Climate & Radiation


We investigate atmospheric radiation, both as a driver for climate change and as a tool for the remote sensing of Earth's atmosphere and surface. Our Climate research program seeks to better understand how our planet reached its present state, and how it may respond to future drivers, both natural and anthropogenic.

News and Events

Global climate models (GCMs) predict warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases, partly due to decreased tropical low-level cloud cover and reflectance. We use satellite observations that discriminate stratocumulus (Sc) from shallow cumulus (Cu) clouds to separately evaluate their sensitivity to warming and constrain the tropical contribution to low-cloud feedback. We find an observationally inferred low-level feedback two times smaller than a previous estimate.

Much of climate science is viewed as a signal-to-noise problem and the field has many statistical methods for extracting the signal of interest. Here, we argue that artificial neural networks (ANNs) are an additional useful tool for the “climate toolbox”.

This presentation will cover ongoing research on marine cold air outbreaks (CAOs). This research is part of the multi-year NASA EVS-3 field campaign ACTIVATE that is devoting more than half its resources to a process-study focus on CAOs during wintertime and shoulder seasons off the mid-Atlantic coast. CAOs drastically affect the local energy budget by forming a (nearly) overcast deck consisting of roll-like boundary layer (BL) clouds that typically transition into a broken, open-cellular cloud field downwind. State-of-the-art earth system and weather forecast models struggle to faithfully represent CAOs and their radiative effects. 

Maniac Talks

POC: Charles K. Gatebe, Phone: 301-614-6228, Email:

Maniac Talks are about what inspired people to do what they are doing now in their career. It's about their driving forces and motivators and what keeps them going. It's about how they overcome obstacles. The format of the talks is informal and discussion is encouraged. All talks are recorded/taped and archived at GSFC Library. The talks are also available on YouTube:

Associate Director for Institutional Planning and Development, Earth Sciences Division, NASA/GSFC.