Staff Notes Daily Calendar Events

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 11:00am

As we advance in the technological age our risk exposure to the space weather, severe storms in the near-Earth space environment driven by the complex magnetic field interactions at the Sun, continues to increase. The alterations in the ionized portion of the upper atmosphere driven by interaction of the complicated plasma and magnetic field structures emitted by the Sun, aka CMEs, and the Earth’s magnetic field can lead to significant degradations on the availability and accuracy of global positioning system (GPS). This interaction can also impact high-frequency (HF) radio communications forcing airlines to divert aircraft from trans-polar routings to longer lower latitude routes at significant costs. The severe storms can also drive strong currents in the electric power grid, potentially leading to blackouts, and long-distance pipelines, contributing to enhanced corrosion. Aspects of our understanding of the basic science behind these affects are quite good, but work remains to be done to create a robust, reliable, and effective set of forecast tools.

Modern modeling of space weather is accomplished through coupling of regional models of the thermosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere that can be driven by solar wind conditions taken from satellite observations or by the results of models of solar wind driven by solar coronal simulations. These numerical simulations can provide forecast of the space environment and are beginning to be transitioned into operations at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) to provide information for government and industrial users. High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms allow simulations to be conducted at unprecedented resolution and over long simulation intervals. The large data sets produced by these simulations provide opportunities for novel discoveries through data mining. An excellent example of this discovery process is linkage of bursty bulk flows to magnetic reconnection in the mid-tail through high-resolution simulations. The future of space weather modeling includes many challenges. Key among these are the is the ability to predict the magnetic field inside the CME, utilization of new modeling techniques such as hybrid methods within the magnetospheric simulations, and development of a robust whole geospace model.

Presenter(s):
Michael Wiltberger
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
CG1
Room:
Center Auditorium
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
Yes - CG1-Auditorium - http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Posted by Scott Briggs (sbriggs@ucar.edu) at x1607
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, ASP
Affiliation or organization:
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 2:00pm

Tuesday April 28, 2015 -  2pm - NCAR FL2-Main Auditorium
(NCAR Building FL2, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, Colorado)

The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak
On the ground in Sierra Leone, 2014-2015

Dr. C. Ben Beard,   
Associate Director for Climate Change, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases
Chief, Bacterial Diseases Branch
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak that began in West Africa in early 2014 was the first outbreak of EVD in West Africa and the largest outbreak of this disease ever. It has been an unprecedented epidemic that to date has resulted in over 25,000 total cases and over 10,000 deaths primarily in three West African countries: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Thousands of CDC staff members have taken time from their regular jobs over the last year to serve in a wide variety of deployments, including work in West Africa assisting in response efforts that involve surveillance, contact tracing, data management, laboratory testing, and health education. This presentation will discuss the background and current status of the EVD epidemic in Sierra Leone, response efforts, challenges, and successes, together with personal reflections from my own deployment in Sierra Leone during December of 2014 and January 2015.

Ben Beard is Associate Director for Climate Change and Chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch of CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he coordinates CDC's programs on Lyme disease, plague, and tularemia. DVBD is part of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, within CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Dr. Beard has a BS degree (1980, Auburn University), an MS degree (1983, Louisiana State University school of Medicine, and a PhD degree (1987, University of Florida).

Webcast at: ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live
For more information, contact Mary Hayden (mhayden@ucar.edu)

Presenter(s):
Dr. C. Ben Beard
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
FL2
Room:
1022
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?

Posted by Marybeth Zarlingo (zarlingo@ucar.edu) at x2751
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, RAL, CSAP
Affiliation or organization:
Friday, May 1, 2015 - 11:00am

Local non-profits will visit to promote opportunities for employees and their families to volunteer in our community.

Presenter(s):
EAC
Type of event:
Public Outreach
Building:
FL2
Room:
1001, 1002, 1022, cafeteria atrium
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
No

Posted by Jo Zoetewey (zoetewey@ucar.edu) at x2709
Lab/division hosting the event:
UCAR
Affiliation or organization:
Friday, May 8, 2015 - 12:00pm

Abstract: 

When computational methods or predictive simulations are used to model complex phenomena such as dynamics of physical systems, researchers, analysts and decision makers are not only interested in understanding the data but also interested in understanding the uncertainty present in the data. In such situations, using ensembles is a common approach to accounting for the uncertainty or, in a broader sense, exploring the possible outcomes of a model. Visualization, as an integral component of data analysis task, can significantly facilitate the communication of the characteristics of an ensemble including uncertainty information. Designing visualization schemes suitable for exploration of ensembles is specifically challenging if the quantities of interest are derived feature-sets such as isocontours or streamlines rather than fields of data. 

In this talk, I will introduce novel ensemble visualization paradigms that use a class of nonparametric statistical analysis techniques called data depth to derive robust statistical summaries from an ensemble of feature-sets (from scalar or vector fields). This class of visualization techniques is based on the generalization of conventional univariate boxplots. Generalizing boxplots provides an intuitive yet rigorous approach to studying variability while preserving the main features shared among the members. It also aids in highlighting descriptive information such as the most representative ensemble member (median) and potential outlying members. The nonparametric nature and robustness of data depth analysis and boxplot visualization make such ensemble visualization schemes an advantageous approach to studying uncertainty in various applications ranging from image analysis to fluid simulation to weather and climate modeling.

Presenter(s):
Mahsa Mirzargar
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
Mesa Lab
Room:
Damon Room
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
No

Posted by Carolyn Mueller (cmueller@ucar.edu) at x2491
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, CISL, IMAGe
Affiliation or organization:
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 1:30pm

Understanding the Upper Atmosphere Using Ultraviolet Remote Sensing

Ultraviolet remote sensing provides us, in one relatively small package, the ability to explore the composition of the neutral atmosphere (O, O2, and N2) and the altitude profile of these constituents; auroral imagery that provides the characteristic energy and flux of the precipitating particles; and 3D imagery of the structure and dynamics of the ionosphere.

In this talk we review the basic physics of ultraviolet remote sensing, how a simple UV sensor works (and why one has to be very careful in the design) and what we learn by flying these sensors. We discuss this in terms of the challenges of understanding space weather and the geospace environment. In particular, we will discuss how other sensors can be combined with UV sensors to provide insight into the structure and dynamics of the ionosphere. We use two tools for this Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSE) and data assimilation models.

Some results from our SSUSI and GUVI experiments will be shown and discussed. The data are available at http://ssusi.jhuapl.edu and http://guvi.jhuapl.edu. I will provide an overview of these data sources; the combination of these data with other data and models; and emerging opportunities for collaboration.

webcast at https://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live?room=cg1aud

Presenter(s):
Larry Paxton
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
CG1
Room:
South Auditorium
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
Yes - CG1-Auditorium - http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Posted by Sheryl Shapiro (sheryls@ucar.edu) at x1567
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, HAO
Affiliation or organization:
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 11:00am

Past studies have shown that the feedback of extratropical sea surface temperature on the atmosphere is weak at the interannual time scale. However, some recent evidences suggest that the long-term variability of the North Atlantic SST may exert a significant influence on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation in winter. Although uncertain due to the shortness of record to examine multidecadal variability, an inverse relationship is found in the 20CR reanalysis between the polarity of the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV), that depicts the basin-wide fluctuations of the North Atlantic SST with a period of ~70 years, and the decadal trends of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In order to assess whether the AMV is active in this relationship by forcing the NAO, several perturbation experiments with different configuration of the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5) are conducted. Our results suggest that the AMV-SST anomalies have the potential to drive the atmosphere since they induce a significant NAO response in winter, although the response is relatively small compared to atmospheric internal variability. To complete this picture, preliminary results from a multi-model analysis using the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) database are also presented.

Presenter(s):
Yannick Peings
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
Mesa Lab
Room:
Main Seminar Room
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
Yes - ML-Main Seminar Room - http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin (potemkin@ucar.edu) at x1618
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, CGD
Affiliation or organization:
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:30pm

Andrew Heymsfield (1) and Joachim Jansen (2)
1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
2. Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

In this seminar we focus on the formation of ice particles in the airflow over jet aircraft wings and the generation of iridescent aerodynamic contrails. These are different than the commonly observed contrails at aircraft cruise altitude, which are due to combustion.

Aerodynamic condensation is a result of intense adiabatic cooling in the airflow over aircraft wings, and behind propeller blades. Out-of-cloud, condensation appears as a burst-like fog (jet aircraft during takeoff and landing, propellers) or as an iridescent trail visible from the ground behind the trailing edge of the wing (jet aircraft, subsonic cruise flight), consisting of ice particles that grow to visible size in ambient humidities above ice saturation. In supercooled liquid clouds, aircraft produced ice particles may lead to inadvertent cloud seeding because ice grows preferentially relative to water.

We use a 2D compressible flow model to evaluate two likely processes considered for the initial ice particle formation: homogeneous nucleation of droplets directly from water vapor followed by their homogeneous freezing, and depositional growth and freezing of pre-existing solution droplets. We show visible aerodynamic contrails form between T = −20 and −50 °C and RH ≥ 80%, consistent with observations.

This seminar will be webcast live at:
http://www.fin.ucar.edu/it/mms/fl-live.htm

Recorded seminar link can be viewed here:
https://www.mmm.ucar.edu/events/seminars

Thursday, 30 April 2015, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg 2 Main Auditorium, Room 1022

Presenter(s):
Andrew Heymsfield and Joachim Jansen
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
Foothills Labs
Room:
1022
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?

Posted by Michelle Menard (menard@ucar.edu) at x8189
Lab/division hosting the event:
External:, Utrecht University, NCAR, MMM
Affiliation or organization:
Monday, July 13, 2015 - 8:00am

July 13-16, 2015 | NCAR Foothills Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

The 2015 NCAR/CDC Workshop on Climate and Health will focus on vector-borne diseases related to human health. This workshop will focus on a wide variety of vector-borne diseases, including dengue, Lyme, and plague, and their relationship to climate variability and change. The purpose of the workshop is to train health professionals and early career climate and health researchers (public health officials, graduate students, post-docs and early career scientists and faculty) in the development of robust interdisciplinary research projects in the complex area of climate and health. The four-day workshop will include lectures on relevant topics in climate and climate change and in public health and human health, vulnerability studies, modeling climate and health, and special tools for analysis (e.g., GIS). There will be multiple opportunities for discussions with experts in the field in order to bring public health practitioners and climate scientists together to examine the integration of epidemiology, ecology, behavioral science, modeling and atmospheric science.

Applications Open through April 30.

Participants will be notified in early May.

Sponsored By:

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Presenter(s):
CDC and NCAR
Type of event:
Workshop
Building:
Foothills Labs
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
No

Posted by Lara Ziady (ziady@ucar.edu) at x8442
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, RAL, CSAP
Affiliation or organization:
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 2:00pm

Date:       May 6, 2015
Time:       2pm
Place:       FL 2, Room 1001
Speaker:   Paul Roebber, Atmospheric Science Group and School of Freshwater Sciences
                University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211
                roebber@uwm.edu

Probabilistic and Deterministic Forecasting using Evolutionary Program Ensembles

Charles Darwin wrote: “Can it … be thought improbable … that other variations useful in some way to each being in the great and complex battle of life, should sometimes occur in the course of thousands of generations? If such do occur, can we doubt … that individuals having any advantage, however slight … would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind?” This is the conceptual basis of evolutionary programming (EP), a process in which simulated evolution is used to find solutions to problems as diverse as the sorting of numbers and forecasting minimum temperature. Despite a history in computer sciences dating back to the 1960s, the application of this idea to meteorological studies is relatively new. Recently, EP has been adapted to the weather domain in order to generate large member ensemble forecasts for minimum temperature, maximum temperature, wind power, and heavy rainfall (Roebber 2013; Roebber 2015abc). These studies have shown that the method can provide greater probabilistic and deterministic skill, particularly at the extremes, than post-processed numerical weather prediction (NWP) ensembles. Further research has shown that this skill advantage persists out to longer ranges, where the forecast signal is presumably weaker.

The method can be understood as follows. Suppose that we have a well-defined problem with a clear measure of success (e.g., root-mean-square-error), and for which we can construct solutions by performing various mathematical operations on a set of inputs. In this case, it is possible to develop a single computer program that generates algorithms which solve the defined problem by applying various operators and coefficients to the inputs. The level of success or "fitness" of a particular solution can then be measured. The idea of fitness invokes evolutionary principles and suggests that if one starts from a very large set of random initial algorithms and allows fit algorithms to propagate some portion of their components to the next generation, then it may be possible to produce improved algorithms over time. This culling of the population in favor of stronger individuals through maximizing fitness and the exchange of "genetic material" between fit algorithms drives the progress towards improved solutions. Since weather forecast problems are nonlinear with non-unique solutions, evolved programs are a new means for generating a set of skillful but independent solutions. The algorithms resemble multiple linear or nonlinear regression equations, but with conditionals that allow for special circumstances to be accounted for as a routine outcome of the data search (e.g., the impact of snow cover on temperature under conditions of clear skies and light winds; Roebber 2010).

In this talk, I will discuss the EP concept and its most recent meteorological forms, including examples from various applications of the method. Roebber (2015abc) modified the technique to incorporate various forms of genetic exchange, disease, mutation, and the training of solutions within ecological niches, and to produce an adaptive form that can account for changing local conditions (such as changing flow regimes) as well as improved forecast inputs – thus, once initial training is completed, the ensemble will adapt automatically as forecasts are produced. I will outline efforts to mitigate the tendency for EP ensembles to exhibit under dispersion as with NWP ensembles and the concept of balancing the minimization of root-mean-square error with the maximization of ensemble diversity. I will then conclude with a discussion of outstanding questions regarding the method and future research directions.

This seminar will be webcasted.

 UCAR Connect Link

http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Presenter(s):
Paul Roebber
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
FL2
Room:
1001
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?

Posted by Marybeth Zarlingo (zarlingo@ucar.edu) at x2751
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, RAL - JNT/DTC
Affiliation or organization:
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 11:00am

When will efforts to mitigate climate change pay off?  We consider the role of the scenario in the context of a range of uncertainties in future climate, from natural variability to choices in model design.   Using two large ensembles of CESM following different greenhouse gas concentration pathways, we evaluate the question of when the benefits of climate mitigation become evident in regional climate projection.  We also consider the issue of ensemble size and how to best spend our computing hours - how many ensemble members are required to have confidence in the mean forced pathway, in long term trends and in extreme events?  Do we need to repeat such ensembles for multiple scenarios, or can the results be predicted?  We also consider the output of a CESM perturbed physics ensemble to assess the role of scenarios and internal variability in the context of parameter uncertainty in the model.   Finally, looking ahead to CMIP6 scenario design process, we use the results of a simple climate model to assess the implications of mitigation (or lack thereof) on a multi-century timescale and the costs of delayed action.

Presenter(s):
Ben Sanderson
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
Mesa Lab
Room:
Main Seminar Room
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
Yes - ML-Main Seminar Room - http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin (potemkin@ucar.edu) at x1618
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, CGD
Affiliation or organization:
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 11:00am

IGBP recently asked Will Steffen, the former IGBP Officer about his take on the meaning of the Anthropocene: “The Anthropocene is many things – a term, a concept, a narrative and a paradigm, depending on what area of research one comes from, or what area of interest one brings to bear on it. It is profoundly important, well beyond the research community, because it challenges perspectives and world views on the relationship between humans and the rest of nature.” Our past decisions, as a species, have helped define the Anthropocene and its environment. At first we were, by and large, unaware of the global cumulative impact of our decisions. We are now self aware of the general patterns of our human footprint — perhaps not in all aspects, as we continue to discover linkages, teleconnections, tipping points and thresholds. We continue to monitor and report on our collective earth-surface alterations, while we consider how to lessen our environmental degradation beyond today’s piecemeal approach and generate a more sustainable future. To many researchers, it would come as a surprise if humans were capable of altering the global hydrological cycle. After all, the earth is a water world, and the land surface is relatively small compared to our world oceans. Yet we have already substantively changed surface runoff both quantitatively and qualitatively. Much less water gets delivered to the oceans than just a few decades ago, and the remaining delivery is often delayed from weeks to months, with major consequences to coastal ocean properties and world ecosystems. We have built one large (15+ m high) dam every day, on average, for the last 130 years. Many of our rivers have become confined sluices, engineered with hardened riverbanks, barrages, and tall levees that often lead to a super-elevated river system above historical floodplains. Forensic analysis of recent high cost flood events suggests that infrastructure failures play an increasingly important role (e.g. 2008 Kosi R, India; 2010 Indus, Pakistan; 2011 Chao Phraya, Thailand).  State of the art observational systems allow us to examine “flood” events with unprecedented views — from optical orbital sensors, microwave radiometers, synthetic aperture radars, gravity measurements, time-lapse imagery, DGPS, human intelligence and numerical modeling. The presentation will provide a light romp across the earth using emotion-generating movies and images, as an impetus for the CGD audience to perhaps consider how our species might move forward with a lighter footprint and towards a more sustainable future.

Presenter(s):
James Syvitski
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
Mesa Lab
Room:
Main Seminar Room
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
Yes - ML-Main Seminar Room - http://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live

Posted by Gaylynn Potemkin (potemkin@ucar.edu) at x1618
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, CGD
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 3:30pm

This  presentation introduces the characteristics, sources, dynamics and impacts of the gravity waves generated in the moist baroclinic jet-front systems. Firstly, a series of high-resolution cloud-permitting simulations of idealized moist baroclinic waves are performed to study  gravity waves among moist baroclinicjet-front systems with varying degree of convective instability, to examine the similarities and differences of wave characteristics, initiations and propagations among different simulations, and to understand the coupling and interactions of gravity waves with small-scale moist convection and large-scale background baroclinic waves. Secondly, four-dimensional linear ray-tracing experiments are employed to investigate the source mechanisms, propagating characteristics, life cycles, and wavenumber vector refraction budget analysis of the identified lower-stratospheric gravity waves. Thirdly, spectral characteristics are estimated with discrete Fourier transform to assess the wave-induced momentum fluxes and their impacts on the large-scale circulation. Understanding the dynamics,  propagations and impacts of these gravity waves may ultimately help us with better parameterizations of gravity waves associated with moist baroclinic jet-front systems. 

Presenter(s):
Junhong Wei
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
FL2
Room:
1022
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?

Posted by Dianne Hodshon (dhodshon@ucar.edu) at x1401
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, ACOM
Affiliation or organization:
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 12:00pm
Planning, executing and dealing with change is not easy. When organizations or individuals experience unexpected changes, employees are faced with many uncertainties. As a result people often become confused, hurt, stressed and unproductive because coping mechanisms may not be working. Learn how to embrace change by using tools every day to become more calm, productive and less stressed. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to use techniques and tools to get through the difficult times, and help to regain enthusiasm and energy.

Register at: EOD Training Catalog - https://www.fin.ucar.edu/hrisConnect/employee
(UCAS login>Training Catalog>Search by class>Details>Enroll)
Ensure popups are allowed for the site in your browser.

This session is designed for all employees involved in a changing work environment.

Bring own refreshments

Presenter(s):
Denny Kercher, DO Kercher Enterprises
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
FL2
Room:
Main Auditorium
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
No

Posted by Cheryl Cristanelli (cherylc@ucar.edu) at x8708
Lab/division hosting the event:
UCAR, F&A
Affiliation or organization: