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Collins, WD, Valero FPJ, Flatau PJ, Lubin D, Grassl H, Pilewskie P.  1996.  Radiative effects of convection in the tropical Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 101:14999-15012.   10.1029/95jd02534   AbstractWebsite

The radiative effects of tropical clouds at the tropopause and the ocean surface have been estimated by using in situ measurements from the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX). The effect of clouds is distinguished from the radiative effects of the surrounding atmosphere by calculating the shortwave and longwave cloud forcing. These terms give the reduction in insolation and the increase in absorption of terrestrial thermal emission associated with clouds. At the tropopause the shortwave and longwave cloud forcing are nearly equal and opposite, even on daily timescales. Therefore the net effect of an ensemble of convective clouds is small compared to other radiative terms in the surface-tropospheric heat budget. This confirms the statistical cancellation of cloud forcing observed in Earth radiation budget measurements from satellites. At the surface the net effect of clouds is to reduce the radiant energy absorbed by the ocean. Under deep convective clouds the diurnally averaged reduction exceeds 150 W m(-2). The divergence of flux in the cloudy atmosphere can be estimated from the difference in cloud forcing at the surface and tropopause. The CEPEX observations show that the atmospheric cloud forcing is nearly equal and opposite to the surface forcing. Based upon the frequency of convection, the atmospheric forcing approaches 100 W m(-2) when the surface temperature is 303 K. The cloud forcing is closely related to the frequency of convective cloud systems. This relation is used in conjunction with cloud population statistics derived from satellite to calculate the change in surface cloud forcing with sea surface temperature. The net radiative cooling of the surface by clouds increases at a rate of 20 W m(-2)K(-1)during the CEPEX observing period.

Lubin, D, Massom R.  2007.  Remote sensing of Earth's polar regions - Opportunities for computational science. Computing in Science & Engineering. 9:58-71.   10.1109/mcse.2007.16   AbstractWebsite

Polar remote sensing offers numerous opportunities for computer scientists, including spacecraft design and data processing, the development of algorithms for geophysical product retrieval, operational assistance for aircraft and ship navigation, and database management at national archives.

Lubin, D, Ayres G, Hart S.  2009.  REMOTE SENSING OF POLAR REGIONS Lessons and Resources for the International Polar Year. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 90:825-+.   10.1175/2008bams2596.1   AbstractWebsite

Polar researchers have historically been innovative and adaptive users of satellite remote sensing data, and their experiences can suggest ways to enhance the use of remote sensing throughout the climate sciences. We performed a semistructured survey of the polar research community on the use of remote sensing at the beginning of the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) era. For the most part, remote sensing plays a supporting but critical role in the research as described by the respondents. Data acquisition and analysis is mostly at the home institution, with field telemetry appearing in a small minority of responses. Most polar researchers have not had formal training in remote sensing, but they have adapted and trained themselves very thoroughly. Although a significant number of polar researchers are content with visual inspection of satellite images, a roughly equal number develop their own algorithms for derivation of geophysical products, and more have become adept at using high-level graphical programming languages to work with data. Given the self-sufficiency in remote sensing training that characterizes polar researchers, nontraditional satellite data users (e.g., life scientists) tend to view the "learning curve" as steep, as compared with physical scientists. Although up to a third of respondents report no significant obstacles in accessing satellite data, obstacles such as a) difficulty locating data centers for their needs, b) the cost of acquiring data, and c) insider or restricted access to data were each reported by about one-quarter of the respondents. The major ongoing challenges with remote sensing in polar research can be met with aspects of modern cyberinfrastructure involving data interoperability.

Han, W, Stamnes K, Lubin D.  1999.  Remote sensing of surface and cloud properties in the Arctic from AVHRR measurements. Journal of Applied Meteorology. 38:989-1012.   10.1175/1520-0450(1999)038<0989:rsosac>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Algorithms to retrieve cloud optical depth and effective radius in the Arctic using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data are developed, using a comprehensive radiative transfer model in which the atmosphere is coupled to the snowpack. For dark surfaces AVHRR channel 1 is used to derive visible cloud optical depth, while for bright surfaces AVHRR channel 2 is used. Independent inference of cloud effective radius from AVHRR channel 3 (3.75 mu m) allows for derivation cloud liquid water path (proportional to the product of optical depth and effective radius). which is a fundamental parameter of the climate system. The algorithms are based on the recognition that the reflection function of clouds at a nonabsorbing wavelength (such as AVHRR channel 1) in the solar spectrum is primarily a function of cloud optical thickness, whereas the reflection function at a liquid water absorbing wavelength (such as AVHRR channel 3) is primarily a function of cloud particle size. For water clouds over highly reflecting surfaces (snow and ice), the reflectance in AVHRR channel 1 is insensitive to cloud optical depth due to the multiple reflections between cloud base and the underlying surface; channel 2 (0.85 mu m) must be used instead for optical depth retrieval. Water clouds over tundra or ocean are more straightforward cases similar to those found at lower latitudes, and in these cases a comprehensive atmospheric radiative transfer model with a Lambertian surface under cloud is used. Thus, for water cloud over tundra and ocean, channel 1 is used for cloud optical depth retrieval. In all cases, channel 3 is used for independent retrieval of cloud droplet effective radius. The thermal component of channel 3 is estimated by making use of channel 4 (11 mu m) and is subtracted from the total channel 3 radiance. Over clear-sky scenes, the bidirectional reflectance properties of snow are calculated directly by the coupled snowpack-atmosphere model. This results in greater overall accuracy in retrieved surface properties as compared with the simplified approach that uses a Lambertian approximation for the surface albedo. To test the physical soundness of the algorithms the authors have applied them to AVHRR data over Barrow, Alaska, from April to August 1992. Downwelling irradiances at the surface calculated using the retrieved cloud optical depth and effective radius are compared with field irradiance measurements, and encouraging agreement is found. The algorithms are also applied to three areas of about 100-km dimension around Barrow, each having a different underlying surface (ocean, tundra, snow).

Tytler, D, O'Meara JM, Suzuki N, Lubin D.  2000.  Review of big bang nucleosynthesis and primordial abundances. Physica Scripta. T85:12-31.   10.1238/Physica.Topical.085a00012   AbstractWebsite

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) is the synthesis of the light nuclei, Deuterium (D or H-2), He-3, He-4 and Li-7 during the first few minutes of the universe. This review concentrates on recent improvements in the measurement of the primordial (after BBN, and prior to modification) abundances of these nuclei. We mention improvement in the standard theory, and the non-standard extensions which are limited by the data. We have achieved an order of magnitude improvement in the precision of the measurement of primordial D/H, using the HIRES spectrograph on the W M. Keck telescope to measure D in gas with very nearly primordial abundances towards quasars. From 1994 - 1996, it appeared that there could be a factor of ten range in primordial D/H, but today four examples of low D are secure. High D/H should be much easier to detect, and since there are no convincing examples, it must be extremely rare or non-existent. All data are consistent with a single low value for D/H, and the examples which an consistent with high D/H are readily interpreted as H contamination near the position of D. The new D/H measurements give the most accurate value for the baryon to photon ratio II, and hence the cosmological baryon density. A similar density is required to explain the amount of Ly alpha absorption from neutral Hydrogen in the intergalactic medium (IGM) at redshift z similar or equal to 3, and to explain the fraction of baryons in local clusters of galaxies. The D/H measurements lead to predictions for the abundances of the other light nuclei, which generally agree with measurements. The remaining differences with some measurements can be explained by a combination of measurement and analysis errors or changes in the abundances after BBN. The measurements do not require physics beyond the standard BBN model. instead, the agreement between the abundances is used to limit the non-standard physics. New measurements are giving improved understanding of the difficulties in estimating the abundances of all the light nuclei, but unfortunately in most cases we are not yet seeing much improvement in the accuracy of the primordial abundances. Since we are now interested in the highest accuracy and reliability for all nuclei, the few objects with the most extensive observations give by far the most convincing results. Earlier measurements of He-4 may have obtained too low a value because the He emission line strengths were reduced by undetected stellar absorption lines. The systematic errors associated with the He-4 abundance have frequently been underestimated in the past, and this problem persists. When two groups use the same data and different ways to estimate the electron density and He-4 abundance, the results differ by more than the quoted systematic errors. While the methods used by Izotov and Thuan [1] seem to be an advance on those used before, the other method is reasonable, and hence the systematic error should encompass the range in results. The abundance of Li-7 is measured to high accuracy, but we do not know how much was produced prior to the formation of the stars, and how much was destroyed (depleted) in the stars. Li-6 helps limit the amount of depletion of Li-7, but by an uncertain amount since it too has been depleted. BBN is successful because it uses known physics and measured cross-sections for the nuclear reactions. It gives accurate predictions for the abundances of five light nuclei as a function of the one free parameter eta. The other initial conditions seem natural: the universe began homogeneous and hotter than T > 10(11) K (30 Mev). The predicted abundances agree with most observations, and the required eta is consistent with other, less accurate, measurements of the baryon density. Abundance measurements of the baryon density, from the CMB, clusters of galaxies and the Ly alpha forest, will give II. Although the accuracy might not exceed that obtained from D/H, this is an important advance because BBN then gives abundance predictions with no adjustable parameters. New measurement in the coming years will give improved accuracy. Measurement of D/H in many more quasar spectra would improve the accuracy of D/H by a factor of a few, to a few percent, but even with improved methods of selecting the target quasars, this would need much more time on the largest telescopes. More reliable He-4 abundances might be obtained from spectra which have higher spectral and spatial resolution, to help correct for stellar absorption, higher signal to noise to show weaker emission lines, and more galaxies with low metal abundances, to minimize the extrapolation to primordial abundances. Measurements of Li-6, Be and Boron in the same stars and observations of a variety of stars should give improved models for the depletion of Li-7 in halo stars, and hence tighter constraints on the primordial abundance. However, in general, it is hard to think of any new methods which could give any primordial abundances with an order of magnitude higher accuracy than those used today. This is a major unexploited opportunity because it means that we can not yet test BBN to the accuracy of the predictions.

Lubin, D.  1994.  The Role of the Tropical Super Greenhouse-Effect in Heating the Ocean Surface. Science. 265:224-227.   10.1126/science.265.5169.224   AbstractWebsite

Measurements made by a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroradiometer operating in the middle infrared (5 to 20 micrometers, with a spectral resolution of one inverse centimeter) imply that there is an anomalously large greenhouse effect over equatorial oceans that is caused by water vapor. As sea-surface temperature increased from 297 to 303 degrees kelvin, the net infrared cooling at the surface decreased by 30 to 50 watts per square meter. Thus, according to the FTIR data, the super greenhouse effect that had been inferred from satellite measurements contributes directly to radiative heating of the sea surface. The data demonstrate that most of this heating occurs in the middle infrared by means of the continuum emission window of water vapor and that tropical deep convection contributes substantially to this super greenhouse effect.