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

Jake J. Gristey

Research Interests

I am fascinated by the natural world. At the most fundamental level, my research interest is to shed some light on "How does it all work?"

My research focuses on utilizing real-world observations and model simulations to understand how radiative energy flows into, out of, and within the Earth-atmosphere system. These radiative energy flows are ultimately responsible for driving virtually all atmospheric circulations (i.e. our weather) and determining longer term changes in the equilibrium state of Earth (i.e. our climate). Since our climate appears to be warming at an unprecedented rate (the most recent five years are the warmest since records began), it has never been more important to understand the drivers of variability in Earth's energy flows so that we can use this knowledge to reliably predict and prepare for the future.

I have a particular interest in space-borne observations of the top-of-atmosphere energy flows (i.e. Earth's Radiation Budget: ERB). As the community prepares for the next generation of continued ERB observations, I am interested in new opportunities that may arise to increase the value of these observations. For example, by exploring the sampling provided by various satellite orbits, and the spectral characteristics of the observations themselves.

Current Research

Since September 2018 I have been working as a research scientist in Graham Feingold's group under the Atmospheric Science for Renewable Energy (ASRE) program based at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. The aim of this work is to use observations and large eddy simulation in shallow cumulus conditions at the ARM Southern Great Plains site to understand the processes controlling surface solar irradiance variability. Initial results have highlighted intriguing relationships between bulk cloud field properties and the surface cloud radiative effect, as well as the significance of 3-D radiative effects within fine resolution modeling. Publications concerning these new findings are now emerging in the peer-review literature.