Atmospheric Science

Polar Science Center (PSC)  researchers conduct Atmospheric Research in the Polar Regions with a focus on Atmosphere-Ice-Ocean interactions and large scale atmospheric variability.   PSC researchers are involved  in research ranging from measurement programs deploying buoys that provide atmospheric pressure and temperature from the Arctic Ocean used for weather and climate prediction to lab-based research on the potential role of bacteria in the formation of ice particles in clouds. Recent work examines the role of sea ice changes on cloud variability and the redistribution of energy and moisture within the Arctic System.   As the climate is warming, resulting in reduced sea ice cover, interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere will affect atmospheric temperature structure, clouds and precipitation.  Determining the direction and strength of such feedback is one of the questions Center researchers are trying to answer.

In The News

Selected Projects

  • Response of Cloud Cover to Changes in Sea Ice

    Clouds play a major role in the arctic surface energy balance controlling the growth and melt of sea ice. At the same time the processes involved in the formation, maintenance and dissipation of cloud cover over the Arctic Ocean are thought to be strongly influenced by the sea ice itself. This project will advance the understanding of this interaction and feedback by asking: What is the response of Arctic clouds to diminishing sea ice?

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  • International Arctic Buoy Progamme

    The participants of the IABP work together to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Programme and the World Weather Watch Programme.

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  • TOVS Polar Pathfinder Path-P Project

    The purpose of this project is to improve satellite retrievals of atmospheric temperature, humidity and clouds.  Retrievals are based on   the physical-statistical retrieval method of Chedin et al. (1985, Improved Iteration Inversion Algorithm, 3I). The method has been improved for use in sea ice-covered areas (Francis 1994) and the data set has been designed to address the particular needs of the Polar research community. The data set represents the so called Path-P as designated by the TOVS Science Working Group.

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Selected Publications