Staff Notes Daily Announcements

Have you ever been curious what it is like to work in Antarctica where temperatures can drop below -50F and wind speeds can exceed hurricane force? Snow accumulation is the primary precipitation method that sustains the Antarctic ice sheets. Yet, snowfall remains one of the most difficult meteorological variables to accurately measure, especially in windy conditions. A new field program funded by the National Science Foundation is focused on testing recent advances in technology to determine if accurate snowfall measurements are now possible in the Antarctic environment. Join NCAR Scientist Scott Landolt as he provides an overview of this field program, the challenges of working in Antarctica, day-to-day life around McMurdo Station, and stunning photography of the Antarctic ice sheets.

To atttend this free public talk, you will need a ticket. There are still a few tickets available, please see the website below for more information about the talk and for a link to EventBrite website where you can reserve your ticket.

NCAR Explorer Series - Scott Landolt

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:00 pm
Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:00 pm

Both talks will be webcast if you can't come to the Mesa Lab. 
Viw the webcast here,

Posted by Scott Briggs at ext. 1607,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 to Friday, February 23, 2018

All the cafeterias will be closing at 1 pm this Friday, February 23, for an all department meeting. Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

Posted by Nancy Post van der Burg at ext. 1158,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 to Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jim Hurrell, the NCAR Director, will be holding two NCAR Town Halls this Thursday, 22 February. Please see the schedule below for times and locations for those as well as two additional Town Halls in early March at NWSC and RAF. Updates will be given on recent accomplishments across the Center, the NSF budget outlook for NCAR, some recent strategic investments to accelerate progress and enhance excellence, and the process for developing the 2019-2024 NCAR strategic plan, among other topics.

NCAR Town Hall Schedule: Foothills, Mesa, NWSC & RAF

22 February:  FL-2 Auditorium  - 10:30-11:30 a.m.

22 February: ML Seminar Room  -  1:30-2:30 p.m.

8 March:  NWSC - 1:30-2:30 p.m.

9 March:  RAF - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

**Please note the MMS technicians will be monitoring the chat feature in the webcast for any technical issues, but the chat feature will not be used for the Q&A part of the town hall.

Posted by Susan Chavez at ext. 1102,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 to Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Oceanography among the clouds and terrestrial ecology a thousand miles from land: The power  of global-scale airborne observations 
Britton Stephens
National Center for Atmospheric Research

The total amounts of biological productivity in a given yearin the world’s oceans and on land are fundamental properties of Earth system health that are poorly constrained by satellite and surface measurements. Likewise, our understanding of the distribution of anthropogenic carbon sinks among the Southern Ocean, tropical forests, and northern hemisphere temperate and boreal ecosystems—an important diagnostic of future carbon-climate feedbacks—is limited by sparse observations and uncertainties in atmospheric transport. Over the past decade, measurements of atmospheric CO2, O2, and related tracers on global-scale airborne research campaigns have enabled new insights into these carbon cycle questions. By measuring gradients and integrated signals from the surface to the lower stratosphere, nearly pole to pole, and in all seasons, we can overcome the data sparseness and transport limitations, because airborne measurements are representative of large zonal scales and column means less sensitive to model vertical mixing biases. The HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO, 2009-2011), O2/N2 Ratio and Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS, 2016), and Atmospheric Tomography (ATom, 2016-2018) campaigns are enabling new estimates of 1) the growing season net flux (GSNF) of CO2 with the Northern Hemisphere land biome, 2) the partitioning between northern extratropical and tropical forest carbon sinks, 3) the seasonal net outgassing (SNO) of O2 by the ocean in both hemispheres, and 4) the Southern Ocean CO2 sink. These estimates show that GSNF has increased by > 50% over the past 60 years, that intact tropical forests are a major sink for anthropogenic carbon, that SNO is surprisingly balanced between the hemispheres, and that the seasonal variability in Southern Ocean CO2 exchange is much greater than previously thought. I will present these results and discuss new opportunities for making global-scale aircraft observations a more routine part of the future climate observing system.  

Tuesday, 27 February 2018, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory  3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg 2 Large Auditorium (Rm1022)

Posted by Erin Fundalinski at ext. 8713,

Monday, February 19, 2018 to Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Are you interested in K-12 education and public outreach? If so, please join your colleagues in a discussion about this topic on Tuesday, February 20th from 2:30-3:30pm in CG1-3131 (note the room change from the previous announcement). During this meeting we'll share updates on education and outreach efforts happening across the organization, discuss ideas for collaborations across groups, and discuss how we'd like these meetings to be structured in the future.

To RSVP please send an email to Becca Hatheway ( and you'll be added to the calendar invite. In addition, if you haven't already signed up for the email list for this group ( please let Becca know that you would like to be added to the list.

We hope to see you at this meeting!

Posted by Becca Hatheway at ext. 2597,

Friday, February 16, 2018 to Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Estimating observation and model error variances using multiple data sets
Dr. Richard Anthes
UCAR President Emeritus

In this paper we show how multiple data sets, including observations and models, can be combined using the “N-cornered hat method” to estimate vertical profiles of the errors of each system. Using data from 2007, we estimate the error variances of radio occultation, radiosondes, ERA-Interim and GFS model data sets at four radiosonde locations in the tropics and subtropics. A key assumption is the neglect of error covariances among the different data sets, and we examine the consequences of this assumption on the resulting error estimates.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory  3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg 2 Large Auditorium (Rm1022)

Posted by Erin Fundalinski at ext. 8713,

Thursday, February 15, 2018 to Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Course Description

This three-day course, April 17-19, 2018, will provide an introduction to fundamental methods used in Machine Learning.  We will start with dimension reduction methods, which are often used as precursors to subsequent analysis.  This will be followed by an overview of unsupervised vs. supervised learning.  For unsupervised learning, we will cover various cluster analysis methods such as k-means.  For supervised learning, we will introduce data-driven approaches such as regression trees and modeling-based approaches with a special focus on artificial neural networks and deep learning.  The course is aimed at an applied audience and will make heavy use of data examples to illustrate the concepts.  We'll use the open-source statistical software R []. The format of the course is hands-on and participants will use their own laptops.


The lead instructor for the course is Valerie Monbet, Professor of Statistics at the University of Rennes. She will be assisted by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows specializing in Statistics and Machine Learning. Seats are limited to 12 participants to allow for effective one-on-one coaching. To apply, please visit the Machine Learning Application link on the left hand-side of the workshop webpage.  Note the application deadline is March 2, at 5:00 PM MST.

This training is for UCAR employees only.  For more information, see the webpage here.  To apply, click here.

Posted by Cecilia Banner at ext. 1231,

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 to Friday, March 2, 2018
Announcement regarding HR Staff availability from 2/14/2018-2/23/2018: As part of the Human Capital Management initiative, many of our Human Resources staff will be attending all-day vendor demonstrations. These all-day demos are scheduled for February 14-February 15 and February 20-February 23. Though we will be checking our emails and phone messages intermittently during these days, please be aware that we will do our best to answer requests in a timely manner. The HR Department will have a limited number of employees available in our FLA office to handle in-person requests.
If your request is urgent, you may contact Martha Jones, x8715,, and she will notify the appropriate individual. Additionally, all Data Entry changes for Pay Period 5 are due by 5:00PM on Wednesday, February 21. Submissions received after this deadline will not be processed until the following pay period. We appreciate your understanding and are excited to embark on this new initiative. 

Posted by Alyssa Fronk at ext. 8710,

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 to Friday, February 23, 2018

High Resolution ensemble Background Error Covariances for 4D Ensemble-Variational Data Assimilation

Joel Bédard, Environnement and Climate Change Canada

Higher model resolution model implies a higher number of degrees of freedom and a need for dense observation networks (e.g. satellite, radar and surface observations) to constrain the model initial state. Like in many other NWP centers, only a small fraction of the available observations is being used in ECCC operational systems. The horizontal thinning for all assimilated radiances is 150 km; radar observations are not yet assimilated operationally; and the screen level wind observations are not yet operationally assimilated over land. Although data assimilation for convective scale NWP has been the object of intense research lately, the resolution and the quality of background error covariances remain factors limiting the assimilation of dense observations. 

The data assimilation component for a new short-term convective-scale numerical weather prediction (NWP) system covering most of Canada at2.5 km resolution is currently being developed. It is based on a fully cycling deterministic 4DEnVar scheme with analysis increments initially computed at 10 km resolution. Several practical approaches have been evaluated and compared for generating ensembles of short-term forecasts for specifying the required background-error covariances. This includes ensembles from an EnKF and also from much simpler approaches. The new system is evaluated and compared with using Environment and Climate Change Canada's currently operational regional data assimilation system (with increments computed at 50 km resolution) for initializing forecasts from the identically configured atmospheric model.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Posted by Jessa Johnson at ext. 2751,

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 to Thursday, February 22, 2018

The NCAR Fellows Association is hosting a panel on proposals and budgets on Wed., Feb. 21st, and we would like to invite all postdocs and grad students in the NCAR|UCAR|UCP. Please invite those in your lab who might not have access to Staff Notes because they are visitors. 

Invitation to a Proposals & Budgets Panel

Time:  Wed., Feb. 21st, 3:00 PM
Place:  EOL Atrium (FL1 - 2198)
Panelists: Wiebke Dierling (RAL scientist), Matthew Long (CGD scientist), and Valerie Koch (NCAR Budgets & Planning manager)

Panel Agenda: Budget & Planning manager Valerie Koch will provide insights on important aspects of budgets. NCAR scientists Wiebke Dierling and Matthew Long will answer questions and share their experiences. 

Topics might include: how to develop collaborations that lead to grant writing, can you send in a short description to a program manager to see if the ideas align with funding goals, and what are important things to understand about budgets.

The NCAR Fellows Association is here to create a supportive community and provide career development workshops for postdocs and graduate students, whether they are visiting or employed here.  

Thank you for your help in spreading the word to postdocs and grad students in your lab! 

Posted by Valerie Sloan at ext. 2572,

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 to Wednesday, February 21, 2018