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Exploring Sea Ice, Climate Warming Link - Biographies
Meet Mark Serreze, Senior Research Scientist, National Snow and Ice Data Center

Image of Mark SerrezeMark Serreze is an Arctic climate research scientist who works at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. NSIDC is part of the University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

In 2005, Serreze completed with Roger Barry the textbook, The Arctic Climate System, published by Cambridge University Press. He reported on the 2005 Arctic sea ice minimum and its larger relation to Arctic and global climate, and Serreze's paper, "The Arctic Amplification Debate" was accepted for publication in the Journal, Climate Change.

Currently, Serreze is evaluating causes for the declining sea ice cover and studying aspects of the Arctic's large-scale heat and freshwater budgets. He's also examining the role of Greenland and the surrounding area on cyclone development and poleward heat and moisture transports.

(Related Links: + NSIDC | + Mark Serreze | + Arctic Sea Ice News 2006 | + The Arctic Climate System | + NSIDC 2005 sea ice minimum press release)

Meet Josefino C. Comiso, Senior Scientist at the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA

Image of Josefino ComisoJosefino Comiso is a senior scientist at the Cryospheric Sciences Branch of the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. At Goddard, he co-authored the first satellite atlases on sea ice that revealed for the first time the true extent and spatial distribution of sea ice in the polar regions. He also generated the first detailed maps of surface temperatures in the polar regions as derived from thermal infrared satellite data.

His research led to new insights into many important processes in the polar regions. Those include the role of sensible and latent heat polynyas ("Polyna" is a Russian word meaning "an enclosed area of unfrozen water surrounded by ice") and the Greenland Sea Odden on ocean convection and bottom water formation. The “Odden” is a large sea ice feature that forms in the east Greenland Sea that may protrude eastward to 5°E from the main sea ice pack (at about 8°W) between 73° and 77°N. It generally forms at the beginning of the winter season and can cover 300,000 km2 (115,800 sq. miles).

His research also includes the influence of sea ice on phytoplankton blooms and the warming signals revealed by sea ice in the polar oceans. He has been a member of satellite sensor teams and has developed algorithms for the retrieval of sea ice concentration, surface temperature, albedo, and clouds. He was the chief scientist in many NASA aircraft missions that included a flight over a nuclear submarine in the Arctic and has participated in many Antarctic field programs. In addition to the three sea ice atlases, he is the author or co-author of several book chapters and more than a hundred refereed journal articles.

He received his Masters Degree in Physics from Florida State University and Ph. D. in physics from the University of California in Los Angeles. He held a post-doctoral position at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and worked as a senior consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation before joining NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

(Related Links: + Arctic Ice Meltdown Continues With Significantly Reduced Winter Ice Cover | + Josefino Comiso's Publications | + 2005: Arctic Sea Ice Continues to Decline, Arctic Temperatures Continue to Rise In 2005 | + 2004: NASA Eyes Ice Changes Around Earth's Frozen Caps | + 2003: NASA Earth Observatory: Dwindling Arctic Ice)

Meet Claire Parkinson, Climatologist in NASA's Oceans and Ice Branch, and Sea Ice Expert

Image of Claire ParkinsonClaire L. Parkinson has been a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center since July 1978 and a Senior Fellow at Goddard since 2005. Her research emphasis has been on polar sea ice and its connections to the rest of the climate system and to climate change, with a particular emphasis on satellite remote sensing. She has also developed a computer model of sea ice, has done field work in both the Arctic and the Antarctic, and is the lead author of an atlas of Arctic sea ice from satellite data and a coauthor of two other sea ice atlases. Since April 1993, she has additionally been Project Scientist for the Aqua satellite mission, which launched in May 2002 and is transmitting data on many atmospheric, ocean, land, and ice variables. She has also written an introductory book on examining the Earth with satellite imagery, has coauthored a university textbook on climate modeling, has coedited a book on satellite observations related to global change, and is lead editor of a Data Products Handbook for NASA's Earth Observing System and lead editor of a NASA Earth Science Reference Handbook published in 2006. Outside of her NASA work, she has written a book on the history of western science from 1202 to 1930. She has been pleased these past two years to be working with Ian Stirling, a polar bear expert from the Canadian Wildlife Service, examining the possible impacts of sea ice on the polar bear populations.

Claire has a B.A. in mathematics from Wellesley College, where she was elected to both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, and a Ph.D. in climatology from Ohio State University. She received in 2001 a NASA Exceptional Service Medal for her work in educational outreach, in 2003 a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for her work on the Aqua satellite mission, and in 2004 the Goldthwait Polar Medal from the Byrd Polar Research Center for her sea ice research (the first female recipient). She is a Fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and Phi Beta Kappa.

(Related Links: + Warming Climate May Put Chill On Arctic Polar Bear Population | + 2005: Arctic Sea Ice Continues to Decline, Arctic Temperatures Continue to Rise In 2005 | + 2003: Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Marching To Different Drivers | + 2002: Satellites Show Overall Increases in Antarctic Sea Ice Cover)

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Polar Bear Image Courtesy of Robert Taylor