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UCAR CURRENTS

MARCH 2021

NEWS & OPPORTUNITIES

A visualization of smoke from wildfires burning last fall in the Rocky Mountains. 

FREE ONE-HOUR DATA VISUALIZATION TUTORIAL 

NCAR is offering a tutorial on March 17 from 4-5 p.m. Eastern Time on using VAPOR (Visualization and Analysis Platform for Ocean, Atmosphere, and Solar Researchers). VAPOR provides an interactive 3D visualization environment that can produce animations and still-frame images. The tutorial will discuss principles of 3D visualization and demonstrate some of these principles in Vapor.

Registration is due by 1 p.m. Eastern Time on March 16. 

This visualization, made with VAPOR, is of smoke from wildfires burning last fall in the Rocky Mountains. 

UPDATES TO NCAR VISUALIZATION SOFTWARE HAVE BEEN RELEASED

NCAR has released Version 3.3 of the VAPOR visualization package and Version 2021.02.0 of GeoCAT-comp, the computational component of the Geoscience Community Analysis Toolkit. 

 

A graph explaining the seasonal timescales
The 2021 Advanced Studies Program colloquium, The Science of Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Predictions, will be held virtually from July 12-23. Applications are due March 15.
Applications are due June 15 for the UCAR Next Generation Fellowships, which offers two years of support for graduate students in three tracks: Earth System Science, Diversity & Inclusion, and Public Policy.
The cover of the postdocs manual
A new resource created by recent NCAR postdoctoral fellows to help emerging scientists achieve early success in proposal writing and reviewing is now available. “Postdocs to Principal Investigators: How to Organize a Mock Panel Review” can be downloaded from the Opensky platform.
Antonio Busalacchi
The UCAR Board of Trustees has named Antonio J. Busalacchi to a second five-year term. Under Busalacchi’s leadership, UCAR in 2018 signed an agreement with the National Science Foundation to continue its management of NCAR. More recently, he has successfully guided the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic.
UCAR has named Pamitha Weerasinghe as the organization’s new director of government relations and external engagement. Weerasinghe previously worked for the Union of Concerned Scientists and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

SCIENCE POLICY INSIDER

FY22 budget and COVID relief:

The Senate is presently focused on considering the House-passed $1.9 trillion COVID relief stimulus package. The American Rescue Plan, as it’s called, was passed under their budget reconciliation process, which means that the Senate can pass the bill with as few as 50 votes.

The proposal includes nearly $40 billion to assist higher education as well as additional unemployment benefits and aid for state and local governments. The bill is expected to pass the Senate with some modifications, including the removal of the federal $15 minimum wage provision. When the Senate passes their version of the bill, it will go back to the House for what should be a final vote before heading to President Joe Biden’s desk as soon as next week.

The Hill and the Biden Administration have also begun discussions on a seperate infrastructure/highway and economic stimulus package focused on boosting job growth, likely to be taken up by the Congress later in the spring or summer. This bill may also include additional funding for key federal science agency needs or programs.

Lastly, the Biden Administration may submit a “skinny” version of their fiscal year 2022 budget request to Congress later in March, but a fully detailed request is not expected until April or May. That timeline would delay the annual appropriations process, although some subcommittees have now begun hearings.

Climate-focused congressional hearings:

Throughout the month of February, congressional committees held numerous hearings focused on climate change issues. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development all held climate change-related hearings, including on energy and climate innovation, global climate trends, and restoring federal climate leadership. The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee also held a hearing on building back the U.S. research enterprise after the impacts of COVID-19.

Committee membership updates:

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee announced subcommittee structure and leadership for the new Congress. Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper was one of the freshmen who gained a spot on this key authorizing committee. The Senate Appropriations Committee and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee announced its subcommittee leadership and rosters as well.

Cabinet nominee confirmations:

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) was confirmed as Secretary of Energy by a somewhat bipartisan 64-35 vote on Feb. 25, and she is now expected to focus the department’s efforts to accelerate clean energy technologies, especially in the transportation sector. The Senate also voted this week to approve Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s (D) nomination to be the Secretary of Commerce. President Biden has still yet to name his picks to lead NASA and NOAA. For the time being, NASA is being led by Acting Secretary Steve Jurczyk. New National Science Foundation (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan is also expected to remain in his role, having just begun a six-year appointment. Lastly, Gavin Schmidt has been named as NASA's first senior climate adviser, a position created to help integrate the agency’s work into the Biden administration’s climate change agenda.

UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

North American Carbon Program, 7th Open Science Meetings on Friday afternoons
Friday afternoons March 5, 12, 19, 26
Virtual

Software Engineering Assembly's Improving Scientific Software Conference and Tutorials
March 22-26
Virtual
Registration due March 17

8th International Radio Occultation Working Group Meeting - IROWG-8
April 7-9, 12 and 13
Virtual

Space Weather Workshop
April 20-22
Virtual
Poster abstracts due March 26. Registration deadline is April 9.

PIRATA-24/TAV (24th Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic /Tropical Atlantic Variability Meeting)
May 10-14
Virtual 
Abstract due March 12. Registration deadline is May 2.

Tropical Pacific Observing Needs Workshop
May 24-26
Virtual

NCAR | UCAR SCIENCE NEWS

Sea ice on the coast of Alaska

ALASKA THUNDERSTORMS MAY TRIPLE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE

A pair of new papers shows that the sea ice around Alaska could largely give way to open water in the warmer months, creating an ample source of moisture for the atmosphere. This moisture, combined with warmer temperatures that can hold more water vapor, would turbocharge summertime storms over Alaska by the end of the century under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario.

Read more

OZONE POLLUTION LEVELS DROPPED EARLY IN PANDEMIC

During spring and summer of 2020, ozone at 1-8 kilometers (0.6-5 miles) above Earth’s surface fell by 7% on average across the Northern Hemisphere, a new study finds. The decrease is likely explained by curtailed transportation due to COVID-19 quarantines.

Read more

MONSOON HAS LIMITED IMPACT ON MOUNTAIN STREAMFLOW

With climate change leading to diminished snowpack in the Rocky Mountains, a new study warns that summertime rains are unlikely to significantly bolster stream levels. The study focused on a snow-dominated headwater basin of the Colorado River.

Read more

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Cover of REU handbook

WE OFFER SUPPORT FOR RUNNING RESEARCH EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES 

Visit the NCAR website to download the REU handbook, which provides easily accessible information on the steps involved in creating and running a research experience for undergraduates. The guide covers designing an REU, recruiting and selecting students, preparing mentors, team-building, diversity, equity and inclusion, and logistics. Other topics such as program evaluation, safety, anti-harassment training, and publishing are covered as well. 

Learn more

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Copyright ©UCAR 2021, All rights reserved. About our banner image: Visualization of present-day total water vapor as seen in the Community Earth System Model (CESM), see NCAR VizLab animation for more information.

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