Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Highlights of CIRES Science at AGU 2018

Highlights of CIRES Science at AGU 2018

Highlights of CIRES science during #AGU18

Every year, more than 200 CIRES scientists and colleagues present important work during the AGU Fall Meeting. This year's highlights follow, organized by day. These highlights do not necessarily reflect the importance of the science; rather, they reflect talks, posters and discussions likely to be of interest to a broad scientific audience. 

Click for daily highlights:

Monday, 10 December

View Agenda


Times and locations as indicated below

New high-altitude observations of the IR and visible solar corona from the 2017 eclipse

During the 2017 total eclipse, we gathered detailed solar observations from instruments on two NASA WB-57F airplanes flying in tandem. The resulting 7.5-minute, high-speed “movie” of the solar atmosphere (the corona) has given us unique views of the Sun, including rare observations of its corona in infrared wavelengths. The surface of the sun is a few thousand degrees, while the corona can reach temperatures well over one million degrees, and these data are helping us unravel the mystery of how the energy that heats the corona can be transported from inside the sun to outside.

Daniel Seaton, CIRES and NOAA NCEI
09:15 - 09:30 • Convention Ctr. 206 • SH11B-06

Potential impacts of snow and ice changes on water availability for people in High Mountain Asia (CHARIS)

Rivers are central to life in central and southern Asia, where water diversions support agriculture and runoff generates hydroelectric power. This study examines the potential impacts of cryospheric changes on water availability for human consumption. Our results show that in the summer, melting glacier ice contributes significantly to river flow in western basins (Syr Darya, Amu Darya, and Indus) but less so in the east (Ganges and Brahmaputra basins) where monsoonal rains occur. Melting snow contributes much more, proportionally, than rain from all other sources for all basins except for the Ganges, where rainfall predominates.

Bruce H Raup, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder
09:27 - 09:38 • Marriott Marquis - Marquis 3-4 • PA11A-09

What makes watersheds sensitive to forest disturbance? (Invited)

This invited presentation will focus on the question: What makes a watershed sensitive to forest disturbance? Forested watersheds supply water to more than 180 million people in the U.S. and yet little consensus exists on whether disturbance (such as a wildfire or beetle kill) will cause water yield to either rise or drop significantly. Livneh and his colleagues identified key differences between landscape types associated with increases and decreases in water yield—information that may prove of great value to water resource managers. In the last part of the presentation they explore the impact of climate change and land cover on sediment yield from watersheds; sediment can create challenges for drinking water management.

Ben Livneh, CIRES and CU Boulder
10:21 - 10:24 • Convention Ctr eLightning Theater II • H12H-0

Building a decision-making framework for operational landslide monitoring: Evaluating radar, lidar and UAV methods to monitor slope stability (Invited)

Landslides claim thousands of lives and cause billions in damage every year, worldwide. This talk will discuss a recent comparison of several techniques for detecting very small geophysical movements at Colorado’s slow-moving Slumgullion landslide. We compare deformations measured with ground based radar and lasers systems to those measured with a camera on a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). UAVs are potentially valuable tools to tracking landslide motion, and our work considers cost, power requirements, logistics and more, in an effort to develop a decision-making framework useful for public safety and transportation agency experts.

Mylene Fabienne Jacquemart, CIRES and CU Boulder
11:12 - 11:15 • Convention Ctr eLightning Theater I • U12B-18


08:00 - 12:20 Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C

Successes and failures of deterministic precipitation forecasts leading up to the 2017 Oroville Dam crisis, A11K-0138

In February 2017, heavy rain associated with a series of atmospheric rivers necessitated rapid release of water from California’s Lake Oroville. Damage to the main spillway forced reduced release rates, leading to use of the emergency spillway, heavy erosion, and the precautionary evacuation of 180,000 residents downstream. The dam held, but the event prompted serious questions about dam operations and precipitation forecasts. In this poster, we compare several NOAA forecasts of the heaviest precipitation leading up to the crisis, highlighting uncertainties in the Global Forecast System model, which was used by dam operators. We then discuss capabilities of the shorter-term, but higher-resolution RAP and HRRR models and NOAA’s new Global Forecast System with the FV3 dynamical core.

Janice Bytheway, CIRES and NOAA

Ice surface elevation changes in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, Antarctica from high-resolution satellite-derived digital elevation models, C11C-1130

Glaciers in West Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea Embayment are changing rapidly, thinning and losing mass into the ocean. A recent study found that the bedrock below the region is rising quickly, potentially leading to more stable glaciers. We have used a unique combination of satellite altimetry observations, digital elevation models and continuous GPS stations to study the regions highly dynamic glaciers. In this poster, we present evidence of thinning, especially over fast-moving ice streams such as Smith and Pine Island glaciers; our findings improve what we know about the links between ice sheet changes and the changes occurring to the Earth below the ice. Understanding these links better will help scientist predict how Antarctica will change in the future and how its contribution to sea level rise will evolve.

Jasmine Hansen, CIRES and CU Boulder, with CIRES Fellow Mike Willis


Semi-periodic dynamic thickening of a tidewater glacier in Koge Bugt, Greenland

CIRES’ Ryan Cassotto discusses new work to reveal the ice dynamics and quirky glacial behavior of Greenland’s Koge Bugt. The tidewater glacier demonstrated cyclic behavior, periodically speeding up for years, then rapidly slowing—behavior that is unusual for most glaciers in this region. The decelerations were accompanied by large terminus advance (>1 km) and a significant increase (> 45 m) in surface elevation (thickening) that occurred over several months. The work may help scientists better predict how tidewater glaciers contribute to sea level rise. 

Ryan Cassotto, CIRES and CU Boulder
16:45 - 17:00 • Convention Ctr Salon H • C14A-04


13:40- 18:00 Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C

The importance of observations of broadband radiation in the Arctic: Utilizing the network to face current challenges (invited), A13N-2657

Over the last four years, the snow-free season in northern Alaska has seen extraordinarily early and late dates of snowmelt in spring and also late onset of snowpack in autumn, influenced by late freezing of the Chukchi Sea. Such variability affects communities, vegetation growth patterns, transportation and much more. This invited poster will discuss the importance of coordinated observations needed to understand how the environment responds to such extremes—ultimately, to help improve sub-seasonal to seasonal weather forecasts. We highlight efforts during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) and the upcoming MOSAiC drifting observatory mission.

Christopher Cox, CIRES and NOAA

Constraining cryospheric contributions to streamflow through international collaborations and scientific capacity building, PA13C-0876

This poster will discuss how CHARIS, through novel collaborations, has led to a better understanding of glacier melt and snow melt contributions to streamflow in the five major basins of High Mountain Asia: the Syr Darya, Amu Darya, Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra Rivers. It will also show how CHARIS research and trainings are supporting decision making by water managers and other stakeholders as they plan for long-term water security, while considering the variation in water demand and hydro-climates of High Mountain Asia.

Florence Fetterer presenting for Alana Wilson, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder


AGU Diversity and Inclusion Reception, link

During this networking event, CIRES graduate student Magali Barba-Sevilla will represent a new professional organization, SOLESS, the Society of Latinx Earth and Space Scientists.

18:00 - 20:00 • Convention Ctr - South Pre-Function Foyer

NOAA Booth Talk: Forecast model improvement

NOAA scientist Stan Benjamin, a CIRES Fellow, presents. 19:00 • Exhibit Hall space #1415

Tuesday, 11 December

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2018 Wildfires — Media Availability

Fire experts in the areas of smoke, health, climate change, weather forecasting and post-fire debris flows will be available to answer questions about the deadly 2018 U.S. wildfire season. Two of the panelists are CIRES Scientists: Christine Wiedinmyer, Associate Director for Science; and Ravan Ahmadov, who works in NOAA’s Global Systems Division.

08:00 • Marriott Marquis Level M3, Shaw Room (Press Conference Room)


08:00 - 12:20
Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C

Ground-truth calibration of VIIRS Nightfire detector for gas flares, B21J-2453

A 99 percent correlation: That’s how well a new satellite-based estimate of gas flaring volume compared with ground truth data during an experiment in Tulsa, Oklahoma earlier this year. This poster will present results from the experiment at the John Zink LLC test facility, in which operators lit gas flares at the time of the Soumi NPP satellite overpass. Known flow rates ranged from 750 to 75,000 lbs / hour, and the researchers used the “VIIRS Nightfire algorithm” to estimate flaring volume from satellite data. The correlation, between Nightfire output and measured flared gas volume, confirms that flared volume can be measured with certainty from space (although more testing would be needed to account for differences in flare design and a field’s gas composition).

Mikhail N Zhizhin, CIRES and NOAA NCEI

Crossing boundaries and combining approaches for regional scale hydrologic study in the Pamir Mountain source waters of the Aral Sea, C21E-1389

This poster brings together several concurrent studies on the remote headwaters of the Amu Darya Basin, the major source waters of the disappearing Aral Sea that start as snow and glaciers in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We characterize glacier recession, model melt patterns, and estimate the relative contribution of meltwater (from snow and ice) in the Amu Darya River. Preliminary data show that above 2,000 m, melting snow is responsible over 2/3 of the river’s annual flow, with glacier melt being an important source water in late summer when river levels are low. We aim to better understand how climate change may affect river flow and water availability in desert-like Central Asia, a water-stressed region prone to wars over water since its rivers crisscross national boundaries. We also discuss how development organizations might help build capacity for ongoing hydrological research in High Asia.

Alice Hill, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder

Contributions to High Asia runoff from glacier ice and seasonal snow (CHARIS), C21E-1388

Estimating future availability and vulnerability of water resources across High Asia requires a better understanding of today’s hydrology. Richard Armstrong presents on efforts to dissect the relative contributions of seasonal snow melt, glacier ice melt, and monsoon rain to river flow in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins. The research was done in collaboration with partners at 11 institutions in 8 countries, and included 10 training workshops for those partners, to develop skills in digital elevation modeling, satellite data applications, and much more.

Richard Armstrong, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder

Evaluating alternative drought indicators for risk management via index insurance, GC21D-0712

We analyzed the feasibility of using various weather indicators in agricultural, weather-based insurance policies as a way to increase resilience to environmental extremes. Such “index insurance” policies base payouts not on estimated losses but on weather-related indicators, the most common of which is rainfall. Such policies are simpler, more affordable, and can expand coverage to more people, but they also create risks of non-payment during drought and vice versa. In a simulation experiment, we find that using more complex indices of drought (the Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index, etc.) in place of rainfall can increase program efficiency.

Travis Williams, Earth Lab, CIRES and CU Boulder

Increases in surprising ocean temperatures will challenge the limits of ecosystems and people to adapt, GC21E-1151

Where the oceans are concerned, historical experience isn’t necessarily a good guide to understanding and forecasting future conditions, like the health of a population of economically valuable fish. A new analysis reveals a surprising increase in marine heatwaves, when annual mean temperatures are at least two standard deviations above the 30-year average—events that can significantly affect ocean dwellers. A team led by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute used observations and models to explore how warming trends will affect marine ecosystems.

Andrew J Pershing, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, with CIRES and NOAA co-authors

The future of deep learning applied to satellite observations, IN21C-0721

The increasingly enormous volume of Earth system data collected by new NOAA and other satellites creates a processing challenge: How can we quickly extract high value data or identify regions of interest—such as the birthplaces of cyclones or convection? We are using a Convolution Neural Network (CNN) approach for identifying cyclones, cyclogenesis and convection initiation, and early work with soil moisture data. This poster will discuss successes, tradeoffs, challenges and future applications of machine learning for extracting new value from satellite data.

Jebb Stewart, NOAA, with CIRES co-authors


Rapidly-updating high-resolution predictions of smoke, visibility and smoke-weather interactions using the satellite fire products within the Rapid Refresh and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh coupled with Smoke (RAP/HRRR-Smoke) modeling system

At the end of a devastating year for wildfire in the state, we discuss results from an experimental smoke forecasting system developed in partnership with NOAA and its National Weather Service. Leveraging the Rapid Refresh (RAP) and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) weather forecast models running operationally already, we inputted real-time fire data from several satellites to generate smoke forecasts hourly when smoke impact on weather is considered. We evaluate our forecasts using ground and satellite-based measurements. Our results demonstrate improvements in both smoke forecasts and weather forecasts, when fire data are considered.

Ravan Ahmadov, CIRES and NOAA
16:00 - 16:14 Convention Ctr - 144A-C

NOAA’s Regional Geoelectric Field Modeling Capability: Progress toward providing a near real-time map and forecasting capability to improve operational decision making of the U.S. Electrical Power Grid in response to geomagnetic storms (invited)

Geomagnetic storms at Earth that originate due to events on the surface of the Sun have the potential to negatively impact the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the electrical power grid. An extreme geomagnetic storm that occurred in 1989, for example, resulted in a nine-hour blackout in Quebec. This presentation will discuss collaborative efforts to develop the capacity to specify and predict the regional geoelectric field. We will present near real-time data flow and experimental products that are nearing operational status. We will also summarize recent validation work comparing model results with observations which indicates some initial success as well as illuminating a number of challenges toward attaining a comprehensive, validated model.

Christopher Balch, NOAA, with CIRES co-author George Millward
17:18 - 17:28 Marriott Marquis - Marquis 1-2


Recent Findings and Tools from the NASA Sea Level Change Team

Presenters and organizers include NASA JPL’s Benjamin Hamlington, Carmen Boening, and Eric Y Larour; and R. Steven Nerem of CIRES/CU Boulder. Nerem will discuss work published in PNAS last week, with NCAR’s John Fasullo, on drivers of uneven sea level rise during the last 25 years.

18:15 - 19:15 Marriott Marquis - Liberty M

Wednesday, 12 December

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Times and locations as indicated below

The 2018 UNEP/WMO Assessment of Ozone Depletion: An update

NOAA Chemical Sciences Division director David Fahey will discuss the 2018 UNEP/WMO assessment of ozone depletion, highlighting findings released in an executive summary in November; the full report will be available early next year. Among the findings: Actions taken under the international Montreal Protocol agreement have led to decreases in the atmospheric abundance of many ozone-depleting substances and the start of the recovery of stratospheric ozone. Fahey will discuss unexpected emissions of CFC-11, quantification of carbon tetrachloride emissions, and the likely impact of the Kigali Amendment on future global average warming.

David Fahey, NOAA
8:00 - 08:20 • Convention Ctr, 151B • A31A-01

Evolution of surface emissions in China and impact on changes in air quality

Claire Granier, a researcher with the French Laboratoire d’Aerologie, CIRES and NOAA will discuss recent surface emission inventories in China, how they compare to satellite observations, and the consistency between modeled and and observed changes in emissions. Granier will then present how the uncertainties in surface emission inventories can impact air quality forecasting model predictions in China. This work contributes to the Analysis of Emissions Using Observations (AMIGO) activity of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) project, which aims to use observation-based analysis techniques to better quantify emissions.

Claire Granier, CIRES, NOAA, and Laboratoire d’Aerologie
09:00 - 09:15 • Convention Ctr, 151A • A31B-05

Using new global compilations of glacier surface elevations and ice speeds to examine glacier and ice cap contributions to sea level (Invited)

In this invited talk, CIRES Fellow Mike Willis (CU Boulder Geological Sciences) will present work to quantify the recent contribution to global sea level rise from mountain glaciers and ice caps, which are retreating and thinning worldwide. Willis combines several global datasets and techniques (high-resolution digital elevation models, satellite ice observations, etc.) and finds a continuum of surface changes: Astonishing and sustained thinning rates along tidewater glaciers in Patagonia, the Russian Arctic, and Alaska, and more subdued thinning rates along land-terminating glaciers elsewhere.

Michael J Willis, CIRES and CU Boulder
10:20 - 10:35 • Convention Ctr, Salon H • 32A-01

Secondary organic aerosol production across worldwide megacities and its impact on mortality

CIRES and CU Boulder’s Benjamin Nault’s team found organic aerosols account for  about 15 percent of global particulate matter deaths each year. They studied secondary organic aerosol (SOA) production in megacities around the world and found that differences in the SOA production efficiency appear to be driven by differences in precursor emissions across cities, and used these results to model globally-realistic organic aerosol for urban areas.

Benjamin Nault, CIRES and CU Boulder
10:20 - 10:35 • Convention Ctr, 144A-C • A32E-01

Instantaneous glacier loss through catastrophic collapse at Flat Creek glacier: Disentangling the roles of climate, geology and glacier dynamics in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska

CIRES researcher Mylène Jacquemart and colleagues at the National Park Service launched a 2018 field study to investigate what triggered the catastrophic detachment of Flat Creek Glacier in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Only two other instances of such catastrophic glacier collapse are known: That of Kolka glacier in the Russian Caucasus in 2002, and that of two Tibetan glaciers in 2016. Jacquemart and her colleagues believe that similar circumstances contributed to the detachments in all three cases, and have determined that Flat Creek Glacier lost a significant portion of its mass in two large ice and rock avalanches that caused enormous debris flows. Jacquemart highlights her team’s results identifying what circumstances led to this catastrophic failure, and how it may relate to other, similar events around the globe.

Mylène Fabienne Jacquemart, CIRES and CU Boulder
10:50 - 11:05 • Convention Ctr, Salon H • C32A-03B

The urban methane paradox: Results from the 2018 East Coast Outflow experiment

NOAA’s Colm Sweeney will present greenhouse gas data from a mission that measured the springtime outflow of airborne chemicals from major Northeastern U.S. cities (Baltimore, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, and Washington, D.C.) The 2018 East Coast Outflow experiment was an intensive airborne campaign to measure CO2, CH4, C2H6, O3 and CO using both airborne and ground measurement techniques. Initial data suggest that methane leakage from the urban distribution network is a large source of CH4, and one that is largely ignored by methane inventories.

Colm Sweeney, NOAA
11:05 - 11:20 • Convention Ctr, 151A • A32B-04

Earthquake interactions in the Raton Basin, Colorado and New Mexico, USA

CU Boulder’s Megan Brown presents efforts to explain the marked seismicity rate increase in the Raton Basin on the Colorado and New Mexico border, which has been linked to wastewater injection within the Basin. Studies have shown a possible additional mechanism for the induced seismicity is earthquake interactions. Brown and her team explored the role of earthquake interactions by harnessing the Coulomb static stress transfer models to investigate the spatiotemporal progression of earthquake interactions.

Megan Brown, University of Colorado
11:05 - 11:20 • Marriott Marquis, Independence E • S32A-04

08:00 - 12:20, Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C.

Boundary layer entrainment of transported ozone layers observed with lidar during the CABOTS and FAST-LVOS studies, A31I-2971

CIRES and NOAA’s Christoph Senff discusses the efforts of two recent air quality campaigns in the southwestern United States to study the impact of transported ozone, stratospheric intrusions, and fire emissions on ground-level ozone concentrations. This work is improving our understanding of how different sources of ozone, both anthropogenic and natural, impact ground-level air quality, and it explores the role of boundary layer dynamics in transporting elevated ozone layers to the surface.

Christoph Senff, CIRES and NOAA

Inspiring youth to learn about local impacts of climate change through filmmaking— a transformative experience, ED31C-1074

CIRES’ Education & Outreach director Anne Gold presents the National Science Foundation-funded Lens on Climate Change program, which guides students in an informal setting to explore climate change impacts locally through filmmaking. Research data show that engagement through filmmaking is a transformative experience with participants showing significant increases in awareness of, concern about and knowledge of the topics when compared to a control group.

Anne Gold, CIRES and CU Boulder

Detecting extratropical and tropical cyclone regions of interest (ROI) in satellite data using deep learning, H31H-1922

CIRES and NOAA’s Christina Bonfanti presents efforts to identify regions of interest for cyclones by harnessing the power of machine learning to comb through the deluge of available satellite data. Her team built a machine tool to go through satellite data in a fast and accurate way looking for extreme weather patterns like hurricanes. The machine has to be trained from previous examples, so the group first built a program that uses their set of rule to find cyclones from weather models. Then, the machine takes these answers and teaches itself how to find cyclones in satellite data without using any rules made by humans. This happens many different times until the machine confidently can locate most of the regions of interest. Once the program is taught what to look for, it can then very quickly identify these regions in satellite images in the future that do not have labels.

Christina Bonfanti, CIRES and NOAA

Circumpolar deep water intrusions drive phytoplankton blooms in the Amundsen Sea, OS31H-1901

In the Amundsen Sea, increased light exposure from reduced ice extent and thus greater uptake of dissolved iron by phytoplankton may influence the timing and scale of bloom events, which has significant implications for ocean chemistry. In this poster, CIRES’ Michelle Maclennan presents her team’s efforts to indicate phytoplankton bloom events by linking dissolved iron measurements and satellite measurements of chlorophyll, and comparing the timing of those blooms to circumpolar deep water forcing events.

Michelle Maclennan, CU Boulder


Times and locations as indicated below

Securing the Third Pole: Glaciers, snowpacks, and water vulnerability in High Asia

Known as the “Third Pole,” the mountain ranges of High Asia are the snow and ice headwaters of Asia’s most important rivers, and changes in the mountains’ glaciers and snow reservoirs have cascading impacts on the region’s economic and human security. This event will feature a panel of USAID-funded researchers, CHARIS (Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow) project scientists (including NSIDC’s Richard Armstrong), water program managers, and policymakers who will discuss the implications of changing snow and ice resources for water security in High Asia.

14:30 to 16:30 • 6th floor, Woodrow Wilson Center (Ronald Reagan Building, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave.)

NOAA Booth Talk: High-latitude unmanned aircraft operations: An introduction to recent and upcoming field campaigns

Gijs de Boer, of CIRES and NOAA’s Physical Sciences Division, presents.
15:45 • Convention Ctr, Exhibit Hall, Booth #1415


13:40 - 18:00 Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C.

Biomass burning emissions determined during the fire influence on regional and global environments 2016 Firelab experiment, A33K-2146

In this poster, CIRES’ Carsten Warneke presents major findings of the FIREX FireLab 2016 experiment in Missoula, Montana, which has helped set the stage for next summer’s field work by helping researchers understand the importance of temperature and other fire conditions (smoldering, flaming) on emissions. FireLab data are also helping them understand exactly what to look for in the air next summer, including organic aerosol and black carbon, nitrogen-containing compounds and chemical products that form downwind as smoke ages.

Carsten Warneke, CIRES and NOAA

Settlement of sea level rise zones in the United States: Using Zillow data to investigate historical development patterns, IN33B-0861

Using Zillow housing data from pre-1900 to 2015, and a NOAA sea level rise zone map, we explore when and where people have settled in coastal areas across the United States. In general, we see the spread of coastal settlements along southern and western U.S. coasts in the first half of the 20th Century, and more recent development bringing greater density in coastal areas is increasing risk of flood damage. Understanding past trends and trajectories may help inform policies and public perception of risk in coastal areas.

Anna Elizabeth Braswell, Earth Lab, CIRES and CU Boulder

Evaluating the perils and promises of academic climate advocacy, PA33C-1189

CIRES and CU Boulder’s David Oonk investigates how academic scientists perceive and define appropriate advocacy. He asks the question: Do scientists think that advocacy tarnishes the reputation of the research, and in what cases is advocacy effective and appropriate? Oonk, along with CIRES fellow and director of CIRES’ Center for Science and Technology Policy Research director Max Boykoff examined differences between academic communities that either engaged in, or avoided, advocacy through exploratory surveys of U.S.-based researchers. They found a scientist’s area of study, age, gender, and political affiliation impacted how they felt about advocacy.

David Oonk, CIRES and CU Boulder


Thursday, 13 December

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Times and locations as indicated below

Rescue, archival and discovery of tsunami events on marigrams (Invited)

As part of NOAA’s Big Earth Data Initiative, NOAA’s Kelly Stroker and colleagues rescued old paper “marigram” (tide gauge) records that captured several large tsunami events between 1854 and 1968. The team digitized the data and generated metadata to serve the needs of scientists and others. Stroker will discuss the procedures used to reformat, steward, and make public the rescued tsunami data, and she will also discuss their usefulness. Even historic tsunami data can help researchers understand the seismic environment and validate tsunami models.

Kelly Stroker, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, with CIRES co-authors
08:04 - 08:07 • Convention Ctr, eLightning Theater II • IN41C-02

POES data rescue: 1966 to 1978

CIRES and NSIDC’s Garrett Campbell presents his team’s efforts to recover critical Polar Satellite Imagery of the Earth (POES) between 1966 and 1978, before more contemporary POES time series began. The completed data rescue is available in NOAA’s OneStop data system. The team is now rescuing satellite data from Nimbus 1 to 6, which might fill in a data gap between NOAA 4 and AVHRR (1978 to 1978). The team’s data recovery efforts extend the record of satellite observations by more than a decade, thus improving information available for scientific discovery.

Garrett Campbell, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder
08:42 - 08:45 • Convention Ctr, eLightning Theater II • IN41C-34

Mineral dust abundance and sources in the global free troposphere

Mineral dust aerosol particles impact the Earth’s radiative balance via direct scattering and absorption of light and by promoting ice cloud formation, yet there is a lack of atmospheric dust abundance measurements. CIRES and NOAA’s Karl Froyd presents new airborne mineral dust measurements from the 2016-2018 NASA ATom (Atmospheric Tomography) campaigns that cover the entire Pacific and Atlantic basins. This work fills a critical data gap: it’s the first global dataset of mineral dust in the background atmosphere.

Karl Froyd, CIRES and NOAA
08:45 - 09:00 • Convention Ctr, 151A • A41E-04

TURCO LECTURE: Advancing polar science as the world warms

AGU honors CIRES’ Jennifer E. Kay (CU Boulder Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) as the inaugural recipient of the Turco Lectureship: Future Horizons in Climate Science. The lectureship recognizes seminal interdisciplinary scientific research discoveries or advancements through observations or analyses and addressing key questions or uncertainties in the broad and dynamic field of climate science.

09:00 • Marriott Marquis, Marquis 5 • A410

NOAA Booth Talk: HRRR-Smoke: A new model to forecast smoke transport using satellite fire detections

Ravan Ahmadov, of CIRES and NOAA’s Global Systems Division, presents; part of the NESDIS JPSS program. 9:45 • Convention Ctr, Exhibit Hall, Booth #1415

Monitoring the planetary pulse through measurements and modeling of global   greenhouse gas distributions

NOAA’s John Miller describes how scientists are improving our understanding of the present-day and future carbon cycle using time-series and spatial gradients of atmospheric greenhouse gases, interpreted directly or through three dimensional models. Some classic examples include the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide record (a.k.a. the “Keeling Curve”) and Tans et al. (1990) work revealing the presence of large carbon sinks in the terrestrial biosphere. Miller will present these and other examples.

John Miller, NOAA, with CIRES co-authors
10:48 - 10:56 • Convention Ctr, 143A-C • B42B-04


08:00 - 12:20
Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C

Development of prototype National Water Model soil moisture products for drought monitoring, H41P-2341

NOAA’s new National Water Model (NWM) provides information that might inform drought monitoring and forecasting at fine time and space scales. In this poster, CIRES and NOAA’s Mimi Hughes presents preliminary results from an effort to develop reliable soil moisture products from the National Water Model. She and her colleagues compared prototype products to drought data used currently to inform the U.S. Drought Monitor and other data from soil moisture networks. She will also discuss some of the challenges the team encountered during their work.

Mimi Hughes, CIRES and NOAA


Times and locations as indicated below

NASA SnowEx Town Hall

NASA SnowEx’s mission is to improve our understanding of the physical controls and dynamics of snow accumulation and melt across a wide range of landscapes. A panel of SnowEx researchers, including CIRES and NSIDC’s Jeff Deems, will provide an overview of planned SnowEx 2019 activities, including airborne and field-based efforts in the western United States, and a radar snow remote sensing effort in Arctic Canada; and the Arctic-based SnowEX 2020.

12:30 - 13:30 • Marriott Marquis, Independence F-H • TH43G

NOAA Booth Talk: SOS Explorer on your mobile device

Hilary Peddicord, part of the NOAA’s Science On a Sphere® program, presents.
12:30 • Convention Ctr, Exhibit Hall, Booth #1415

Variation in snow and ice melt influences high alpine water quality in the Gokyo Valley, Nepal

Changes in water contributions from melting snow and ice influence alpine watershed hydrology across High Asia. NSIDC’s Alia Khan focused on how such changes may affect water quality. She and her colleagues have been comparing biogeochemical results of in-situ water samples to hydrology from satellite products focused on the Khumbu Region of Nepal to understand how variations in contributions to melt from snow on land, exposed glacier ice, and snow on ice, may influence water quality. For example, they have found that years with larger snow-covered area may lead to higher surface water contamination of drinking water, such as with E. coli.

Alia Khan, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder
14:10 - 14:25 • Convention Ctr, Salon G • C43B-02

The Nighttime Fire Observations eXperiment (NightFOX): UAS wildfire measurements for air quality, fire weather forecasting, and satellite validations

NOAA’s Ru-Shan Gao presents the 2019 planned efforts of the Nighttime Fire Observations Experiment (NightFOX) project, part of NOAA and NASA’s FIREX-AQ field mission, to fill a significant data gap in the study of wildfires: fire plumes are frequently more concentrated at night, but manned research aircraft flights are generally limited to daytime operations near wildfires, so they miss critical measurements during nighttime hours. NightFOX uses an unmanned aircraft system (drone) and a set of custom instruments to collect this critical data, which can provide key inputs to fire weather models to improve fire weather forecasts.

Ru-Shan Gao, NOAA, with CIRES co-authors
14:55 - 15:10 • Convention Ctr- 152A • A43J-06

NOAA Booth Talk: The AirCore atmospheric sampling system

Bianca Baier of CIRES and NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, presents.
15:45 • Convention Ctr, Exhibit Hall, Booth #1415

Sources of skill in decadal predictions of Sahel precipitation

CIRES and NOAA’s Elizabeth Maroon brings much-needed attention to evaporative demand (the “thirst of the atmosphere”) as a way to provide early warning of agricultural and hydrological drought. She used land surface/atmosphere reanalyses to estimate evaporative demand across the globe, providing critical information to data-sparse and food-insecure regions as well as helping to better understand the interactions of drought and evaporative demand.

Elizabeth Maroon, CIRES and NOAA
17:30 - 17:45 • Convention Ctr, 144A-C • A44C-07


Friday, 14 December

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Times and locations as indicated below

Polar Science Communication Workshop: Improving communication skills through intensive training and periodic follow-up (Invited)

The Polar Science Communication Workshop, a three-day workshop in 2017, focused on sharing polar science and research results with non-specialist audiences, covering topics such as oral/written communication skills, storytelling, social media, interview strategies, and more. This presentation, including CIRES’ Mahsa Moussavi and Allen Pope, will cover highlights from the workshop, successes and lessons learned, and some of the ways participants have put their new skills to use.

08:00 - 08:15 • Marriott Marquis, Marquis 7-8 • D51A-01

Recent increases in the burden of atmospheric CH4: Implications for the Paris Agreement

U.S. and U.K researchers discuss how recent increases in atmospheric methane (CH4) abundance near Earth’s surface threaten to increase warming, jeopardizing the goals of the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement to limit globally averaged temperature increases to 2ºC, or even 1.5ºC, above pre-industrial temperatures. The work, led by NOAA’s Edward Dlugokencky, will draw on NOAA’s longterm atmospheric composition datasets, including isotopic information measured in collaboration with colleagues at CU’s INSTAAR, to describe methane’s trajectory and sources, presenting evidence of an increase in emissions from microbial sources, especially in the tropics. Knowing whether such climate “feedbacks” are, indeed, responsible for global methane increases, is critical information for policy makers seeking to reduce climate change impacts.

Edward Dlugokencky, NOAA; Martin Manning, Victoria Universtiy of Wellington; et al.
09:30 - 09:45 • Convention Ctr, 151B • A51D-07

The ubiquity of biomass burning particles in the remote troposphere

CIRES and NOAA’s Gregory Schill will present findings from the Atmospheric Tomography (ATom) mission, which collected nearly continuous atmospheric aerosol profiles to produce the first global map of biomass burning aerosol abundance. Aerosol from wildfires and open burning account for about a third of all accumulation-mode aerosol on a global average, and thus have immense potential to affect the Earth’s climate system.

Gregory Schill, CIRES and NOAA
10:35 - 10:50 • Convention Ctr, 151A • A52C-02


08:00 - 12:20 Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C

Combining high-resolution topography and Sentinel-1A/B radar observations for the study of coastal megacities, G51B-0481

Rapid population growth has resulted in an increase of megacities (over ten million inhabitants) worldwide, particularly in the developing world. Associated urbanization results in anthropogenic coastal subsidence processes that, in conjunction with sea-level rise due to climate change, have the potential to cause inundation, flooding, storm surges and infrastructure damage. In this poster, CIRES’ Kristy Tiampo and colleagues discuss their work to better understand these phenomena through satellite-based measurements.

Kristy French Tiampo, Michael J Willis, and R Steven Nerem, CIRES and CU Boulder

Using satellite measurements to improve regional estimates of the impacts of sea level change, OS51E-1304

Sea level rise, which can flood coastal regions and damage infrastructure, varies by region. In this poster, CU Boulder’s Eduard Heijkoop presents his team’s work to harness satellite measurements (WorldView and ICESat) to assess seal level rise in vulnerable coastal locations that do not have tide gauge or digital elevation model data. The researchers experimented with a variety of techniques (eg, laser altimetry, SAR altimetry, geod models, and more) and will report on locations around the world that are particularly vulnerable to sea level change.

Eduard Heijkoop, CU Boulder, with CIRES co-authors


Times and locations as indicated below

Observed cloud-radiation processes and their impact on the Arctic surface

Clouds are an important mechanism through which atmospheric moisture impacts the Arctic. Cloud processes, which impact the opacity of the clouds, control the radiative budget and are dependent on presence of liquid water in the atmosphere, and its temperature. CIRES and NOAA’s Matthew Shupe highlights diverse observations from ground-based remote sensors to illustrate how Arctic moisture in the form of clouds impacts the Arctic system, and how interactions with the system impact the clouds themselves.

Matthew Shupe, CIRES and NOAA
13:40 - 13:55 • Convention Ctr, 152A • A53D-01

An assessment of Arctic observing based on the historically low sea ice coverage of the Bering Sea in winter 2017–18

Last year, the Bering Sea experienced the lowest sea ice extent observed since the 1850s, resulting in damage to coastal communities and raising concerns about migratory species and marine ecosystems. CIRES and NSIDC’s Matthew Druckenmiller presents his team’s effort to harness this record-setting season as an opportunity to assess the state of sustained observations of rapid Arctic change. The team is using the International Arctic Observations Assessment (IASOA) framework to evaluate and understand knowledge and operational gaps related to disaster preparedness, maintaining critical infrastructure, food security, and marine ecosystems.

Matthew Druckenmiller, National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES and CU Boulder
13:55 - 14:10 • Convention Ctr, 101 • OS53B-02

Unexpected and significant biospheric CO2 fluxes in the Los Angeles Basin indicated by atmospheric radiocarbon

NOAA’s John Miller presents results from an air sampling network for CO2 and radiocarbon (14C) measurements within the Los Angeles megacity monitoring network. Surprisingly, CO2 emissions and concentrations in the Los Angeles area are not entirely dominated by fossil-fuels combustion; 20 percent of CO2 variability is from the biosphere. Also surprising: the net uptake of CO2 peaks in summer, rather than the spring, which would be expected for natural, unmanaged ecosystems in the area. Miller will discuss the implications, including the possibility that managed, urban ecosystems play a substantial role in regulating carbon fluxes in the Los Angeles region.

John Miller, NOAA
14:10 - 14:25 • Convention Ctr, 151B • A53F-03

Historical and real-time snow product suite for the Indus River Basin

In data-sparse regions like High Mountain Asia, modeling of snow and ice can help improve development and management of critical water resources. CU Boulder’s Karl Rittger presents his team’s work to harness remote sensing and hydrologic modeling to provide near real-time information on snow, ice, and water resources in the Indus River Basin. This provides critical, actionable information for the water management community and other Pakistani government decision makers focused on the development and management of critical water resources.

Karl Rittger, CU Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, CIRES, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center
14:25 - 14:40 • Convention Ctr, 145A • H53E-04

Aerially guided leak detection and repair: A pilot field study for evaluating the potential of methane emission detection and cost effectiveness

Preventing, identifying and repairing methane leaks for the hundreds of thousands of existing oil and gas operations in the United States relies on costly, infrequent ground-based inspection of many facilities. CIRES and NOAA’ Stefan Schwietzke, who is also a contributing scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund in Europe, presents empirical results from pilot work to detect and assess leaks by small aircraft in real-world conditions. Recently published results show that the aerial approach has the potential to be very cost effective and result in more rapid, focused, and directed ground inspection and repairs.

Stefan Schwietzke, CIRES and NOAA
16:45 - 17:00 • Convention Ctr, 151B • A54G-04

Evaluating the impact of educational activities on student engagement in climate science using galvanic hand sensors

Engaging, interactive teaching strategies improve climate science literacy. CIRES graduate student Ariel Morrison measured engagement in university students using wristbands containing skin conductance sensors during educational, climate change activities like watching short videos, doing worksheets, having group discussions, and answering questions out loud. Engagement was highest when students spoke out loud in front of the group, especially for non-STEM majors.

Ariel Morrison, CIRES and CU Boulder
17:45 - 18:00 • Marriott Marquis, Marquis 9-10 • ED54B-08


13:40 - 18:00 Convention Ctr. Poster Hall A-C.

VIIRS Nighttime Lights Image Services, IN53D-0636

Scientists use monthly composites and nightly mosaics of light pollution extensively across many disciplines. In this poster, CIRES and NOAA’s Jesse Varner presents NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)’s global nighttime lights products derived from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). NCEI developed a new suite of geospatial web services that provide detailed, widely accessible, high-resolution, frequently updated data to researchers.

Jesse Varner, CIRES and NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information

CIRES is a partnership of NOAA and CU Boulder.

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