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


  • Wind-driven surface energy/mass exchange

    Northern Antarctic Peninsula map by Matthew K. Laffin, Zender, C. S., van Wessem, M., and Marinsek, S. is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
  • Modeling ice sheet climatic mass balance and firn processes

    Variation of densities with depth by Adam M. Schneider, Zender, C.S., and Price, S.F. is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
  • Modeling bare ice and glacier algae albedo

    SNICAR-ADv4 model schematic by Chloe A. Whicker, Flanner, M., Dang, C., Zender, C., Cook J., and Gardner, A. is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
  • Atmospheric Sensitive to a Spectrally Resolved Surface Albedo

  • Greenland’s Surface Melt

  • Evaluating, Modeling, and Attributing Particulate Matter Air Quality in Borrego Springs

  • Climatic Responses to Future Trans-Arctic Shipping

  • Spectrally Resolved and Surface Type Dependent Longwave Emissivity in Sea Ice Modeling


Charlie Zender

Adam Schneider

Juan Tolento

Chloe Whicker

Lili Manzo

Group Alumni

Matthew Laffin

Wenshan Wang

Zachary Wolff


164 Rowland Hall
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-4675