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Richard Cullather

Richard Cullather

Assistant Research Scientist
Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO), NASA/GSFC &
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, Univ. Maryland at College Park
Email: 
richard.cullather@nasa.gov
Phone: 
301-614-5668

As part of the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, I evaluate the performance of model forecasts and reanalysis products in polar regions. These products include the MERRA-2 atmospheric reanalysis. A special focus is on snow cover and precipitation processes over polar ice sheets, including Greenland. Changes in the ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) – the net of snow accumulation minus meltwater runoff and other wastage terms – are thought to have played a significant role in the loss of total ice sheet mass over the last decade. Through a collaborative effort with the NASA Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory, the model representation of the ice sheet surface has been modified to simulate snow hydrological processes including snow compaction, meltwater percolation, refreezing, and runoff. Work continues on refining the surface snow and firn properties through evaluation with in situ measurements and snowpack profiling from airborne radar. The resulting time series of SMB provided through reanalyses allows for the investigation of interannual variability and forcing mechanisms related to atmospheric circulation and other processes