the uptake of CO2 by plants.  But there are at least 27 reasons why stratospheric geoengineering may be a bad idea.  These include disruption of the Asian and African summer monsoons, reducing precipitation to the food supply for billions of people; ozone depletion; no more blue skies; reduction of solar power; and rapid global warming if it stops, with devastating impacts on natural ecosystems.  Furthermore, there are concerns about commercial or military control, and it may seriously degrade terrestrial astronomy and satellite remote sensing.  Global efforts to stop anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation) and to adapt to climate change are needed no matter what, if we choose to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.  Whether implementation of stratospheric geoengineering would be make the situation more dangerous needs to be answered by ongoing research.



Dr. Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1970 with a B.A. in Meteorology, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an S.M. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Meteorology.  Before graduate school, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines.  He was a professor at the University of Maryland, 1977-1997, and the State Climatologist of Maryland, 1991-1997, before coming to Rutgers.  Prof. Robock has published more than 400 articles on his research in the area of climate change, including 250 peer-reviewed papers.  His areas of expertise include geoengineering, climatic effects of nuclear war, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate, and soil moisture.  He serves as Associate Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, the most highly-cited journal in the Earth Sciences.  His honors include being a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the AMS Jule Charney Award.  He recently served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which operates the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  Prof. Robock was a Lead Author of the 2013 Working Group 1 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007).  In 2017 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons” based on the work of Prof. Robock.



Thursday, July 11, 2019


SEEC, Sievers Room


Jen Kay:
Atmospheric Chemistry Program Dissertation Defense

Atmospheric Chemistry Program Dissertation Defense

Aircraft measurements of bromine and iodine from the sea surface to the lower stratosphere by Theodore Koenig, ANYL Student, CU Boulder, Volkamer Group

Dissertation defense:

"Bromine and iodine change atmospheric oxidative capacity, deplete ozone, modify NOx = (NO2 + NO) and HOx = (OH + HO2), and in turn impact air quality and human health as well as radiative forcing and climate. The radical monoxides, BrO and IO, have large structured rovibronic absorptions in the Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) spectrum which results in rapid and active photochemistry as key intermediates in the impacts listed above, and also makes them detectable to differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS). I present measurements of BrO and IO using DOAS, particularly from aircraft, from which I infer total gas-phase bromine and iodine, Bry and Iy, using chemical box-models and examine the implications of these measurements. We find active multiphase chemistry relevant from the marine boundary layer MBL where gas-phase coupling to organics modulates sea-salt aerosol debromination, to the free troposphere where we find dust initiates iodine chemistry leading to miniature ozone holes west of South America, to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) where multiphase chemistry and phase partitioning around the tropopause destroy ozone and change radiative forcing in the climate relevant region."


Tuesday, July 23, 2019
12:00pm to 1:00pm


CIRES Auditorium
Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Please join us next week for the third and last Atmospheric Chemistry Supergroup of the summer.

Our speakers and topics will be: Mindy Schueneman (Jimenez Group), "Indirect Methods for Determining Aerosol Acidity", and Barbara Dix & Joost de Gouw (de Gouw Group), "Analysis of satellite remote sensing data of methane and NO2 over US oil and gas production areas",

Afterward we will adjourn to the Hill for happy hour.

Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, July 24, 2019
4:00pm to 5:00pm


Ekeley S274