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Department of Atmospheric Science

Seminar: Friday, 11 April, 3:10 pm, EN6085 

Global Variations of Water Vapor, the Principal Greenhouse Gas
and Key Unknown in Earth's Water and Energy Cycles

Tom Vonderhaar
Colorado State University


Abstract: For many years the global variation of atmospheric water vapor has been a challenge for scientists studying Earth's global energy and water cycles. Recently satellite and some ground-based observations have allowed the first multi-decade view of its variability. The new NVAP-M dataset will be described and several early scientific results from it will be presented. These results are addressed to questions at the weather - climate interface where natural variations influence both daily weather such as " atmospheric rivers " as well as regional and global long term "climate trends ".

Discussion of the uncertainties in assembly of such datasets will be presented and the effects of changing observations and global time-space sampling of water vapor will be noted.

Biography: Tom Vonderhaar has been at Colorado State University since 1970. During that time he has been department head, founding director for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, and is now a distinguished professor and director of the DOD Center for Geosciences/Atmospheric Research at CSU, a multidisciplinary group of faculty, students and staff. His research interests include the global energy and water budgets, remote sensing via satellite, local area forecasting and geosciences. He is a fellow of the AMS, chairman of the World Climate Research Programme’s working group on radiation fluxes, a recipient of the AMS Second Half Century (Charney) Award, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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