Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences



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Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

New progress in leveraging spaceborne radar and lidar to advance Arctic cloud-climate research

by Dr. Jennifer Kay - Assistant Professor, ATOC; CIRES, University of Colorado

The active sensors CloudSat (radar) and CALIPSO (lidar) provide nearly a decade of pan-Arctic cloud and precipitation measurements. Taken together, these two satellites observe cloud properties with relevance to both climate feedbacks and hydrological cycle changes in a warming world. Most importantly, these two satellites constrain hydrometeor properties with vertically resolved surface-blind retrievals that directly detect hydrometeor vertical structure. Here, we report on two recent research results that leverage the full decade of CloudSat+CALIPSO observations available. First, we isolate the cloud response to sea ice loss for the first time. The observations show no summer cloud response to Arctic sea ice loss, but increased cloud cover and a deepening atmospheric boundary layer in fall. We attribute the fall cloud response to observed sea ice loss caused in part by human greenhouse gas emissions. Second, we confront a community climate model (the latest version of the Community Earth System Model) using process-oriented diagnostics from CloudSat+CALIPSO observations. We work within a satellite simulator framework to ensure robust scale-aware and definition-aware comparisons. We present new diagnostics for opaque clouds and precipitation occurrence based on CloudSat+CALIPSO. The new diagnostics are simple and directly constrain cloud-climate radiative feedbacks and hydrologic cycle changes. It’s all a tall order, but our results illustrate the power of active sensors to advance Arctic cloud-climate research.

date

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
11:00am to 12:00pm

location

RL-2 (on East Campus) room 155

Event Type

NSIDC

contact

2017-02-01
 
 
 
 
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Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Aerosol Liquid Water: A Valentine to the Clean Air Act

by Prof. Annmarie Carlton, Associate Professor, UC Irvine

Water is a ubiquitous and abundant component of atmospheric particles. It influences light scattering, the hydrological cycle, atmospheric chemistry, and secondary formation of particulate matter (PM) in the atmosphere. Despite the critical importance of aerosol liquid water, actual mass concentrations are not well documented in the literature. Routine air quality networks that measure particle mass [e.g., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’ s Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments(IMPROVE)] and most particle measurement techniques [e.g., the aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS)] remove water and other semivolatile compounds during sampling and/or during filter equilibration. Using speciated ion and meteorological data we estimate water mass concentrations to better understand the geospatial patterns and historical trends of aerosol liquid water in the context of improved air quality and recently noted reductions in particulate organic carbon (OC) mass. We find a decrease in aerosol water mass concentrations that is correlated with decreasing organic particle mass, for which we can provide a plausible mechanistic explanation. These findings are consistent with the hypotheses that aerosol liquid water facilitates formation of biogenic secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and that biogenically derived SOA is modulated in the presence of anthropogenic perturbations. Decreasing aerosol liquid water mass can be explained, in part, by environmental regulations aimed at reducing sulfur emissions to alleviate environmental problems associated with acid rain and inorganic particle mass, suggesting the Clean Air Act is more successful than accounted for.

date

Monday, February 6, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274
2017-02-06
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Transitioning Research to Operations in an Applied Science Program

by Elizabeth McNie, Western Water Assessment

Abstract: There is a growing call for efforts to successfully transition research to operations, applications and commercialization (R2X) in order to bring science to bear in solving discrete problems. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has several programs in place to support R2X. This project examined the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) programs to evaluate the state of R2X in this applied science program. Findings are both consistent with prior research on the best practices and barriers to doing successful R2X and also reveal new findings that could help advance R2X in NOAA and in the RISA program. In either case, opportunities exist within the RISA program to further advance efforts to implement R2X strategies.

Bio: Elizabeth McNie is a Research Scientist at the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. She is an expert in science policy and the design and implementation of use-inspired research, particularly in the field of climate-change adaptation. She currently serves as the evaluation coordinator at WWA where her research focuses on understanding the effectiveness of use-inspired research and boundary organizations. Previously she was an Assistant Professor at Purdue University in the departments of Political Science and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences.

date

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Avenue

resources

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-02-08
 
Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Probing the Antarctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer with Autonomous Observing Systems

by Dr. John J. Cassano, Associate Professor ATOC/CIRES, University of Colorado

Automatic weather stations and small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used to observe the Antarctic atmospheric boundary layer. A 30 m instrumented tower on the Ross Ice Shelf has been used to characterize the temperature, stability, and wind of the lowest portion of the boundary layer. Data from this tower have also been used to evaluate forecasts from the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System. Small Unmanned Meteorological Observer (SUMO) and Aerosonde UAVs have been used to observe the boundary layer over the Ross Ice Shelf, in the Wright Valley, and over Terra Nova Bay during both summer and later winter conditions. Comparison of the boundary layer over these diverse surfaces and seasons has been made. Data from the UAVs have also been used to estimate turbulent heat fluxes and to estimate terms in the horizontal momentum equation. Opportunities and challenges operating UAVs in the Antarctic will be discussed.

date

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
11:00am to 12:00pm

location

RL-2 (on East Campus) room 155

contact

2017-02-08
 
 
 
 
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Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Understanding the Molecular Signature of Atmospheric Organic Aerosols using Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry

by Dr. Xuan Zhang Scientist I, NCAR

I will present some recent developments on the Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometer (IMS) that measures the collision cross section () and mass-to- charge ratio (m/z) of charged molecules. A two-dimensional space based on these two quantities is developed to facilitate the comprehensive investigation of complex organic mixtures in the atmosphere. Species of the same chemical class, despite variations in the molecular structures, tend to develop a unique distribution pattern by following a trend line on the space. The characteristics of trend lines for a variety of functionalities that are commonly present in the atmosphere can be predicted by the core model simulations, which provide a useful tool to identify the chemical class to which an unknown species belongs on the space. Furthermore, molecular characterization of labile species such as multi-functional organic nitrates and highly oxidized organic molecules in the condensed phase using the IMS technique is discussed.

date

Monday, February 13, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274
2017-02-13
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

The High Water Mark: Policy Lessons Learned from Colorado’s 2013 Floods

by Deserai Crow
School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver

Abstract: Many communities on Colorado’s northern Front Range were hit by the catastrophic 2013 floods. These communities faced immediate challenges in emergency response, but also have wrestled with long-term questions regarding the path to recovery. Floods can serve as opportunities for communities to re-envision themselves. Dr. Deserai Crow will present findings from a study of community response to the floods in Colorado in seven communities located in the three hardest-hit counties in the state. Using data from in-depth interviews over three years, as well as surveys with decision-makers and residents, researchers empirically assess the decisions made within communities and the processes that led to those decisions. Crow will present reflections on lessons learned regarding policy changes that have taken place and the role of participatory public processes through the recovery process. This study helps to improve our understanding of the factors that contribute to policy learning following a disaster, leading to long-term recovery and community resilience.

Biography: Dr. Deserai A. Crow is Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. She is an affiliate with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at CU-Boulder. She also spent eight years on the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder in both Journalism and Environmental Studies from 2008-2016. Crow earned her PhD from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Environmental Policy. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver’s School of Public Affairs and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Crow researches local and state-level environmental policy, including stakeholder participation and influence, information sources used, and policy outcomes. Her work often focuses on natural disaster recovery and risk mitigation in local communities and natural resource agencies. Dr. Crow’s natural hazards work includes a study of community flood recovery and policy learning in the aftermath of the 2013 floods in Colorado that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Another project analyzes the role of agencies and individuals in promoting wildfire risk mitigation on private property in the Wildland Urban Interface across the West. Prior to her academic work, she worked as a broadcast journalist and for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

date

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CSTPR Conference Room

resources

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-02-15
 
Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Variability, Trends, and Predictability of Seasonal Sea Ice Retreat and Advance in the Chukchi Sea

by Dr. Mark Serreze, Director - National Snow and Ice Data Center, CIRES Fellow & Professor in Geography, University of Colorado

Continued summer sea ice loss will make the Arctic Ocean increasingly accessible.  There is hence a need for a better understanding not only of the evolution of the sea ice cover on decadal and longer scales, but on seasonal time scales that bear directly on economic activities. Predicting the seasonal onset and duration of open water on a regional basis is of particular importance, and the Chukchi Sea stands out in this regard.  This shallow shelf sea, which has seen some of the sharpest downward trends in September ice extent over the satellite record, is a focus of resource exploration, and vessels transiting the Arctic Ocean must invariably pass through it. The Chukchi Sea is also part of the seasonal migration route for bowhead whales that supports subsistence hunting.  An analysis of de-trended time series reveals that 68% of the variance in the date at which sea ice in the Chukchi Sea retreats to the continental shelf break in spring and summer can be explained simply by the April through June Bering Strait heat inflow.  In turn,  67% of the variance in the date at which ice advances back to the shelf break in autumn and winter can be explained by the combination of the July through September Bering Strait heat inflow and the date of ice retreat.  The link with the retreat date is that early ice retreat enables a longer period of seasonal heat uptake in the ocean mixed layer, meaning that more heat must be lost to the atmosphere before ice can form.  Developing an operational prediction scheme for seasonal retreat and advance in the Chukchi Sea would require more timely acquisition of Bering Strait heat inflow data than is presently possible. Predictability will likely always be limited by the chaotic nature of atmospheric circulation patterns.

 

date

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
11:00am to 12:00pm

location

RL-2 (on East Campus) room 155

contact

2017-02-15
 
Academic budget training workshop

Academic budget training workshop

Does the proposal budget process sound daunting? Do you know how CIRES Finance can help you to construct, submit, and manage a grant budget? Come to the CIRES Graduate Association budget training workshop to learn the ins and outs of academic budgets from construction to execution.

Where: Fellows' Room, Ekeley S274
When: Thursday February 16th from 1 - 2 pm
Who: Gretchen Richard, CIRES Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Proposal Preparation Specialist and Andrew Pomper, CIRES Chief Financial Officer

Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided.

date

Thursday, February 16, 2017
1:00pm to 2:00pm

location

CIRES S274

Event Type

CGA

Amenities

Refreshments provided

contact

Tasha Snow (tasha.snow@colorado.edu)
2017-02-16
 
 
 
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Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Atmospheric Chemistry of Nitrogen Oxides at Soil-Air Interfaces

by Jonathan Raff, Associate Professor, Indiana University

There remain large uncertainties in the terrestrial sources and sinks of reactive oxides of nitrogen (NOy = NO, NO2, and HONO)—gases that play an important role in regulating the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere. Most terrestrial surfaces are covered in soil particles, either as fine coatings of air-blown dust or as topsoil in which countless organisms live. In addition, soil particles possess large intrinsic surface areas and myriad reactive surface sites on which chemical reactions occur. These properties make soil a potentially important consideration in understanding the heterogeneous reactions that control the atmospheric NOy budget. In this presentation I will discuss results of laboratory experiments conducted on soil and individual soil constituents aimed at testing the hypothesis that redox couples involving soil organic matter and minerals mediate HONO conversion from NO 2 at night and from nitrate during the daytime. In addition, we carried out kinetics studies using a coated wall flow reactor and surface composition studies using nano-DESI and nanoSIMS [at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory] to explore the role of minerals and organic matter as sinks for HONO in soil.

date

Monday, February 20, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274
2017-02-20
 
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Addressing Climate Change as an Engineering Challenge: Scientific Expertise in U.S. Geoengineering Politics

by Julia Schubert
Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, Bonn, Germany

Abstract: The political construction, exploration and addressing of anthropogenic climate change as an engineering challenge is indicative of what some scholars have called a ‘scientization’ of modern politics. Exemplified by the emerging political discussion of so-called Geoengineering technologies, what so far has been predominantly addressed as a problem of international coordination, is, in one of its variations, being transformed into a technological challenge.

This talk examines the specific role of quantified expertise (in form of climate models and numeric indicators) for political decision-making on Geoengineering technologies in the U.S. A corpus of analysis, comprising all official documentation of U.S. American state affairs regarding Geoengineering technologies (1990 – 2015) serves as the database. The analysis proceeds along two dimensions. By means of qualitative document analysis, the talk will first retrace the general ‘problem-career’ of Geoengineering in U.S. politics – capturing the shifting problem frames in which the topic is politically addressed over time (1). Secondly, it will establish the distinct role of quantified expertise for political decision-making on these technologies by asking how reference to climatic indicators and models contributes to the respective addressing of Geoengineering in U.S. politics (2).

The analysis shows that Geoengineering is addressed in five distinct problem frames, alternating through three historical phases of the U.S. decision-making process. Across these five problem frames, quantified expertise is substantially aiding in defining and addressing Geoengineering as a problem, although both climate models and numeric indicators play a starkly diverging role in this context. By illustrating the complex and reciprocal interrelationship of science and politics in this case, the analysis aims at contributing to understanding the political relevance of scientific expertise more generally.

Biography:

Julia Schubert is visiting CSTPR on a PhD Fulbright Fellowship from Bonn, Germany. In Germany, Julia is a Research Associate at the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW) in Bonn, where she is working on her dissertation project on "Scientific Expertise in Politics. The Case of Climate Engineering in the U.S." within the Junior Research Group “Discovering, Exploring, and Addressing Grand Societal Challenges” funded by the Mercator Foundation. Her main areas of research are sociological theory (with an emphasis on differentiation- and communication-theoretical approaches), political sociology and the sociology of science with a focus on the science-politics relation.

Before joining the FIW in 2014, she obtained her B.A. in Social Sciences from the Philipps-University of Marburg (2010) and a M.A. in Sociology from the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg (2014) with a thesis on the "Conditions and Prospects of Science-Based Political Decision-Making". In 2011 she completed a Traineeship at the Consulting Department of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACCoM) in Chicago. She was awarded the "Alumni Preis 2014" for outstanding achievements in the Masters-Studies of Sociology by the Max-Weber-Institute for Sociology of the University of Heidelberg.

date

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CSTPR Conference Room

Event Type

CSTPR
2017-02-22
 
 
 
 
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Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical Chemistry Seminar

Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Cannabidiol-dependent modulation of cognitive learning and synaptic function

by Prof. Jeff Smith

The National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, currently lists Cannabidiol as having potential therapeutic value for treating neurological disorders that include a strong learning and memory component including; anxiety, psychosis, pain, and substance use disorders. It is also being studied for its potential to modulate various neurodegenerative disorders that profoundly affect learning and memory including Alzheimer’s disease. Despite this potential therapeutic importance, the current scientific understanding of exactly how Cannabidiol affects various forms of learning and memory, and the underlying cellular mechanisms that it targets, is inadequate to guide its most efficacious and least harmful use for treating such disorders. Our research advances knowledge in this area by showing that Cannabidiol modulates trace fear conditioning in mice. These experiments model cognitive learning and memory processes and involve multiple brain regions, including the hippocampus, which has a critical role in the learning and memory disorders listed above, and it is essential for achieving normal trace fear conditioning in rodents. Our work further shows that Cannabidiol modulates basal synaptic transmission in mouse hippocampal slices by affecting conduction velocity in the Shaffer collateral and Mossy Fiber pathways, and by modulating synaptic plasticity in these regions. Impulse propagation and synaptic plasticity are essential fundamental mechanisms that support learning and memory, therefore our results present a clearer picture of how Cannabidiol might be most useful, and least harmful for treating neurological disorders that have a strong cognitive learning and memory component.

date

Monday, February 27, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274
2017-02-27
 
Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Butterflies and polar bears: understanding Arctic sea ice predictability

by Dr. Ed Blanchard-Wrigglesworth

Interest in forecasts of Arctic sea ice has grown in recent years as a result of growing socio-economic activity in the region and impacts on the local population, and as a science-motivated effort to test our understanding and ability to predict ongoing changes in the Arctic. In this talk, we shall review the physical processes that give rise to Arctic sea-ice predictability and its season-and-scale dependency, and the tools that are used to quantify the limits of predictability. We shall also explore the skill and limitations of current forecasting systems and discuss future paths for progress in the field

date

Monday, February 27, 2017
3:30pm to 4:30pm

location

RL-2 (on East Campus) room 155
2017-02-27