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Investigating Arctic Weather

Left to right: DAES faculty Lance Bosart, Andrea Lang, Daniel Keyser and Ryan Torn. (Photo by Brian Busher)

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 29, 2018) – More than $2 million in new federal funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is further solidifying UAlbany’s position as a national leader in atmospheric and environmental sciences.

The funding will support three projects led by Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) faculty in an effort to improve Arctic weather forecasting. Total support is expected to be $2.37 million over the next five years.

“This latest federal funding highlights the variety of experts we have to address significant weather and climate issues,” said Chris Thorncroft, DAES chair and professor. “In this case, our faculty will shed light on variability and predictability of weather in the Arctic, a particularly sensitive part of the Earth climate system that is warming due to climate change.”

Faculty include:

Lance Bosart/Daniel Keyser

Bosart and Keyser are collaborating on a project titled “Phenomenological and Predictability
Studies of the Structure and Evolution of Arctic Cyclones, Polar Lows, and Tropopause
Polar Vortices.” It will consist of analysis and forecasting, along with real-time monitoring, of Arctic weather regimes. Findings will support an ONR research initiative on the dynamics of Arctic cyclones and their relationship to the tropopause polar vortex.

Andrea Lang

Lang’s project is titled “Understanding the role of the stratosphere in subseasonal–to–seasonal variability and predictability of Arctic weather systems.” Her goal is quantify the relationship between Arctic weather and the polar vortex. This will help to make more informed seasonal forecasts.

Ryan Torn

Torn is leading a project to better understand the predictability of Arctic cyclones. This will be done through a combination of analyzing past cyclone forecasts and generating large numbers of new forecasts using a numerical weather prediction model. The project is titled “Comparison of Polar and Midlatitude Cyclone Predictability Using Ensemble-based Sensitivity Analysis.”

By the Numbers:

UAlbany is home to the largest concentration of atmospheric, climate and environmental scientists in New York State, and one of the largest in the nation, with close to 120 faculty, researchers and staff.

In fiscal 2016, DAES and the University’s Atmospheric Science Research Center (ASRC) generated $17.1 million in combined research. That’s an 82.3 percent increase from the previous year and ranks among the top 50 in the industry.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $5 million to DAES climate scientist Mathias Vuille in September. Another four NSF grants worth $1.4 million were awarded to the department within just the last month.

From researching shrinking glaciers and West African monsoons to exploring the impacts of climate viability and change, UAlbany’s atmospheric and environmental researchers are having a far-reaching impact on industry, public policy, and the breadth of understanding of the world around us.

You can learn more about DAES here.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.