Atmospheric Sciences Section of AGU Newsletter - PDF

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     Atmospheric Sciences
   Section of AGU Newsletter
	 Volume 2, Issue 5	                                                                                                                   November 2008

AS Horizons               Section News           South American Extra-       Awards for Radiation   Conference on                 The German Climate
                                                 tropical Cyclones           Research               Stratospheric Processes       Computing Centre

Pages 2-3                 Pages 3                Page 6                      Page 7                 Page 7                        Page 8

                  Preparing Undergraduates for
                      Careers in Our Field
                                           its bounds to include the Geoscience Research            interaction between the students and the
Undergraduate Research                     at Storm Peak Program (GRASP), which is                  instructors as possible. Research done by the
                                           designed to give underrepresented                        participants occurs with the help of recruited
Experience at Storm Peak                   undergraduates experience doing field work               instructors, as well as nearby experts. Hallar
                                           research. Participants are involved in a year-           said the group got the chance to visit the
Laboratory                                 long program, beginning with an intensive,               National Center for Atmospheric Research
                                           week-long research project at the Storm Peak             (NCAR), where they learned about modeling,
Morgan Brown                               Laboratory (SPL) in Steamboat Springs, Colo.             computing, and visualization. The GRASP
                                           Participants have the opportunity to collect             participants also had the opportunity to meet
    The National Science Foundation's data for their research using instruments                     the participants of the Significant
Opportunity for Enhancing Diversity in the available at SPL, and then continue the                  Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and
Geosciences Program has recently extended research throughout the year after the short              Science (SOARS) program. This unique
                                           course is over. This year's final products will
                                                                                                                    continued on Page 4
                                           be presented at Howard University in
                                           Washington, D.C. this winter as a requirement
                                           to complete the program.
                                             For its first year, GRASP has had an
                                        astounding start. Four participants took part in                Special section on undergraduate and
                                        the program this year from four different                       graduate-level programs, Pages 4 & 5.
                                        universities across the U.S. Christina
                                        Hopewell, a Biology Pre-Medicine major                          Before leaving for San Francisco, look
                                        from Colorado State University-Pueblo, said                     for the next issue of the Newsletter,
                                        the GRASP program helped her build on
                                                                                                        which will be focused on the AGU Fall
                                        skills she had acquired from coursework, as
                                        well as apply them to solve a problem in an                     Meeting!
                                        entirely different area from what she was
                                        exposed to in school. She said, “We were able                   2008 Fall Meeting early registration
                                        to gather data from a variety of instruments                    and housing deadline is Nov. 14. Re-
                                        and then interpret that data to solve a problem                 member to register for the AS Section
GRASP participants kick-off the program that we did not have the answers to. That was                   Banquet, which is Tuesday, Dec. 16.
with a short course at the Storm Peak both interesting and exciting, because we did
Laboratory. Pictured are Asia Dowtin, not know where our data would lead us.”                           Nominate someone you know for the
Wanda Vargas, program coordinator Gan-                                                                  Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Coopera-
net Hallar, Shorma Bianca Bailey, Christina          Professor Gannet Hallar, instructor and
                                                 coordinator of the GRASP program, said the             tion in Research Award by Dec. 1.
Hopewell, Ian McCubbin, and Brittan Hal-
lar.                                             goal is to provide as much one-on-one

AGU AS Newsletter - November 2008
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AS Newsletter                                                                                              traseasonal” studies the stratospheric influ-
                                                       AS Horizons                                         ence on tropospheric intraseasonal variability.
Hello Readers,                                                                                             “Climate Change” is about the role of the

    As you will read in the Section News,
                                                       SPARC DynVar & UTLS                                 stratosphere in trends and projections of cli-
                                                                                                           mate change. “Ideal” analyzes the
I’ve decided to hand over the reigns of the            Initiative                                          stratosphere-troposphere interactions using
                                                                                                           simplified models and dynamical theory.
Newsletter at the end of this year. Serving as
Editor-in-Chief for the Newsletter has been a          Juan A. Añel                                             Dr. Paul Kushner, the SPARC DynVar
great experience for me. I’ve been able to learn                                                           coordinator, says that an important issue that
                                                            In the past few years it has become obvi-      has emerged from the first DynVar steps is
about cutting-edge research and technology
                                                       ous that the stratosphere has a more important      how best to separate the effects of strato-
(like Will Anderson’s articles on the Earth            role in the climatic system than was previ-         spheric vertical representation (e.g., vertical
Simulator in Volume 1, Issues 2 and 3),                ously supposed. Stratospheric research clearly      resolution and lid height) in a GCM from the
exciting educational programs (like the ones           has advanced and as Dr. Susan Solomon said          effects of subgrid-scale parameterization of
we highlight in this issue), international             in the last SPARC Assembly, “There has              gravity wave drag. Both could affect the
climate change mitigation strategies (see              never been a better time to invest yourself in      strength of tropospheric responses to climate
                                                       stratospheric processes and their role in cli-      change. Several papers have now pointed out
Volume 1, Issue 2) and some unexpected ways            mate.”                                              the importance of gravity wave drag in the
to share our research with others (for example,
                                                            SPARC (Stratospheric Processes and             climate response of stratospheric transport
Michel Mesquita’s article on artist Charlie                                                                (through the Brewer Dobson Circulation) and
                                                       their Role in Climate) works through different
Hooker in Volume 1, Issue 5). (You can                                                                     of tropospheric circulation.
                                                       themes and activities. In this issue I will high-
download any of these Issues from http://              light two of them in AS Horizons: DynVar                 A first planning workshop was held in and click on the            and the UTLS Initiative. Both of them were          Toronto in March 2008, during which a series
Newsletter tab on the left.)                           also presented in Issue 29 of the SPARC             of coordinated GCM runs that would test for
                                                       Newsletter (July 2007). DynVar (SPARC Dy-           the effects of stratospheric representation

    However, the most meaningful part of my           namical Variability Activity) is coordinated by     were planned. Three different simulations
role as Editor-in-Chief has been the                   Drs. Paul Kushner, Marco Giorgetta, Elisa           have been established, which will all attempt
connections I have made. It has been exciting          Manzini, Judith Perlwitz, Lorenzo Polvani           to simulate the climate of the 20th century.
                                                       and Fabrizio Sassi. UTLS is coordinated by          The first has prescribed SST’s and will eluci-
to work with a range of people (from                   Drs. Peter Haynes, Andrew Gettelman and             date the effects of representing the strato-
accomplished researchers, to other young               Marvin Geller. Both the DynVar project and          sphere in a GCM in the absence of coupling
scientists and students) who share my                  the Tropopause Initiative support collabora-        to the ocean. This experiment is linked to the
enthusiasm for communicating our science to            tive work in the frontiers of atmospheric sci-      C L I VA R           C20C           Project
others. I am optimistic about the future of the        ences. The first deals with hard topics on the      ( The second has a
                                                       validation of climatic models and the repre-        mixed-layer ocean and the third has a full
Newsletter and I look forward to continued
                                                       sentativeness of the modeled climate. The           dynamical ocean. These will show effects of
involvement with it. Thank you for reading             second one tries to produce a better under-         stratospheric representation in the presence of
and contributing, I encourage you to continue          standing in a field with a clear lack of knowl-     thermal coupling to the ocean and in the pres-
to make this Newsletter relevant and valuable          edge. The tropopause represents a real chal-        ence of full dynamical coupling to the ocean
to the members of the Atmospheric Sciences             lenge, particularly as far as determining its       circulation, respectively.
Section.                                               location and its role in issues such as the
                                                       troposphere-stratosphere interaction.               The SPARC Tropopause Initiative
                                                       SPARC DynVar                                             The number of papers published, and
Happy Reading,                                                                                             therefore the level of research activity, on the
Anna Harper, Editor-in-Chief                                The DynVar main goal is to understand          tropopause has experienced spectacular
                                                       the two-way coupling between the strato-            growth in the last few years, after a decade of
                                                       spheric and tropospheric circulation, using         lack of interest in the end of the past century.
Colorado State Univ.                                   comprehensive AGCM’s as the principal tools         For example, a good summary of the research
                                                       of investigation. Through the comparison of         on the tropical tropopause can be found in a
Newsletter Editors:                                    AGCM’s with a well-resolved stratosphere            paper to appear in Review of Geophysics by
William Anderson - Johns Hopkins University            ("high-top" models) to standard climate mod-        Dr. Stephan Fluegistaler et al. The work in
Juan A. Añel - CESAM, Univ. of Aveiro,                 els ("low-top" models), it is expected to gain a    this field was not very active between 1982,
Portugal; and Univ. of Vigo, Spain                     better understanding of the degree to which         when Dr. Isaac M. Held published his concep-
Morgan Brown - Center for Global and Regional          the stratosphere can influence the tropo-           tual model of the tropopause with the radia-
Environmental Research, Univ. of Iowa                  sphere's mean climate, variability, and re-         tive and dynamical constraints, and 1998,
Rob Cifelli - Colorado State Univ.                     sponse to climate change.                           when Dr. Klaus P. Hoinka presented a paper
Charles Gatebe - Goddard Earth Science and                                                                 on the statistics of the global tropopause pres-
Technology Center, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore              DynVar has currently involved 57 re-
                                                       searchers and four main analysis areas: Top,        sure. A real publishing explosion happened in
County                                                                                                     2003, when the number of papers published
Michel dos Santos Mesquita - Bjerknes Centre           Intraseasonal, Climate Change and Ideal.
                                                       “Top” accounts for the study of the strato-         on the tropopause was twice that in 1996,
for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway                                                                       according to the ISI Web of Knowledge. The
Yolande Serra - Univ. of Arizona                       spheric impact on tropospheric circulation,
Hans von Storch - Univ. of Hamburg                     ocean circulation and on the cryosphere. “In-                  Continued on Next Page

                                                                                                                                         AGU AS Newsletter
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          Continued from Previous Page                                                              man Award for broad influence in atmos-
 next years, with the SPARC Tropopause Ini-
                                                   Section News                                     pheric science through exceptional creativity,
                                                   Alan Robock                                      inspiration of younger scientists, mentoring,
tiative and other ongoing projects such as                                                          international collaborations, and unselfish
TRODIM (, were New Editor-in-Chief Wanted                              cooperation in research.”
(and are) an extremely interesting and excit-
ing time for tropopause research, as evidenced         Anna Harper, the founding Editor-in-              The Kaufman Award will consist of a
by the last SPARC Assembly (see “Strato-          Chief of the Atmospheric Sciences Newslet-        certificate and a $1,000 credit toward AGU
spheric Processes and their Role in Climate” ter, has announced her intention to step down          services. The credit may be used for journal
on Page 8).                                       at the end of the year. During her very suc-      subscriptions, book purchases, and AGU
                                                  cessful two-year period as Editor, Anna has       meeting registration fees, to be spent over a
     One of the goals of the SPARC Tropo- started the Newsletter and made it into a pub-            period of not more than three years from re-
pause Initiative is to improve the understand- lication for our section that we can be proud        ceiving the award. When the award is pre-
ing of what horizontal and vertical resolu- of.                                                     sented outside the recipient’s home country, it
tions, and what representations of small-scale
                                                       If you would like to help us to continue     will consist in addition of a travel grant of
processes are required for these effects to be                                                      $1000 specifically to attend the AGU meeting
captured correctly in global climate or this success, please send an application to me              at which it is presented.
chemistry-climate models. This initiative is at, with a state-
connected with others from SPARC such as ment of your philosophy and ideas for the                       Now is the time to submit nominations
CCCMVal                                           newsletter and a brief resume. Please send        for the Kaufman Award. The deadline is De-
( and everything in one pdf file, and submit it by                  cember 1, 2008. To be eligible, the candidate
DynVar because the vertical resolution is December 15, 2008. Anna has agreed to serve               must be a member of the AGU, and be at least
critical for the models when working with this as a mentor and assistant to the new Editor-in-      ten years past the award of the Ph.D. (or
layer.                                            Chief, to allow for a smooth transition. I look   equivalent).
                                                  forward to receiving all applications, and re-
     For example, the tropopause is very im- mind you that article submissions for the                      The nomination package must consist of:
portant for water vapor fluxes from the upper newsletter are always welcome.                        •       a nomination letter,
troposphere to the lower stratosphere. The                                                          •       the candidate’s curriculum vitae, and
research in this field has clear links with other                                                   •       three letters of recommendation, at least
programs of the World Climate Research Pro- Atmospheric Sciences Chinese Ban-
                                                                                                            one from a collaborator of the nominee
gramme such as the Global Energy and Water
C y c l e E x p e r i m e n t ( G E W E X : quet                                                            from a different nation.                                                                                    The nomination and supporting letters
                                                       The Third Annual Atmospheric Sciences
                                                                                                    should clearly state how the nominated indi-
     Currently, the SPARC Tropopause Initia- Chinese Banquet will be held on Tuesday,
                                                                                                    vidual has exhibited the qualities noted in the
tive has not organized any meetings but many December 16, 2008, during the 2008 AGU
                                                                                                    citation. Nominations must be submitted by
researchers are working actively on this re- Fall Meeting. The pre-registration deadline
                                                                                                    December 1, 2008 (as one combined pdf
search topic and more movement is foresee- for the Fall Meeting is November 14. Please
                                                                                                    file) to the Atmospheric Sciences Section
able in the next months.                          sign up for our banquet when you register. As
                                                                                                    President-Elect, Professor Anne M.
                                                  always, we offer a discount for students and
For more information on DynVar or the Tro- will have entertainment, as well as the presen-          Thompson, If you are
popause Initiative, visit these web pages:                                                          unable to access Adobe to create a single pdf
                                                  tation of the Holton Award. This year, we are
•                                                                file, inform Dr. Thompson by e-mail and send
                                                  delighted to announce that folk singer Chris-
•                                                                       the nomination package by Express Mail to:
                                                  tine Lavin will perform at the banquet. This
                                                                                                    Anne M. Thompson, Penn State University,
                                                  year the banquet will be better than ever, with
                                                                                                    Meteorology Department, 503 Walker Build-
                                                  wonderful companionship, great food, and
                                                                                                    ing, University Park, PA, 16802-5013, USA.
                                                  world-class entertainment. Don’t miss it.
About AS Horizons: remember, you can sub-                                                                 This award is named in honor of Yoram J.
mit your projects or suggest one that you                                                           Kaufman, an outstanding atmospheric scien-
know of to be highlighted in AS Horizons.                                                           tist, mentor, and creator of international col-
Submission procedures can be consulted in         Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Coopera-                laborations who worked on atmospheric aero-
the AGU/AS section webpage                        tion in Research Award                            sols and their influence on the Earth's climate
                                                                                                    for his entire 30-year career. Yoram was tragi-
( in the Volume 2,
                                                       The Atmospheric Sciences Section of the      cally killed in a bicycle accident just at the
issue 2 of the AGU AS Newsletter.                                                                   peak of his career at NASA Goddard Space
                                                  American Geophysical Union is pleased to
                                                  announce the establishment of a new Section       Flight Center. He grew in the 1990s to be a
                                                  Award for senior atmospheric scientists, the      leading light in aerosol research, both as an
                                                  Yoram J. Kaufman Unselfish Cooperation in         author of many new theoretical ideas and as a
                                                  Research Award. We first told you about this      leader of field campaigns such as SCAR-B.
                                                  award in an earlier issue and we now have         He also captained the first NASA Earth Ob-
                                                  more specifics.                                   serving System platform, Terra, as its Project
                                                                                                    Scientist. He advised and mentored a large
                                                       The AS Section will make the first annual    number of students and junior scientists, and
                                                   Kaufman Award at the Joint Assembly              was known for his quick insight, great heart,
                                                   (Spring Meeting) in Toronto in May, 2009.        deep wisdom, and outreach to national and
                                                   The citation will read: “The Yoram J. Kauf-      international collaborators.

AGU AS Newsletter - November 2008
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GRASP                                                 How Prepared are
continued from Front Page                             Undergraduate
opportunity gave the GRASP participants the           Students for the Job
chance to interact professionally with other
atmospheric science researchers.                      Market in Atmos-
     At the completion of this program,               pheric Sciences?
participants will have gained a considerable
amount of experience. Hopewell believes this          Efforts from Brazil
experience will prepare her for her future
career. She said, “Creating a project over            Paula Doubrawa Moreira (Federal University of Pelotas)
nearly six months gives us a taste of what we         and Michel Mesquita
may be required to do frequently as a                                                                          S t u d e n t s i n v o l v e d i n t h e Tu t o r i a l
condition for employment or graduate                The job market in Atmospheric Sciences                     Education Program at the Federal Univer-
school.” She also added that she would          is very demanding. Undergraduate students                      sity of Pelotas (PET-Met)
recommend the GRASP program to anyone           not only need to be able to understand atmos-
wanting to strengthen his or her skills. “It is pheric phenomena, but also to have necessary                   Pelotas, in the southern part of the country.
truly a once in a lifetime chance to study in a computational skills to master the ever-                       Today, the Pelotas group is comprised of 12
location with unsurpassed natural beauty and    growing computer technology. But these are                     students, and every year new students are
to meet scientists who are some of the most     not the only necessary skills. According to                    recruited as the older ones graduate. However,
knowledgeable, talented people in their         Fiske [2001], author of the AGU book Put                       it is not very easy to become a PET member.
respective specialties.”                        Your Science to Work, “Employers in the new                    Highly selective procedures are used, since it
                                                millennium are seeking individuals who are                     is very competitive. The selection process
    For more information on the GRASP independent problem-solvers, quantitative
program, you can visit their website at http:// thinkers, and articulate communicators. They                   consists of an interview, a resume check, GPA                                                                                  analysis and an essay-type examination.
                                                are seeking individuals who have carried out
                                                complex projects, overcome obstacles through                        The Pelotas PET-Met current activities
                                                creative thinking, and operated with a mini-                   involve scientific research, academic lectures,
                                                mum of supervision.” Preparing students to                     advertisement of the Meteorology program,
                                                accomplish all that is a huge task universities                greeting and helping freshmen students, a
                                                face.                                                          program of curiosities about meteorology on
                                                                                                               the radio, and the enrichment of the scientific
                                                           For this reason, Brazil has implemented a           library, which is available to all academics.
                                                      program called PET (Programa de Educação                 The PET-Met members also have a large re-
                                                      Tutorial – Tutorial Education Program). PETs             sponsibility to set an example to the under-
                                                      are formed by a group of undergraduate stu-              graduate students who are not members of the
                                                      dents in sciences departments throughout                 PET group. They provide homework/lecture
                                                      Brazil. A professor is assigned as the advisor/          assistance to help those who encounter diffi-
                                                      tutor of the group, and helps to develop aca-            culties across the disciplines. They also par-
                                                      demic activities that improve the graduation             ticipate in outreach programs through the PET
                                                      quality and broaden the educational reach                Newsletter, which publishes news, projects
                                                      beyond the University. The Brazilian                     and climatological bulletins for that part of
                                                      Education Ministry Government sponsors                   Brazil. The group in Pelotas also organizes
                                                      PETs, and students receive a scholarship as a            trips to workshops, congresses and courses
                                                      reward for their work. The PET program aims              throughout the country and carries out mete-
                                                      at assembling students who have high aca-                orological scientific experiments in schools to
                                                      demic achievements. It is oriented under the             spread basic understanding about the atmos-
                                                      principle of unity among research, instruction           pheric sciences, which is poorly taught over
                                                      and extensive activities, which are mainly               middle and high school.
                                                      interdisciplinary. The co-operative and the
                                                      collective nature of the program develops not        The PET group has helped many students
                                                      only team work, responsibility and reliability  improve their skills to better compete in the
                                                      but also enhances the critical spirit and       job/academic market. Paula, a current mem-
                                                      grounds a professional work which is based      ber of the Pelotas PET-Met, and I (former
Top: GRASP participants visit Fish Creek              on ethics and is aware of its social duties. Themember of the Pelotas PET-MET) hope that
Falls near Steamboat Springs. Pictured                result is the formation of professionals who    such efforts can be established in many other
are (from left to right) Shorma Bianca Bai-           are highly qualified technologically, scientifi-Universities. If you have any questions about
ley, Asia Dowtin, and Christina Hopewell              cally, socially and academically.               the Pelotas PET-Met, contact them at
Bottom: GRASP participants tour NCAR's                                                       And if you
C-130 aircraft. Pictured are Shorma Bi-                   There are many PET groups in various have any stories about what other universities
anca Bailey, Ian McCubbin, Christina                  universities throughout Brazil, but only one is are doing to help students improve their skills,
Hopewell, Asia Dowtin, Wanda Vargas,                  dedicated to Meteorology students. This PET- write to
Gannet Hallar, and Brittan Hallar.                    Met is located at the Federal University at

                                                                                                                                                  AGU AS Newsletter
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                                                       models; Modeling of the sea ice and the Arc-
The Next Level: Arctic                                 tic Ocean; Modeling of frozen soil regimes,       Student Comments
                                                       especially permafrost; Arctic ecosystems and
Field School for                                       climate change; Feedbacks in the Arctic sys-      Justin Glisan, Iowa State University
Graduate Students                                      tem; Past, ongoing and projected Arctic cli-
                                                       mate variations; and Trace gases, aerosols and
                                                                                                                        “While the summer school
                                                                                                                        was packed full of seminars,
and Post-docs                                          chemistry and their importance for climate                       field excursion and project
                                                       changes. The students were taken on a guided                     time, I never once felt over-
Modeling of Arctic Climate:                            tour to the permafrost tunnel near Fairbanks                     whelmed or bored. In fact,
                                                       where they could see and read a slice of his-                    far from bored. Our class
Fairbanks-Barrow Top of the                            tory as far as 40,000 years back in time. Typi-                  time each day was very in-
                                                       cal Northern landscapes such as polygonal                        formative and intellectually
World Summer School                                    tundra familiar to many only from their mod-                     stimulating and the field-
                                                       els or textbooks could be directly seen or even                  work and expert guidance
John Walsh, Vladimir Alexeev, and Elena Sparrow        stepped on during our excursions around                          caught me early on and held
(University of Alaska Fairbanks)                       Fairbanks. Students witnessed and partici-        me the entire time. Being able to explore
                                                       pated in taking borehole temperature meas-        the Tanana River bluffs and the Arctic sea
     Arctic climate is the result of a complex         urements in Barrow’s permafrost. They went        ice in Barrow still gives me goose bumps
interplay between the atmosphere, the ocean,           to see major observational sites of the Atmos-    today, as I write this, 3000 miles away.
sea ice and a terrestrial component in which           pheric Radiation Measurement program as
freezing and thawing are critical to variations                                                          “The connections that were produced in
                                                       well as hydrology and carbon cycle programs.
over a range of timescales. In view of the                                                               the sunlit nights of Fairbanks and on the
delicate balances between these components                  Fairbanks is not a usual environment for     sea ice near Point Barrow will stay with
and their poorly documented sensitivities, it is       people from the contiguous United States, or      me forever. These memories will always
not surprising that global climate models              as it is called by Alaskans, “the lower 48.”      remind me that each of our individual
show the largest disagreement, and also the            Probably, being in Fairbanks was a shock for      fields do more than just work to advance
strongest greenhouse-induced changes, in the           several students. Going to Barrow made the        the science; they forge life-long friend-
polar regions. Since changes in the Arctic             shock complete. Can you imagine what peo-         ships and scientific collaborations built
may well have global implications, it is essen-        ple from California were thinking when they       upon the ideals and knowledge base the
tial that Arctic climate simulations be en-            were asked to bring to Alaska the warmest         faculty and staff at the IARC Summer
hanced in order to reduce the uncertainties in         possible clothes in June? But the moment of       School worked so hard to instill in us.”
projections of climate change. Given the chal-         landing in Barrow, when it was snowing
lenges and opportunities in Arctic modeling,           lightly, was the first proof that those parkas
the International Arctic Research Center’s             were actually needed. Spending a week in          Maria Tsukernik (NCAR)
(IARC) 2008 summer school at the University            Barrow most likely changed their personal                         “I first learned about the
of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) was designed to              perspectives on how many very different                           IARC summer school pro-
bring the next generation of climate modelers          places and climates exist where people can                        gram in 2005 … The sum-
to the Arctic.                                         actually live, including this U.S. northernmost                   mer school of 2005 was
                                                       location.                                                         held on board of the Rus-
     The two-week summer school brought
together a group of 16 graduate students and                We were all very busy with the projects                      sian icebreaker Kapitan
young scientists, as well as specialists in Arc-       and field trips during that week and the final                    Dranitsyn in the Arctic
tic climate and climate modeling, for two              round of presentations turned out to be very                      Ocean. Not only the sum-
weeks – the first week in Fairbanks and the            interesting. We all went to the end of the                        mer school fulfilled my
second in Barrow. The young scientists                 whale hunting season festival in Barrow and                       hopes in learning about
gained a perspective on the key issues in Arc-         everyone had a chance to try whale meat,                          other disciplines and inter-
tic climate from observational, diagnostic and         which was a challenge for some people. We                        disciplinary research, I also
modeling perspectives and received hands-on            saw that all the students could really appreci-   met wonderful people from all over the
experience in the analysis of climate model            ate coming back to Fairbanks, which looked        world. I started a new project in collabora-
output or in climate model experimentation at          very friendly, sunny and warm after the           tion with other scientists onboard and par-
a level consistent with the students' expertise.       cloudy and cold weather in Barrow.                ticipated in many interesting discussions.

     The summer school consisted of back-                                                                “In 2008, when I became a postdoc I once
ground pedagogical lectures in the mornings,                                                             again applied to participate in the IARC
and mini-projects and informal discussions in                                                            summer school project. Once again, the
the afternoons. The mini-projects have been                                                              suite of lecturers and students in the
performed in collaboration with lecturers, and                                                           school exceeded my (already high) expec-
utilized existing databases and available mod-                                                           tations. The setting of the school also pro-
els. The second week was spent observing and                                                             vided a much-needed reality-check – Arc-
experiencing Arctic research first-hand in                                                               tic research seems closer to home in
Barrow, Alaska in coordination with the Bar-                                                             Alaska. I am very grateful to IARC for
row Arctic Sciences Consortium (BASC).                                                                   these opportunities and I recommend all
                                                                                                         early career Arctic scientists to participate
    Key topics covered in the lectures in-                                                               in this summer school program.”
cluded key characteristics and processes of
Arctic climate; an overview of global climate

AGU AS Newsletter - November 2008
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                                                               region of 120°W–0°, 60°S–0°S, spanning the        transports moist air from the Amazon basin
South American                                                 period from 1979 through 2003. The data           into eastern subtropical South America, near
                                                               were used to study the thermodynamic state        15ºS 70ºW, very close to the Andes [Mendes
Cyclogenesis                                                   of the system through two variables: the          et al., 2007].
David Mendes (Centro de Ciência do Sistema Terrestre/          equivalent potential temperature (θe) and the
                                                                                                                      Studies such as this one are important for
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Brazil), Enio       saturation equivalent potential temperature       understanding cyclogenesis in the Southern
P. Souza (Federal University of Campina Grande,                (θ*e). These variables can be related to          Hemisphere. The authors investigated other
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Campina Grande,            entropy [Emanuel, 1989], and were therefore       issues related to this subject matter that are
Brazil) and Michel S. Mesquita                                 used for understanding cyclogenesis.              not shown in this article. For more
          Most atmospheric phenomena are                            Figure 1 displays the JJA mean information, please contact Dr. Mendes at
directly related to heat-to-work conversion. In                distribution of 850 hPa wind and 1000 hPa θe,
nature, all these processes are constrained by                 and θ e variance. It shows important
the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which                        meridional low-level flow on both sides of the References:
has at its core the entropy concept. The idea                  Andes Mountains. The region of maximum θe Brünt, D. (1926) Energy in the earth’s
of the atmosphere behaving as a heat engine                    (indicated by the contour lines) lies east of the      atmosphere, Philos. Mag., 7, 523-532.
that converts heat to work is long recognized                  Andes, extending southward along the Emanuel, K. A., (1988), The maximum
[e.g. Brunt, 1926]. However, only in recent                    northerly warm and moist flow from the                 intensity of hurricanes, J. Atmos. Sci., 45,
decades has this concept been extended to                      Amazon basin, i.e. the low level jet [Marengo          1143-1155.
atmospheric vortices ranging from dust devils                  et al., 2004]. The region of maximum θe Emanuel, K. A. (1989) The finite-amplitude
[Rennó et al., 1998] to hurricanes [Emanuel,                   variance (indicated by the shading) is much            nature of tropical cyclogenesis, J. Atmos.
1988]. The general idea is that the energy                     further to the south, centered near 25ºS, 60ºW,        Sci., 46, 3431–3456.
made available through the heat-to-work                        over Argentina, and coincides with a region Frederiksen, J. S. (1985), The geographical
conversion is used by the system to overcome                   where extratropical cyclones occur [Gan and            locations of Southern Hemisphere storm
dissipation thus maintaining the system                        Rao, 1991; Satyamurty et al., 1998]. The high          tracks: linear theory, J. Atmos. Sci., 42,
during its life cycle.                                         variance over latitudes south of 60ºS marks            710–723.
                                                               the mean position of the circumpolar winter Gan, M. A. and V. B. Rao (1991) Surface
     Extratropical cyclones play a central role                storm tracks [e.g., Simmonds and Keay,
in the maintenance of global climate and are                                                                          cyclogenesis over South America, Mon.
                                                               2000]. The fact that the region of most
responsible for the transport of heat and                                                                             Wea. Rev., 119, 1293–1302.
                                                               frequent cyclogenesis is located slightly to the James, I. N. and D.L.T. Anderson (1984), The
moisture through the troposphere [Peixoto                      south of the region of maximum θe variance
and Oort, 1992; Simmonds and Keay, 2000].                                                                             seasonal mean flow and distribution of
                                                               suggests a link between the build-up of
The South Atlantic is one of the regions of the                                                                       large-scale weather systems in the
                                                               anomalous θe in the continent and the
globe where cyclones preferably occur.                                                                                southern hemisphere: the effects of
                                                               cyclogenesis process [e.g. Mendes et al.,
According to Frederiksen [1985], the                                                                                  moisture transports, Quart. J. R. Met.
observed location of the primary storm track                                                                          Soc, 110, 943–966.
just downstream and poleward of the polar jet        In summary, the mid-latitude cyclones                       Marengo, J. A., W.R. Soares, C. Saulo, and
stream in the southern hemisphere is that are produced in the southern South                                         M. Nicolini (2004), Climatology of the
accounted for by linear baroclinic instability American region are largely controlled by                             low-level jet east of the Andes as derived
theory.                                         interactions between the mid-latitude                                from the NCEP reanalyses, J. Climate,
                                                circulation and the tropics, through north-                          17, 2261–2280.
     However, James and Anderson [1984], south flow over the continent along the east                            Mendes, D., E.P. Souza, I.F. Trigo, and
using one of the first years of analyzed data slope of the Andes Mountains. The mean                                 P.M.A. Miranda (2007), On Precursors of
for the Southern Hemisphere, provided by the circulation in the region, reinforced in the                            South-American Cyclogenesis, Tellus A ,
European Centre for Medium-range Weather days prior to cyclogenesis (not shown here),                                59,114-121.
Forecasts (ECMWF), found that the linear                                                                         Peixoto, J. P. and A.H. Oort (1992), Physics of
dry-baroclinic theory was unable to explain                                                                          Climate. American Institute of Physics,
the observed storm track in the South Atlantic                                                                       New York, 520 pp.
sector. At the same time, these authors noted                                                                    Rennó, N. O., M.L. Burkett, and M.P. Larkin
the anomalous low level wind field over the                                                                          (1998), A simple theory for dust devils, J.
South American continent, with a strong mean                                                                         Atmos. Sci., 55, 3244-3252.
north-south flow east of the Andes Mountains.                                                                    Satyamurty, P., C.A. Nobre, and P.L. Silva
Such flow could imply an extra source for                                                                            Dias (1998), Meteorology of the tropics.
cyclogenesis, through moisture entrainment                                                                           S o u t h A m e r i c a , p p 11 9 – 1 3 9 , i n
into the low-level westerlies at midlatitudes                                                                        Meteorology of the Southern Hemisphere.
downstream of the source in the Amazon                                                                               (eds D. K. Karoly and D. G.Vincent).
basin [Mendes et al., 2007].                                                                                         Meteorological Monographs, 49,
    In order to investigate that relationship                                                                        American Meteorological Society,
more closely, Dr. Mendes, from the Centro de                    Figure 1 - Winter (JJA) climatological               Boston.
Ciência do Sistema Terrestre/Instituto                          mean (contour lines; K) and variance             Simmonds, I. and K. Keay (2000), Mean
Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (CCST-                          (shaded; K2) of equivalent potential tem-            southern hemisphere extratropical
INPE, Brazil) and Dr. Souza, from the Federal                   perature at 1000 hPa, computed for the               cyclone behavior in the 40-year NCEP-
University of Campina Grande, Brazil, used                      1979-2003 period. Arrows represent the               NCAR reanalysis, J. Climate, 13, 873–
NCEP/NCAR data to set up their study. They                      mean wind vector (ms-1) at 850 hPa, for              885.
used various meteorological variables for the                   the same period.

                                                                                                                                                 AGU AS Newsletter
      A      G     U           A     T     M         O       S      P      H   E     R      I    C            S     C     I    E     N     C      E     S

                                                                                     tinuum model,           to cover the costs for running DKRZ, while
Atmospheric                                                                          MT(Tobin)_CKD,          the BMBF covers the costs for buying new
                                                                                     which is now used       hardware. This is now the fourth time that
Scientists Recognized                                                                in state-of-the-art     such an investment has been made, after ear-
by the International                                                                 line-by-line radia-
                                                                                     tive transfer mod-
                                                                                                             lier installments in 1988, 1994, and 2001 (for
                                                                                                             an account of the changing hardware, refer to
Radiation Commis-                                                                    els.” Dr. Tobin         the Terraflops newsletter from April 2004).
                                                                                     received his PhD
sion                                                                                 degree in 1996.              In exchange for the ministerial invest-
                                                                                                             ment, half of the available computer time is
Charles Gatebe                                                                       The awards are          distributed among projects mostly run by
                                                                                     presented every         German institutes and funded by the ministry,
     The International Radiation Commission
                                                         four years to one senior scientist who has          the European Union or the German Science
(IRC) recognized three scientists at the quad-
                                                         made contributions of lasting significance to       foundation. Also, so-called “consortial simu-
rennial International Radiation Symposium
                                                         the field of radiation research and to one or       lations” are executed, which are of interest for
held in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, August 3-8,
                                                         two young scientists who have made notewor-         a broader community. They are run to an
2008 for making extraordinary contributions
                                                         thy contributions to radiation studies and are      equal extent on the “BMBF account” and the
to radiation research. Prof. Graeme L. Ste-
                                                         regarded as becoming leading radiation scien-       accounts of the shareholders. So far, two con-
phens from Colorado State University (U.S.)
                                                         tists of lasting significance to the field of ra-   sortial simulations have been concluded re-
was awarded the IRC Gold Medal, while Drs.
                                                         diation research.                                   cently, namely IPCC-type climate change
Ilan Koren of Weizmann Institute of Science
                                                                                                             simulations with the global ECHM5/MPI-OM
(Israel) and David C. Tobin, University of
                                                                                                             and with the regional CLM models. A third
Wisconsin (U.S.) were presented with the IRC
                                                                                                             one, “Millennium,” is presently being exe-
Young Scientist Award.
                                                                                                             cuted – its purpose is to simulate the past
                            Dr. Graeme L.                                                                    1000 years with realistic forcing and an inter-
                         Stephens, a distin-                                                                 actively described carbon cycle. The out-
                         guished professor of                                                                comes of such simulations are freely available
                         atmospheric science,                                                                for the global climate community.
                         was awarded the IRC             German Climate                                           The selection of consortial simulations
                         Gold Medal award for
                         making “important               Computing Centre                                    and the distribution of resources are overseen
                                                                                                             by a scientific steering committee (Wissen-
                         contributions across a
                         range of areas that             Boosted by High-                                    schaftlicher Lenkungsausschuss) whose
                                                                                                             members represent the shareholders and sci-
include the development and analysis of mod-
els of all types (from climate models to cloud
                                                         Performance Comput-                                 entific organizations such as the German Sci-
                                                                                                             ence Foundation.
process models) to understand how clouds                 ing Capacities
affect our climate, to pioneering applications                                                               New Computing Resources
                                                         Hans von Storch
of remote sensing information...” The outgo-
ing president of the IRC, Prof. Terry Naka-                   For 21 years, the “German Climate Com-              The new supercomputer is an IBM Pow-
jima, described Dr. Stephens as “one of the              puting Centre” (DKRZ) has provided the              er6 system. Its capacity exceeds that of the
most active and most influential scientists in           much needed computational resources for             present NEC SX-6 system by a factor of ap-
the atmospheric science especially in the at-            German climate research. To do so requires a        proximately 60. With a peak performance of
mospheric radiation and remote sensing socie-            multi-million investment to keep the hardware       nearly 150 Teraflop/s (150 trillion floating
ties.”                                                   up-to-date and on a competitive level. Now,         point operations per second) the computer
                                                         60 million Euros have been made available to        will be one of the largest supercomputers be-
                           Dr. Ilan Koren                                                                    ing used for scientific purposes. The computer
                        was awarded the IRC              allow a successful continuation of the services
                                                         of DKRZ - 26 million Euros by the City of           consists of 250 nodes that are connected by a
                        Yo u n g S c i e n t i s t                                                           high-speed infiniband network. Each of nodes
                        award for his remark-            Hamburg for a new building and 33 million
                                                         Euros by the Federal Ministry of Education          contains 32 IBM Power6 processor-cores with
                        able contributions to                                                                a clock speed of 4.7 GHz.
                        the understanding of             and Research (BMBF) for a new high-
                        the interactions be-             performance computer and a new data archive              This system will produce unprecedented
                        tween atmospheric                for the new facilities.                             amounts of simulation data. DKRZ will there-
                        aerosols, clouds, and                                                                fore also upgrade its storage capacity. The
                                                         The German Climate Computing Centre
                        radiation. Dr. Koren                                                                 new data archive consists of six Storagetek
                        received his PhD in                   The DKRZ is formally a joint company           tape silos with a total capacity of 60,000
                        2002 and has already             run by four shareholders, namely the Max            magnetic tapes. The expected annual data
published over 25 papers, three of which ap-             Planck Society, the City of Hamburg and the         production rate is expected to be more than 10
pear in high impact journals such as Science.            two Helmholtz Centers (GKSS in Geesthacht           PetaByte and will be amongst the highest in
                                                         and Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and          the world. To handle this data traffic DKRZ
     Dr. David Tobin was also awarded the                                                                    will use the High Performance Storage Sys-
                                                         Marine Research in Bremerhaven). The latter
IRC Young Scientist award for making excep-                                                                  tem (HPSS) to manage these data
                                                         two together hold a little less than 20% of the
tional advances in the measurement and semi-                                                                 (
                                                         shares, the Max Planck Society about 50%
empirical representation of the water vapor              and the City of Hamburg the remainder. The
continuum absorption, notably, “development                                                                               Continued on Next Page
                                                         task of the shareholders is to provide a budget
and validation of the latest water vapor con-

AGU AS Newsletter - November 2008
     A     G     U          A     T    M        O       S      P    H     E     R     I    C            S     C     I    E     N     C     E     S

         Continued from Previous Page                                                                  40 and how it is a big step forward for strato-
     This new acquisition allows computing
                                                    Climate                                            spheric research.
projections of future climate in more detail,       Juan A. Añel                                            As mentioned above, during the confer-
because more complex processes and interac-                                                            ence there was a series of extensive poster
tions can be included in the models. At the              The SPARC (Stratospheric Processes and        sessions covering the following topics: Dy-
same time, the spatial resolution of the cli-       their Role in Climate) 4th General Assembly        namical Coupling, Gravity Waves, Data As-
mate models will be enhanced. Thus regional         (        similation; Extratropics, Detection and Attri-
phenomena can also be described in substan-         ) was held in Bologna, Italy from Aug. 31 to       bution, Variability and Climate Change, Water
tially more detail than today.                      Sept. 5. The scientific program was divided        Vapor; and Tropics, Chemistry-Climate Cou-
                                                    into six different topics for the oral presenta-   pling. In total, there were 57 oral presenta-
    The new facility constitutes an outstand-       tions and extensive poster session: crosscut-      tions (21 invited), 336 posters were presented,
ing research infrastructure for model-based         ting issues, stratosphere-troposphere dynami-      and 335 people attended the meeting.
simulations of global climate change and its        cal coupling, extratropical upper troposphere/
regional effects, as required for the High-         lower stratosphere (UTLS), detection and                In conclusion, the SPARC 4th General
Tech-Strategy for Climate Protection of the         attribution of stratospheric change, tropical      Assembly was a big, exciting and useful as-
German government.                                  tropopause layer and atmospheric chemistry         sembly, showing the state of the art in the
                                                    and climate. Dr. Peter Haynes and Dr. Thomas       field of stratospheric research and the latest
     The DKRZ is a brainchild of Professor
                                                    Peter were the Scientific Organizing Commit-       and more promising research lines. You can
Klaus Hasselmann, the legendary founding
                                                    tee Co-Chairs. The Local Organizing Com-           download many of the materials presented
director of the Max-Planck Institute of Mete-
                                                    mittee members were Dr. Elisa Manzini, Dr.         during the assembly from the SPARC web
orology. Dr. Hasselmann laid the foundation
                                                    Susanna Corti, Dr. Chiara Cagnazzo, Dr.            page:
of modern German climate Research during
                                                    Federico Fierli, Dr. Micaela Pantano and Dr.
his 25-year leadership (1976-2001), during
                                                    Elisa Palazzi.                                     C/.
which the establishing the DKRZ was an im-
portant step (for an account of the context,       Dr. Susan Solomon gave the Opening
refer to the interview with Dr. Hasselmann).  Lecture. It was an overview of the last IPCC
                                              assessment and its links with the current re-
                                              search on the stratosphere and the UTLS. She
                                              pointed out one of the recurrent subjects in
                                              the first days of the conference – uncertainties
                                              in the Brewer-Dobson circulation. The
                                              mechanisms involved in its changes and de-
                                              rived implications were more specifically            Note: You may be asked for your AGU
                                              addressed by Dr. Rolando García, Dr. Charles member # to open the following links. Visit
                                              McLandress and Dr. Richard Scott.                the AS Section website for links to other job
                                                   The chemistry of the UTLS and the ex- o p p o r t u n i t i e s n o t l i s t e d h e r e :
                                              change between the upper troposphere and click on
                                              lower stratosphere was one of the major is- Job Listings/Resources.
                                              sues during the Extratropical UTLS session These job postings and others can be found
                                              with two invited presentations in the morning at:
                                              by Dr. Daniel Murphy and Dr. Markus Rex.
Klaus Hasselmann (right) and Wolfgang
                                              Moreover, Dr. Thomas Birner gave an invited
Sell (left) founded the German Climate
                                              presentation about the dynamical aspects of ces/joblistings.cgi
Computing Center and made it scientifi-
                                              the tropopause inversion layer.
cally and technically a stunning success.
                                                                                               Atmospheric Sciences
                                                   Ozone loss and recovery and water vapor
                                              transport were two major issues during the • NOAA Climate and Global Change Post-
                                              session about detection and attribution of           doctoral Fellowship Program through
                                              stratospheric change with two interesting            UCAR, Deadline Jan. 15, 2009.
                                              presentations by Dr. Paul Newman and Dr.
                                              Neil Harris. One of the topics was the esti- • Assistant Professor Positions, Environ-
                                              mated time for the recovery of the Antarctic         mental Sciences and Engineering, Har-
                                              ozone hole, which according to the last results      vard University, Reviews begin Nov. 30
                                              could be as late as in the 2070's. Climate
                                              change could be accelerating this recovery but • Assistant Research Professor, Environ-
                                                                                                   mental Analysis Facility, Desert Research
                                              not by much.
                                                   The day dedicated to the tropical tropo-
                                              pause focused mainly on observations, while
                                              several issues about stratospheric modeling,
                                              including the representation of several strato-
Stratospheric Proc-                           spheric features, were addressed during the
                                              last session. For example, Dr. Stephan
esses and their Role in                       Fueglistaler showed the advantages of the
                                              ERA Interim reanalysis with respect to ERA-

                                                                                                                                    AGU AS Newsletter
      A      G     U           A     T   M      O       S    P     H     E     R     I     C          S     C     I     E     N     C     E     S

•   Postdoctoral position in atmospheric                teaching fellowships, National Research           ences/CSIE/2009
    chemistry modeling, Atmospheric Sci-                Council of the National Acadamies. Next
    ences and Global Change Division at                 deadline is Feb. 1                      •         Chapman Conference on Effects of
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory                                                                 Thunderstorms and Lightning in the
                                                    •   Tenure-track faculty position in atmos-           Upper Atmosphere, May 10-15, 2009,
•   Research Associate, Cooperative Institute           pheric and oceanic sciences, Department           University Park, Pennsylvania
    for Research in Environmental Sciences,             of Geosciences, Princeton University,   
    Position available starting Dec. 1                  Reviews begin immediately                         009/bcall/
•   Postdoctoral fellow in climate modeling, • Three modeling positions, Potsdam Insti- •                 2009 AGU Joint Assembly - Meeting of
    Institute for the Study of Society and       tute for Climate Impact Research                         the Americas, May 24-27, 2009, To-
    Environment, NCAR, apply by Nov. 14                                                                   ronto, Canada
                                             • Visiting fellowship opportunities, CIRES,         
•   Faculty position, Atmospheric Chemistry      deadline Dec. 31
    in the Air Pollution Research Center,                                                •                Third International Conference on
    University of California, Riverside. Re- Student Opportunities                                        Knowledge Generations, Communica-
    views begin Dec. 1                                                                                    tion and Management, July 10-13,
                                             • NSF graduate fellowships for research on
                                                                                                          2009, Orlando, Fla.
•   Postdoctoral fellow in atmospheric chem-            vegetation-climate interactions in the
    istry, Dept. of Atmospheric Science,                Amazon, University of Arizona or Har-
    Colorado State Univ.                                vard University, Deadline Dec. 8
                                                        Ph.D. and M.S. research assistantships in •       Second International Symposium on
•   Postdoctoral position, Atmospheric Bio- •                                                             Academic Globalization, July 10-13,
    geosciences program, University of                  Interdisciplinary Hydrology Program,
                                                                                                          2009, Orlando, Fla.
    Georgia. Reviews begin Nov. 15                      New Mexico Tech
•   Visiting scientist, NOAA Air Resources •            Assistantships to study atmosphere-
                                                        biosphere exchange and aerosol forma- •           Seventh International Conference on
    Lab, Silver Springs, Maryland                                                                         Computing, Communications, and
                                                        tion; or remote sensing, Michigan Tech
                                                                                                          Control Technologies, July 10-13, 2009,
•   U.S. CLIVAR Climate Predictions Appli-
                                                                                                          Orlando, Fla.
    cations Postdoctoral Program, deadline •            Ph.D. positions in land surface modeling,
                                                        Department of Civil and Environmental   
    Dec. 15
                                                        Engineering, University of Michigan               T
                                                    •   Undergraduate summer program, NSF’s •             6th GKSS School of Environmental
•   Meteorologist position with NASA/                   Research for Undergraduates Program,              Research: Statistical Analysis in Cli-
    George C. Marshall Space Flight Center:             Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico                mate Research, Oct. 6-16, 2009, Lecce,
    atmospheric modeling and data assimila-                                                               Italy
    tion, Huntsville, Alabama.
•   Postdoctoral research fellowships, Har-
    vard University Center for the Environ-
    ment, deadline Jan. 15                          Conferences
•   Faculty position in coupled ocean- •                2008 Fall Meeting, December 15-19,
    atmosphere modeling, Florida State Uni-             2008, San Francisco, California, USA
    versity, Deadline Dec. 5                  
•   Faculty positions in terrestrial carbon and •       International Conference on Climate
    water cycle science, Boston University.             Change: Impacts and Responses, Jan.
    Reviews begin Dec. 15                               9-11, 2009, Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute
                                                        of Environment Education and Research,
•   Ph.D. opportunities in Alaskan paleocli-            Pune, India
    mate, Las Vegas Isotope Science Lab        
•   AAAS Science and Technology Policy •                Fifth International Conference on
    Fellowhsips, Deadline Dec. 15                       Technology, Knowledge and Society,
•   Cormack Postdoctoral Fellowship in                  Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2009, Huntsville, Ala.
    Global Change, Johns Hopkins Univer-      
    sity. Deadline Dec. 1                  •            2009 National Storm Conference,
•   Postdoctoral fellowships in the Earth,              March 14, 2009, Colleyville, Texas
    Environmental and Ocean Sciences,         
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. •                 2009 World Congress on Computer
    Deadline Jan. 9                                     Science and Information Engineering,
•   Postdoctoral and senior research awards,            Mar. 31-Apr. 2, 2009, Los Angeles, Calif.
    summer faculty fellowships, and Davies    

AGU AS Newsletter - November 2008