The Zender Research Group studies the microphysics of trace gas, aerosol, and surface interactions with Earth’s radiative, thermodynamic, and chemical processes. Charles Zender and his team develop and refine the representation of these processes to improve climate prediction. Model simulations, combined with lab, field, and satellite data, help them predict and attribute features of climate and climate change. Current research includes mineral dust and carbonaceous aerosols, snow lifecycle and albedo, aerosol impacts on ocean biogeochemistry, wind-driven surface energy/mass exchange, climate-disease links, and super-dooper-big-scale data analysis. The team’s aerosol, radiative transfer, and data processing models are freely available and are used by geoscientists world-wide.
Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry, Physical Climate
I am a physicist who studies climate to help piece together the climate puzzle so that as people alter Earth, intentionally or not, we better understand the likely outcomes. Rapid changes like vanishing snow and ice, blowing dust, and burning forests fascinate me most, because fast processes often indicate pressure points to which Earth is sensitive. Recently we discovered that nothing heats the planet faster than the pollution that darkens snow. This has helped spur the policy shift to reduce soot emissions. My current research includes desert dust and fire-emitted soot particulates, snowpack lifecycle, reflectance, and emission, wind-dispersal of nutrients and pathogens, wind-drag effects on deserts and oceans, wind-induced melt, and ice shelf hydrofracture. Better understanding of these processes will improve predictions of dust storms, disease endemicity, seasonal snowpack, and ice shelf disintegration. I also work to accelerate large-scale analysis techniques for data stored in netCDF format which predominates in the geosciences.
Matt is a PhD Candidate in the Earth System Science department at the University of California, Irvine. Matt’s broad interests focus on the Earth’s cryosphere and its many interconnected systems. Specifically, Matt aims to better understand the impact of foehn (warm and dry downslope winds) and katabatic winds have on surface melt and ice shelf stability in Antarctica and Greenland. His work uses an interdisciplinary approach that combines, surface observations, model simulations, data science, and machine learning, with the ultimate goal to help identify impacts of climate change on the Earth system.
Visit my webpage for more info.
As a postdoctoral scholar in the Zender Research Group, I study Earth’s cryosphere and its interactions with the atmosphere and ocean in today’s warming climate. To improve climate prediction, our research aims to refine these cryosphere-climate interactions in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), which is a multi-component dynamic system that provides us a powerful computational tool to investigate these often nonlinear processes. Specifically, I focus on how seasonal snow and snow on glaciers and ice sheets (also known as firn) affect Earth’s energy balance via a positive surface albedo feedback, where highly reflective snow cover, upon its melt and metamorphism, transitions to a more absorptive surface, warms, and accelerates metamorphism and induces further melt. This albedo feedback can especially affect the surface climate and surface mass balance of ice sheets, where a thick firn layer is home to a complex hydrology that determines, in part, how global warming increases the global mean sea level. In developing the representation of these processes in E3SM and its complex snowpack model, we learn how the massive ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica interact with the rest of the Earth system and can better constrain components of Earth’s climate sensitivity.
Juan Tolento completed his undergraduate degree in Physics at CSU San Luis Obispo. He joined the Zender Group in Fall 2020 after applying through the AGU Bridge Program. Broad research interests lie in radiative transfer models. More specifically, he hopes to be able to make improvements in how models treat shortwave radiation, with the aim being to generate more accurate vertical thermal profiles of the atmosphere.
I am a research scientist in the Zender Research Group. I am trying to figure out which physical processes contribute the most to the recent acceleration of Greenland’s surface melt using data from automatic weather stations, satellite observations, reanalyses, and model simulations. During my Ph.D., I developed a method to reduce the station-tilt-induced biases in radiation measured by automatic weather stations, a long-lasting issue in in-situ measurements. During my postdoc, I collaborated with a former group member, Ajay Saini, to automate this tilt correction procedure for the community to use: https://github.com/jaws/jaws. I am also interested in simulating the climate effects of increased emissions from trans-Arctic shipping and assessing the shrinking Salton Sea’s impact on the air quality in surrounding residential areas.
I am a PhD candidate in the Earth System Science department at UC Irvine. My research focuses on the longwave energy budget of sea ice and how it can be improved in climate models. My work involves updating the Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) to change from a single broadband solution of longwave energy to a more detailed spectrally-resolved solution in order to include spectrally-resolved and surface type dependant emissivities that are more physically realistic into the model. These updates make the model more physically accurate and we hope will improve the representation of sea ice and the atmospheric processes tied to it in the model.
164 Rowland Hall
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-4675