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Towards a Better Understanding of Climate and Climatic Change Through Satellite Remote Sensing

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February 9, 2012
Chris O'Dell
Hosted by Chris Kummerow

Abstract

For over three decades, the climate science community has sought to clarify the most important forcing and feedback mechanisms related to global climate change. Significant uncertainties remain in our projections of climate change, in particular related to the myriad of feedback mechanisms in the earth system. These can operate on a variety of time scales. The "fast" feedback mechanisms, such as those related to clouds and water vapor, operate on time scales of days to several years. The "slow" feedbacks, such as those related to the large ice sheets and the carbon cycle, operate on decadal and longer timescales. In this talk, I will discuss my past, present, and likely future remote-sensing research, and its potential to reduce uncertainty in these feedbacks, through satellite-based observations of clouds, water vapor, the earth's energy budget, and the global carbon cycle.