Staff Notes Daily Calendar Events

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 4:00pm

The President’s Council invites you to the retirement reception for Katy Schmoll, Vice-President for Finance & Administration, on April 21, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Mesa Lab Cafeteria. Please join us in recognizing and honoring Katy’s 17 years of dedication and service to UCAR. You can read about Katy’s well-earned retirement on Staff News.

Please come, share your stories, and wish Katy well at the April 21 reception!

Presenter(s):
Many
Type of event:
Celebration
Building:
Mesa Lab
Room:
Cafeteria
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?
No

Posted by Zhenya Gallon (zhenya@ucar.edu) at x8607
Lab/division hosting the event:
UCAR
Affiliation or organization:
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 21, 2015 - 11:00am

The past evolution of the Northern hemisphere land surface air temperatures (SAT) reflects the combined influence of external forcing with that of internal variability. While there is some evidence supporting detection of the response to anthropogenic forcing, robust attribution results regarding the possible confounding role of internal variability are still lacking. Here we use the CESM large-ensemble (Kay, Deser et al. 2015) of historical and scenario simulations to estimate its influence on the recent SAT evolution. This initial-condition ensemble allows assessing the range of possible past 50-year seasonal SAT trends purely due to the superposition of the response to external forcing with unpredictable internal variability. We first decompose the forced response and internal variability trend contributions into dynamically and thermodynamically induced components. Large-scale circulation analogues are used to estimate the SAT trend dynamical component in each ensemble member. Subtracting the dynamical component from the total trend leads to the thermodynamical component. The causes of temperature trends can then be formally separated into four components, whether they are free or forced, dynamically or thermodynamically induced. We then investigate the respective contributions of each component to winter and summer SAT trends. The free dynamical component is shown to be mainly responsible for the large spread in past 50-year winter SAT trends. In summer, the main source of uncertainty comes from the free thermodynamical component. We also estimate the dynamical component for the observations and suggest that a significant fraction of the recent observed winter SAT trend is likely due to the free dynamical component.

Presenter(s):
Laurent Terrray, CERFACS/CNRS
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, 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:
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 11:00am

Eddy-rich western boundary current regimes, such as the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream Extension regions, have been identified as key locations in the extratropics where SST variability may provide an important source of energy for driving atmospheric variability. In this talk, we present high-resolution regional climate modeling results, supported by observational analyses, that meso-scale SST variability, largely confined in the Kuroshio-Oyashio confluence region (KOCR), can exert an influence on the Pacific storm track. The presence of meso-scale SST anomalies enhances diabatic conversion of latent heat energy, intensifying winter cyclogenesis via moist baroclinic instability, which in turn affects storm activity and precipitation downstream. We further show that the ocean mesoscale eddy-atmosphere (OME-A) feedback plays an important role in maintaining the sharp SST gradient along the Kuroshio Extension. These findings point to the need to improve the representation of ocean mesoscale eddies and their interactions with the atmosphere in climate models.

Presenter(s):
Ping Chang
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:
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 1:30pm

Symmetry and Symmetry Breaking in Planetary Magnetic Fields

The internal magnetic field is one of the fundamental properties which yields important information on the interior structure and evolution of the host planet. Six out of eight solar system planets currently possess global-scale internal magnetic fields. Different symmetry and symmetry breaking with respect to the spin-axis and the equatorial plane of the host planet can be found for different planetary magnetic fields.

Following a brief introduction to planetary magnetism, I will discuss the magnetic fields and interior dynamics of Mercury and Saturn. For Mercury, I will show that top buoyancy forcing such as that of iron snow in its liquid core can naturally lead to equatorial symmetry breaking in the dynamo generated magnetic field as observed by MESSENGER. For Saturn, I will show a numerical exploration of the link between the features in Saturn's magnetic field and dynamics in the semi-conducting region of Saturn. The magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) consequences of equatorial zonal jets and high latitude zonal jets will be addressed.

Webcast at https://ucarconnect.ucar.edu/live?room=cg12126

Presenter(s):
Hao Cao
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
Center Green
Room:
2126
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?

Posted by Sheryl Shapiro (sheryls@ucar.edu) at x1567
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, HAO
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:
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:
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:30pm

Kristen L. Rasmussen and Robert A. Houze, Jr.
1. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA*
*Only Kristen will be presenting*
2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Extreme convection tends to form in the vicinity of mountain ranges, and the Andes in subtropical South America help spawn some of the most intense convection in the world. An investigation of the most intense storms for 11 years of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) data shows a tendency for squall lines to initiate and develop in this region with the canonical leading convective line/trailing stratiform structure. The synoptic environment and structures of the extreme convection and MCSs in subtropical South America are similar to those found in other regions of the world, especially the United States. In subtropical South America, however, the topographical influence on the convection initiation and maintenance of the MCSs is unique. A capping inversion in the lee of the Andes is important in preventing premature triggering. The Andes and other mountainous terrain of Argentina focus deep convection initiation in the foothills of western Argentina. Subsequent to initiation, the convection often evolves into propagating mesoscale convective systems similar to those seen over the U.S. Great Plains and produces damaging tornadoes, hail, and floods across a wide agricultural region.

Numerical simulations conducted with the NCAR Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model extend the observational analysis and provide an objective evaluation of storm initiation, terrain effects, and development mechanisms. The simulated mesoscale systems closely resemble the storm structures seen by the TRMM Precipitation Radar as well as the overall shape and character of the storms shown in GOES satellite data. A sensitivity experiment with different configurations of topography, including both decreasing and increasing the height of the Andes Mountains, provides insight into the significant influence of orography in focusing convection initiation in this region. Lee cyclogenesis and a strong low-level jet are modulated by the height of the Andes Mountains and directly affect the character, intensity, and spatial distribution of the convective systems. A conceptual model for convection initiation in subtropical South America that integrates the results of the topographic sensitivity experiments will be presented. Additional research on these storms including lightning, climatological rain contribution, and severe storm impacts will also be presented.

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

Presenter(s):
Kristen L. Rasmussen
Type of event:
Seminar/Symposium
Building:
FL2
Room:
1022
Will this event be webcast by NCAR/UCAR?

Posted by Michelle Menard (menard@ucar.edu) at x8189
Lab/division hosting the event:
NCAR, MMM
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:

Follow Us

Maps & Directions

Communications Office

Shilo Hall
Administrative Support
+1 303.497.8603

Digital Image Library

Communications Office