Staff Notes Daily Announcements

Building inspections are approaching!  Once again special clean­out services will be available to staff for 3 weeks prior to each building inspection.  This collaborative effort is a unique opportunity to easily and conveniently clear out what you no longer need. Conveniently purge, recycle, archive and safely discard sensitive material.

Find the specifics of these events from the building inspection website:

Inspection Schedule

April 13th:    RAF

May 11th:    FL1, 2, 3

June 8th:    FLA, 0, 4

July 13th:    Center Green

August 10th:    Mesa Lab

For more information, contact Susannah Martinez at ext. 8583,

Additional information available at: Building Inspections 2017

Posted by Bob Wiley at ext. 8554,

Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Friday, March 31, 2017

Revisiting the Parametrization Problem
Hannah Christensen, NCAR/CGD

Parametrization schemes have traditionally been formulated in a deterministic manner. In other words, given a particular state of the resolved scale variables, the most likely forcing from the sub-grid scale motion is calculated and used to predict the evolution of the large-scale flow. Over the last decade, an alternative paradigm has developed: the use of stochastic parametrization schemes. In this talk I will discuss the motivation behind stochastic schemes, as well as highlight the variety of approaches that have been proposed for a range of physical processes. However, despite the exciting developments in such physically-motivated schemes, many operational weather forecasting centers use a comparatively basic approach. I discuss why this might be the case, and reflect on the pros and cons of these operational schemes.

Finally, I turn my attention to the use of stochastic parametrizations in climate models. I will discuss experiments in CCSM and EC-Earth that demonstrate the potential for improving climate simulations by using stochastic parametrization schemes. I conclude by discussing the potential for using stochastic schemes to represent model uncertainty in ensembles of climate simulations, in a comparable way to existing perturbed parameter or multi-model approaches.

A final remark: CMIP6 will include the first integrations from a climate model with a stochastic parametrization scheme – perhaps by CMIP7, other models will have followed suit!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017
11:00 AM, refreshments at 10:45
Mesa Lab, Main Seminar Room

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin at ext. 1618,

Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wildfire: Future Synchronicity and Impact on Management Decision Making
Alison Cullen and Linda Mearns

A growing research base supports the assessment of increases in frequency, extent, intensity and impact of very large wildfire (VLWF) events in the US, and increases in the length of the fire season, with a changing climate.   Meanwhile, little research considers potential increases in the synchronicity of very large wildfires; however such simultaneous occurrences could be expected to introduce scarcity and strain within systems for allocating fire suppression resources, equipment and personnel.  And in fact, in the 2015 fire season observable strain occurred in the western US.  We have been developing a research plan to consider decisions related to positioning and mobility of fire fighting equipment and personnel with the twin goals of estimating the probability of exceeding available capacity and of estimating the value of improved information about climate conditions and fire potential for these positioning and allocation decisions into the future.  In this work in progress seminar we will outline our plans for estimating the likelihood and impact of one or multiple VLWF events, using NA-CORDEX ( future climate simulations and subsequent simulation of fire potential under these future conditions, for the entire 21st century.

We will further describe the possible impact of new fire potential information for fire risk management and decision making.  We are developing an approach for identifying key thresholds for simultaneity and key triggers for exceeding available fire management resource capacity.  Research questions of interest include: at what breakpoint would the resource system be irretrievably ‘broken’ or overwhelmed due to too many large simultaneous fires? Under such conditions how would decisions be made to allow some of the VLWFs to not be suppressed even under conditions of likely damage and/or loss of life? What is the value and capability of improved climate and fire metric information incorporated in pre-season planning to minimize the chance of hitting such breakpoints?  How does this information value trade off against the value of purchasing additional equipment and personnel capacity in advance of the season?  And alternatively what decision protocols could adaptively manage fire risk during the fire season by movement of equipment and personnel on the fly?

Wednesday, March 29
12 - 1 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
Mesa Lab, Damon Room

Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Thursday, March 23, 2017 to Wednesday, March 29, 2017

NCAR and UCAR join American Meteorological Society colleagues and those in the broader meteorological community in mourning the passing of AMS President Matthew J. Parker, who died on March 15. (Read more here.)

Posted by Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 to Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Uncertainty Quantification in Data-Poor Spatial Averaging: An Update to the NASA GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)
Authors: Nathan Lenssen, Reto Ruedy, Gavin Schmidt
Presented by Nathan Lenssen

The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis of global surface temperature change is one of the most publicized climate data products, aimed at quantifying the observed extent of climate change. However, global temperature estimates are interpolated from weather stations which are sparsely distributed, especially in remote regions where temperature increases may be the largest. We propose an improved method for quantifying the error in spatial averaging that arises from incomplete spatial coverage of weather stations. In tandem, we compare our global temperature and uncertainty estimates with the established NCDC and HadCRU analyses as well as the newer Berkeley Earth method. 

Friday, April 14: Noon to 1 p.m. (Bring your lunch)
Mesa Lab, Chapman Room


Posted by Michelle Patton at ext. 1253,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 to Friday, April 14, 2017

These new acquisitions will be displayed at each NCAR Library location for one week, first at FL Library and then at ML Library. If you have questions regarding the items or want to suggest additions to the library collection, please contact the NCAR Library at or ext. 8505.

Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 7th Edition
Editors: Arfken, Weber and Harris
Publisher: Elsevier
Location: FL Library
Call Number: QA 37.3 .A74 2013

Writing Scientific Papers in English Successfully
Editor: Ethel Schuster
Publisher: University of Sao Paulo
Location: FL Library
Call Number: T 11 .W74 2014

The Certified Software Quality Engineer Handbook
Author: Linda Westfall
Publisher: ASQ Quality Press
Location: FL Library
Call Number: QA 76.3 .W466 2009

Nanotechnology, The Brain, and the Future
Editors: Hays, Robert, Miller, Bennett
Publisher: Springer
Location: FL Library
Call Number: T 174.7 .N34558 2013

Handbook of Numerical Methods for Hyperbolic Problems
Editors: Abgrall and Shu
Publisher: Elsevier
Location: FL Library
Call Number: QA 297 .H287 2017 V.18

Posted by NCAR Library at ext. 8505,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 to Monday, March 27, 2017

Date/Location: April 18-20, 2017 at NCWCP in College Park, MD (NCEP Conference Center)

NOAA’s vision for the Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS) Modeling Community is to engage with the public, private and academic sectors to seize an unprecedented opportunity to develop and advance a world-class operational modeling system that is unified across time and space scales. Anchored by NOAA’s FV3-based operational forecast system, the community will work together to improve operational environmental forecast guidance and enable and empower the research community.

Through two back-to-back workshops, NOAA seeks to engage with the community to form and shape the community, and to consider how to best execute shared infrastructure, support, management, and governance.  Other topics to be addressed include identifying “best practices”, discussing how community-based unified modeling system will actually work, and to evolve and coordinate between SIP/NGGPS Working Groups.

These workshops are one step in an open and transparent process of ongoing engagement, and is an important vehicle for NOAA to listen to the community regarding how it wants to engage. Outcomes include timely sharing of vital information (e.g. how people can plug in and contribute, timelines and status, etc.), generating a greater sense of community and mutual trust, and for NOAA, tapping the wisdom of the community. Output from the workshops will help NOAA to plan and establish the NOAA Modeling Community and to refine and improve its Strategic Implementation Plan for the FV3 model.

For more information:

Posted by Jeff Smith at ext. 2679,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 to Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We’re looking for original photos taken by UCAR, NCAR, and UCP staff of different atmospheric phenomena, including clouds, storms, aurora, sunsets, and other atmospheric optics, for a new art exhibit entitled Portraits of the Atmosphere: A Photography Exhibit by NCAR|UCAR Staff. This show will be a part of the UCAR Center for Science Education's permanent collection, displayed periodically at the Mesa Lab and possibly in other UCAR campuses. Initially these photos will be on display in the second floor temporary exhibit space at the Mesa Lab, with installation planned for Summer 2017.

A few details:

  • Ideally, your photo will be at least 6000 pixels wide in the long direction and a traditional aspect ratio (not square, panoramic, or cropped) so that they can be exhibited at a large size.
  • Photographs at a lower resolution (approx 3000 pixels in the long direction) that are selected will be exhibited as smaller prints. Note that photos taken with many phones are not at a high enough resolution to be printed.
  • Please submit up to ten atmosphere photographs by April 28 for consideration. To submit your photo, upload the digital file to the Atmosphere Art Submissions Form and include your name, email, and phone extension.
  • Jurors will meet and make decisions by May 10. You will be notified then whether your photograph has been accepted into the show.

If a staff member’s original photo submission is accepted into the show, the staff member will be asked for a quote about their photograph that connects to the science phenomena represented. Photographers retain copyright of the images they contribute and agree to allow the image to be displayed at UCAR. Photographers agree to donate their photograph for use in the exhibit, with the costs for photo printing and framing covered by the UCAR Center for Science Education.

Submission form:

Posted by Lisa Gardiner at ext. 2584,

Friday, March 17, 2017 to Friday, April 28, 2017

We are looking for project ideas that both advance NCAR|UCAR science and benefit K-12 students and the public. Over the next two months, we will be hosting discussions with interested NCAR researchers to help identify areas where non-scientists can get involved with research.

Public Participating in Scientific Research (PPSR), also known as citizen science or crowdsourcing, fits well within the new strategic goals for NCAR Education. This can include a spectrum of public involvement; some projects need many people that have limited involvement while others need fewer people who are deeply involved. Scientists in many fields have found citizen science to be an effective way to advance research projects. For example, precipitation data from citizen scientists in the CoCoRaHS project have helped identify variability in precipitation over small geographic areas.  In the realm of astronomy, citizen scientists have sifted through enormous amounts of telescope data to classify galaxies with the Galaxy Zoo project. With the proliferation of projects over the past 15 years or so, methods have been developed to ensuring data quality and programs that benefit both research and learning objectives.

Are you interested in finding ways for the public and students to help you with your research?

  • Please complete this brief survey, letting us know who you are and what topics of research you suggest so that we can follow up.
  • And, save the date to attend a PPSR Roundtable Discussion on either at 3:00 on April 5 at ML and at 3:00 on April 6 at FL2. 

This effort is a collaboration between UCP and NCAR Education programs.

Thanks for your interest! We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Becca Hatheway (UCAR SciEd), Lisa Gardiner (UCAR SciEd), Julie Malmberg (GLOBE), and Rebecca Haacker (NCAR Education and Outreach)

PPSR Survey:

Posted by Lisa Gardiner at ext. 2584,

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 to Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lower Back Pain Lunch & Learn Session

On April 6, join Dr. Lisa Brone, a Paladina Health physician, for a lunch and learn session to discuss lower back pain. 

Did you know? Lower Back Pain is a leading reason why individuals visit their physician. During this session, Dr. Brone will cover:

  • Understanding the difference between acute and chronic lower back pain
  • Learning the latest evidence for best treatments for lower back pain
  • Knowing when you might need an MRI vs. other therapy

Bring your own lunch and invite your colleagues. All employees are welcome to attend! This is great information for everyone. 

The session will be held on April 6 at CG1, Room 2126 from noon – 1:00 pm. The session will be webcast.


Posted by Alyssa Fronk at ext. 8710,

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 to Thursday, April 6, 2017