Jennifer Kay Group
Polar and atmospheric science
The poorly observed polar regions are changing rapidly and present many exciting research opportunities. Our group's research interests include coupled climate processes, cold clouds and precipitation, sea ice, climate forcing and feedbacks, and internal climate variability. The tools we apply include remote sensing observations, in situ observations, process models, coupled climate models, instrument simulators, and data assimilation. We work closely with scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR, also located in Boulder) in the development and analysis of global coupled climate models.
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, a CIRES Fellow, and a co-chair of the CESM Polar Climate Working Group. My publications are up-to-date on Google Scholar and at ResearcherID.
Please be in touch if you are interested in joining us in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
"The emphasis on observation opens special avenues to discovery. Discoveries, it seems, can be forced to occur in the future, as they often have in the past, by the deliberate making of observations of new phenomena or new frontiers." (from "The Incomplete Guide to the Art of Discovery" by Jack. E. Oliver, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University)
Current research projects:
1) Cloud influence on and response to Arctic sea ice loss
2) Microphysical and dynamical processes controlling extratropical cloud-climate feedbacks
3) Coupling between clouds and global-scale atmosphere and ocean circulation patterns
4) Dynamic and thermodynamic controls on extratropical precipitation changes in a warming world
5) Sea ice trends, variability, and predictability in both the Arctic and Antarctic
6) Atmospheric and surface processes controlling polar energy budgets
Research tools/datasets developed and used by the Kay Group:
- CIRES Postdoc Elizabeth Maroon published in Journal of Climate: Influence of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation on the Northern Hemisphere surface temperature response to radiative forcing. Congrats Elizabeth!!
- With colleagues, Jen and CIRES Postdoc/Kay group member Elizabeth Maroon organized a polar modeling workshop for early career scientists. The workshop website has the details!
- Jason Chalmers (CU-Boulder) and Susannah Rozak (Pikes Peak Community College) joined us for the summer as undergraduate researchers funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Their progress and energy inspired us all!! More information can be found here
- Kay group member Bill Frey successfully defends his Ph.D.!! A copy of his dissertation is available here: The influence of Southern Ocean shortwave cloud feedbacks on the coupled climate system. Congratulations Dr. Frey - We are very proud of you!!
- Stockholm University Research Scientist and Kay group member Joe Sedlar published in Journal of Climate: Spring Arctic Atmospheric Preconditioning: Do Not Rule Out Shortwave Radiation Just Yet. Congrats Joe!!
- ATOC Ph.D. Candidate and Kay group member Bill Frey published in JGR-Atmospheres: The combined influence of observed Southern Ocean clouds and sea ice on top‐of‐atmosphere albedo. Congrats Bill!!
- ATOC Ph.D. Candidate and Kay group member Vineel Yettella published in Journal of Climate: An ensemble covariance framework for quantifying forced climate variability and its time of emergence. Congrats Vineel!!
- ATOC Ph.D. Candidate and Kay group member Ariel Morrison published in JGR-Atmospheres: Isolating the Liquid Cloud Response to Recent Arctic Sea Ice Variability Using Spaceborne Lidar Observations. Congrats Ariel!!
- NASA Earth Ventures Proposal to Measure Arctic Radiation Selected for Funding, PI Tristan L'Ecuyer University of Wisconsin, includes co-I Jen Kay: NASA Press Release
- Jen awarded the 2017 Henry G. Houghton Award by the American Meteorological Society "For the innovative use of observations and global climate models to better understand the rapidly evolving climate of the polar regions"
- ATOC Ph.D. candidate and Kay group member Ariel Morrison awarded a Chateaubriand Fellowship from the Embassy of France for her work on Arctic clouds and sea ice. Ariel spent Spring 2017 in Paris, France working with Professor Helene Chepfer at LMD/Ecole Polytechnique. Bon Voyage!
- ATOC Ph.D. candidate and Kay group member Vineel Yettella awarded a 2017 CIRES Graduate Student Research Award for his prediction work using the CESM Large Ensemble (joint with ATOC Professor Jeff Weiss). Congrats Vineel!!
- ATOC Ph.D. Candidate and Kay group member Bill Frey published in Climate Dynamics: The influence of extratropical cloud phase and amount feedbacks on climate sensitivity and in Geophysical Research Letters Do Southern Ocean Cloud Feedbacks Matter for 21st Century Warming?. Congrats Bill!!
- Lucy Rieves (CU Undergraduate) joined the Kay group for the summer through the UROP program. Lucy's summer research focused on understanding the impacts of climate change on agriculture in the United States. Welcome Lucy!!
- Elizabeth Maroon joins Kay group as a CIRES Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow (joint with Professor Kris Karnauskus).
- Jen's NSF CAREER project -- “Going Global—The Influence of Southern Ocean Albedo on Large-scale Climate Dynamics” -- is funded.
- Jen and Clara Deser (NCAR Scientist) awarded the 2016 CESM Distinguished Achievement Award for their work on the CESM Large Ensemble Project.
- Jen lectured at the Abisko Polar Prediction School held in Abisko, Sweden.
- ATOC Ph.D. Candidate and Kay group member Vineel Yettella publishes in Climate Dynamics - How will precipitation change in extratropical cyclones as the planet warms?: Insights from a large initial condition climate model ensemble. Congrats Vineel!!