Calendar Event Details

610AT Weekly Report – Week Ending 10/5/2012

Event Date: Friday, October 5, 2012

Noteworthy Science Achievements/Awards
Noteworthy Personnel Awards and Staff Changes

HS3 Summary
September 27, 2012
The Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) EV-1 investigation has been ongoing from Sept. 6-Oct. 5. HS3 was planned to have two of NASA’s unmanned Global Hawk (GH) aircraft to study Atlantic hurricanes during deployments at the Wallops Flight Facility during 2012-2014. The goal of the mission is to improve understanding of the processes that control hurricane formation and intensity change and to determine better the relative roles of the large-scale environment and smaller-scale processes in the inner-core region of storms (i.e., the eyewall and rainbands). One GH (designated the environmental GH) is designed to sample temperature, humidity, winds, and Saharan dust in the storm environment while the other (designated the over-storm GH) is focused on measuring winds and precipitation within the storm. So far during the 2012 deployment, HS3 has conducted six flights of the environmental GH. The first flight was the ferry from Dryden to Wallops on Sept. 6-7 during which time the GH flew along the outflow region of Hurricane Leslie, obtaining unprecedented information on the cloud, thermodynamic, and wind characteristics of this difficult-to-observe feature of hurricanes. The next five flights were in Hurricane Nadine, the only storm to occur during the major portion of the deployment, but one that occurred virtually throughout the period. On Sept. 11-12, the GH overflew Nadine as it first became a tropical depression and then a tropical storm, sampling the environment around the developing storm, including the well-defined Saharan Air Layer (SAL) on the storm’s northern and eastern sides. The second flight was on Sept. 14-15 as Tropical Storm Nadine was moving northward in the central Atlantic under the influence of strong vertical wind shear. While dry air was observed to be wrapping into Nadine, initial inspection of the data suggests that it was not of Saharan origin. The vertical wind shear produced a major burst of convection near the center, allowing Nadine to strengthen into a hurricane. The third flight into Nadine occurred on Sept. 19-20 when then Tropical Storm Nadine was near the Azores over cooler waters and under the influence of shear. HS3 observations showed that Nadine was still a vigorous tropical storm with a well-defined warm core through most of the troposphere. Data from HS3 was used by the National Hurricane Center to maintain Nadine as a tropical storm instead of downgrading the storm to post-tropical status. The last two flights, also in the Azores region on Sept. 22-23 and 26-27, investigated Nadine’s interaction with an extratropical trough and Nadine’s refusal to go extratropical. In fact, Nadine reintensified into a hurricane on Sept. 28. Nadine continues to drift in the eastern Atlantic more than two weeks after its initial formation.
The over-storm GH has not participated in the 2012 campaign. The aircraft became available for HS3 integration only on July 1 never having flown a science mission. Despite tremendous efforts by Dryden to make the aircraft science capable and integrate the HS3 instruments, they have been unable to get the aircraft fully ready in time for participation at Wallops in 2012. Work will continue on the aircraft until it has completed at least one science flight in a storm (either tropical or extratropical) with heavy wind and rain in order to fully test the instruments and the aircraft. The aircraft will then be ready for the deployments in 2013 and 2014.
Paul Newman, Leslie Lait, Ed Nowottnick, and Peter Colarco (614) are deployed to NASA Wallops, supporting the NASA HS3 field campaign.  HS3 is using the NASA Global Hawks to investigate Atlantic tropical storms, including their environment and development.
Significant Planned Events
External Interactions (HQ, universities, other Gov't organizations, etc.
Dr. Ken Pickering visited Cairo University and the Egyptian Meteorological Authority on September 12th and 13th for a series of meetings under a joint US Agency for International Development project to build capability in these Egyptian organizations for regional chemistry and climate modeling.  Dr. Pickering presented talks on applications of the WRF-Chem and Climate-WRF models, as well as on use of NASA satellite products for air quality applications. Dr. Pickering hosted a Cairo University graduate student during the week of September 17th for further training in running these models and using the satellite products.

Highlights of Inter-Directorate Teaming

Noteworthy Talks/Presentations
The following presentation was made by Pawan Gupta during US OMI Science team meeting on September 20, 2012 held at SESDA-2 facility. “Top-of-the-atmosphere shortwave flux estimation from UV observations: An empirical approach using A-train satellite data” by
P. Gupta, J. Joiner, A. Vasilkov, and P.K. Bhartia.
Charles Jackman (614, Project Scientist for AIM) attended the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) Science Team Meeting from September 19-21, 2012, which was held at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

Charles Jackman and Bill Swartz attended the SORCE Science Team Meeting (STM) September 18, held at the Historic Inns in Annapolis, MD. Both gave invited talks at the STM. “Middle atmosphere sensitivity to SSI solar cycle variations and the background atmosphere” by

C. Jackman and “Influence of Large Solar Proton Events on the Atmosphere” by B. Swartz.
Prasun Kundu (JCET/613) presented a Climate & Radiation Laboratory Seminar entitled "Rainfall: A Statistical Conundrum" October 3.
 Kevin Ward (Sigma Space/613) gave an invited presentation entitled "Enabling Science Communicators" at the workshop and symposium "Networking Knowledge -- Networking People: New Media for Collective Climate Change Action" in Vienna, Austria, September 20.

Nickolay Krotkov (614) co-authored on the paper accepted by the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, “Influence Of Desert Dust Intrusions On Ground-Based And Satellite-Derived Ultraviolet Irradiance In Southeastern Spain.”

Kahn, R.A. (613), and J.A. Limbacher (SSAI/613), 2012:  Eyjafjalljökull Volcano Plume Particle-Type Characterization from Space-Based Multi-angle Imaging, Atmos. Chem. Phys. [in press].

Yuan, T. (JCET/613), L. A. Remer, H. Bian, J. R. Ziemke, R. Albrecht, K. E. Pickering, L. Oreopoulos (613), S. J. Goodman, H. Yu (ESSIC/613), and D. J. Allen, 2012:  Aerosol indirect effect on tropospheric ozone via lightning, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D18213, doi:10.1029/2012JD017723 [published].  Excerpts:  Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a pollutant and major greenhouse gas and its radiative forcing is still uncertain. Inadequate understanding of processes related to O3 production, in particular those natural ones such as lightning, contributes to this uncertainty. Here we demonstrate a new effect of aerosol particles on O3 production by affecting lightning activity and lightning-generated NOx (LNOx). We find that lightning flash rate increases at a remarkable rate of 30 times or more per unit of aerosol optical depth. We provide observational evidence that indicates the observed increase in lightning activity is caused by the influx of aerosols from a volcano. Satellite data analyses show O3 is increased as a result of aerosol-induced increase in lightning and LNOx, which is supported by modle simulations with prescribed lightning change. O3 production increase from this aerosol-lightning-ozone link is concentrated in the upper troposphere, where O3 is most efficient as a greenhouse gas. In the face of anthropogenic aerosol increase our findings suggest that lightning activity, LNOx and O3, especially in the upper troposphere, have all increased substantially since preindustrial time due to the proposed aerosol-lightning-ozone link, which implies a stronger O3 historical radiative forcing. Aerosol forcing therefore has a warming component via its effect on O3 production and this component has mostly been ignored in previous studies of climate forcing related to O3 and aerosols.

Sayer, A. M. (USRA/613), Smirnov, A., Hsu (613), N. C., Munchak, L. A. (SSAI/613), and Holben, B. N., 2012: Estimating marine aerosol particle volume and number from Maritime Aerosol Network data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8889-8909, doi:10.5194/acp-12-8889-2012.
As well as spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD), aerosol composition and concentration (number, volume, or mass) are of interest for a variety of applications. However, remote sensing of these quantities is more difficult than for AOD, as it is more sensitive to assumptions relating to aerosol composition. This study uses spectral AOD measured on Maritime Aerosol Network (MAN) cruises, with the additional constraint of a microphysical model for unpolluted maritime aerosol based on analysis of Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) inversions, to estimate these quantities over open ocean. Columnar AOD at 550 nm and aerosol number for unpolluted maritime cases are also compared with Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, for both the present Collection 5.1 and forthcoming Collection 6.

Chudnovsky, A., Kostinski, Lyapustin, A. (613), and Koutrakis, P. (2013). Spatial scales of pollution from variable resolution satellite imaging. Environmental Pollution, Vol.172, pp. 131-138 [[published].

Major events in the coming week

Education and Outreach
Five week long fall online webinar series on “Introduction to NASA Remote Sensing for Air Quality Applications” started on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. Pawan Gupta and Jacquelyn C. Witte from Code 614 along with Richard Kleidman from Code 613 will be giving lectures on various aspects of NASA remote sensing observations for air quality applications. For more details on the course visit following link:
Tom Hanisco (614) was interviewed by CTV News, the Prince George's County Community Television News station, about his new in situ formaldehyde instrument. The instrument is the In situ airborne formaldehyde (ISAF) instrument.  It flew on the DC-8 during the DC3 campaign in Salina, KS in May-June, 2012.  He discussed the role of formaldehyde in deep convection.

Issues and Concerns
Status of any Major Actions

Posted or updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012

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