Summer 2003
Summer 2003 Abstracts

Donald Charity

Willie Gilchrist
L. Creekmore
Vincent Davis
Danielle Graves
Carl Seward
Eunice Smith
Nelson Veale
A. Anderson
Zaccheus Eley
Cory Hill
Karitsa Williams
Tracey Ward
Golar Newby

Linwood CreekmoreLinwood Creekmore

Mentor: Ashwin Mahesh, Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center
Internship: Goddard Space Flight Center, Howard University Fellowship in Atmospheric Sciences, Washington, DC
Title: The Antarctic Standard Atmosphere

Climate models often rely on standard atmospheres to represent various regions. These broadly capture the important physical and radiative characteristics of the regional atmosphere, and become a common benchmark from which simulations can be undertaken. In 1972 standard atmospheric models were created for the tropical, mid-latitude summer, mid-latitude winter, sub-arctic summer, and sub-arctic winter regions of the planet (McClatchey et al, 1972). The Antarctic is the last un-represented region in the list of standard atmospheres currently available. Because the high southern latitudes represent an endpoint in terrestrial climate – this coldest and driest place on Earth – there are no similar regions from which data can be used to represent Antarctica. Moreover, the surface energy balance of the Antarctic is largely determined by the downward longwave radiation, as this is the least known and most variable of the contributing terms. The longwave depends on the atmospheric profiles of temperature and constituent gases. To represent this properly in climate models, profiles of Antarctica that capture the seasonal variations in the atmosphere must be created. Using radiosondes, ozonesondes, and other data from South Pole station, typical profiles for the four seasons will be put together. Together these will constitute the standard profiles of the atmosphere over the Antarctic Plateau. These will be fed into radiative transfer models to determine the sensitivity of climate model calculations to the input profiles.