A metric that climate scientists rely on, called NDVI, has limitations that may be causing them to misinterpret their results. Fred Huemmrich’s new paper suggests “that there very well may be more ecological change going on at high latitudes than we are perceiving, if we’re leaning on NDVI as the metric we’re using to detect these changes.”
NASA has announced a major award of $72 million over three years for the new Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research (GESTAR) II center. UMBC serves as the lead for a national consortium and will receive over $38 million. Morgan State University serves as the primary partner. The GESTAR II consortium will support over 120 researchers, creating extensive opportunities for breakthroughs in earth and atmospheric science research.
Emissions from household products are on the rise compared to emissions from combustion engines, but their effect on air quality is poorly understood. “So, if we want to have a better understanding of air quality, now and as climate continues to change, we really need to be able to understand how the chemistry changes with this new class of emissions,” says Reem Hannun. “It’s a new, interesting dynamic.”
Physicist Steve Guimond and collaborators have received a new $682,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop, run, and analyze complex hurricane models on supercomputers. However, Guimond might never have received the grant if he hadn’t received a UMBC Strategic Award for Research Transitions (START) first. A new cohort of START funding recipients begins their projects this summer.
Sixteen years of continuous data from NASA’s CERES mission confirm that humans’ role in climate change, indicated by a quantity known as the “radiative forcing,” is the driving factor pulling Earth’s energy budget out of balance. “As far as we can see, the long-term trend in the CERES record seems to be almost entirely accounted for by the radiative forcing,” Ryan Kramer says.
“Now we have so much raw data. So how do we analyze it? How do we make it useful for the research community?” asks Jianwu Wang. As data archives balloon, the capabilities of artificial intelligence are rapidly increasing. There is also an urgent need to understand Earth’s systems as they shift due to climate change. All of these factors drove Wang and his collaborators to find ways to help researchers access satellite data much faster.
The Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey aggregates federal research and development expenditures for fiscal year 2018. The survey data combines total funding from all federal agencies and also provides information on research funding from non-federal and non-governmental sources.
Climate change and other environmental issues like air and water quality disproportionately affect people of color. Today, Demoz sees his role at UMBC as empowering students, especially students from underrepresented backgrounds, to take ownership of their research and contribute to their communities. Eventually, he hopes his graduates will also become mentors and advocates for their own students and colleagues—behaviors he models for them every day.
“As an engineer, I’m looking to develop technology that can make the science happen,” says Dominik Cieslak. That’s exactly what Cieslak and the rest of the team have accomplished with their cubesat, HARP. When it is released from the International Space Station in about a month, it will collect new kinds of information about clouds and tiny particles in the atmosphere to increase our understanding of climate and air quality.
“Hydroxyl radicals control the lifetime of nearly every reactive gas,” including methane, explains Glenn Wolfe. However, “globally, we don’t have a way to directly measure them.” His new research puts scientists on the path to changing that, and toward improving global climate models.
#1: Developing scientist identity. For example, in Ruben Delgado’s lab, “Every undergraduate has a project that they can define when they first start and then fine tune it as they move along,” says Meredith Sperling ’19. “Graduate students and Ruben are great at providing guidance, pointing out possible pitfalls, etc., but at the end of the day it’s really our research and where we want to take it.”