Monthly News Summary – September 2009

CIMSS (and Steve Ackerman) Spotlighted in Big Ten Network “News” Spot

The Big Ten Network sent a pair of reporters to get the scoop on activities at CIMSS, and got a story that might have been a bit “over their heads.”

Steve clears the air for the Big Ten Network’s intrepid reporters as students look on.

For a look at the final product, go to the Big Ten Network, click on “FNT- Week 2 (2009)” and then scroll down to the “My School” segment.

Back to top

James Kossin Named a Lead Author for Nobel Prize-Winning International Panel of Scientists

James Kossin, an atmospheric scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, stationed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center, has been named a Lead Author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC, jointly sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is a global organization created to assess the major scientific and technical issues confronting governments concerning climate change. In 2007 the IPCC and Vice-President Al Gore Jr. were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

Dr. Kossin joins the IPCC as a Lead Author for the IPCC’s Special Report on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.” The extensive Report will be separated into several chapters addressed by multiple working groups.

Kossin also serves as a member of the World Meteorological Organization Expert Team on Climate Change Impacts on Tropical Cyclones, and was a Lead Author of the Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3: “Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate” of the United States Climate Change Science Program. In addition to his primary NOAA appointment, he also serves within the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and as a Research Fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies.

The role of the IPCC is to “assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.” The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is due to be released in 2014.

Back to top

First GOES-14 Imager and Sounder Infrared Images Received

The first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-14) Imager and Sounder infrared (IR) data were scanned and ingested on August 17 and 18. A qualitative look shows better noise performance of the GOES-14 IR data compared to GOES-12.

First multi-band image generated from the GOES-14 Imager on August 17, 2009.

First multi-band image generated from the GOES-14 Imager on August 18, 2009.

More information can be found at:

Back to top

CIMSS Tropical Cyclone Group Releases On-line Archive

The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) Tropical Cyclone group has made available nearly ten years of its specialized tropical cyclone products.

The products are accessible on line at

Key support for this development was provided by NOAA/NESDIS STAR GOES Improved Measurements and Product Assurance Plan (GIMPAP).

Back to top

ARCTAS Field Mission Receives NASA Group Achievement Award

Brad Pierce received a NASA Group Achievement Award for outstanding accomplishments in the successful Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere with Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) mission in Alaska and Canada.

The ARCTAS field mission was NASA’s largest commitment to research in support of the International Polar Year (IPY) and was sponsored by NASA’s Tropospheric Chemistry and Radiation Sciences Program.

The NASA effort contributed to a larger interagency and international effort called POLARCAT (Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Transport)

Back to top

Graduate Student Takes Award at CoRP Symposium

The Sixth Annual NOAA/NESDIS/CoRP Symposium was held at the City College of City University of New York, August 18-19, 2009. It was attended by three Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) graduate students: Chian-Yi Liu, Aronne Merrelli, and Matt Sitkowski.

Chian-Yi Liu’s presentation, titled “The Upper Tropospheric Storm-scale Signatures from Hyperspectral Infrared Soundings,” was awarded the second prize in oral presentation. Co-authors of the presentation were Jun Li and Steve Ackerman (CIMSS).

Chian-Yi Liu at the Symposium banquet.

Brad Pierce (STAR/ASPB) gave a talk titled “Real-Time Air Quality Modeling (RAQMS) Chemical and Aerosol Assimilation Studies during the 2008 NOAA Aerosol, Radiation and Cloud Processing affecting Arctic Climate (ARCPAC) field mission.” The presentation focused on quantifying the impacts of pollution on the Arctic climate system through synthesis of remote and in situ observations during the ARCPAC field campaign.

Brad Pierce also served as one of the judges for the 46 student presentations.

Back to top

New Appointments

Chris Velden has been elected as a new member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. His service term will span 1 January 2010 through 31 December 2012.

Tom Whittaker has accepted two new positions: a 3-year appointment as Chair of the Unidata Users Committee. He has been associated with Unidata since its inception 25 years ago. He will also serve a 3-year appointment as co-Chair of the IIPS
(Interactive Information Processing Systems) Conference, held annually
at the AMS Annual Meeting. This is the longest running Conference at
the annual meeting, having celebrated its 25th year last year.

Back to top


Manuscript on Applications of High Spectral and Temporal Resolution Measurements Published: A journal article titled “Inferring Convective Weather Characteristics with Geostationary High Spectral Resolution IR (infrared) Window Measurements: A Look into the Future” has been published in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology (JTECH). A PDF copy of the article is available at Authors are Justin M. Sieglaff (Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)), Timothy J. Schmit (NOAA/NESDIS), W. Paul Menzel (CIMSS), and Steven A. Ackerman (CIMSS)

Proxy Dataset Validation Manuscript Published: A manuscript entitled “Validation of a large-scale simulated brightness temperature dataset using SEVIRI satellite observations” was published in the August issue of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. The paper by Jason Otkin (CIMSS), Tom Greenwald (CIMSS), Justin Sieglaff (CIMSS), and Allen Huang (CIMSS) used SEVIRI brightness temperature observations to examine the accuracy of a high-resolution (3-km) Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulation performed over most of the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) viewing domain. The study showed that the combined numerical and forward modeling system at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) is capable of producing realistic proxy radiance datasets for GOES-R Avanced Baseline Imager (ABI) algorithm development and demonstration purposes.

Back to top