Dr. Penny RoweResearch Scientist
NorthWest Research Associates
Single scattering params
LBLRTM & DISORT
ResearchMy research interests include retrieving polar trace gas concentrations and cloud properties using measurements of downwelling infrared radiation. My work also seeks to improve our understanding of the atmosphere over the Antarctic Peninsula and Southern Ocean, using measurements made at Escudero Station, as part of the Antarctic Research Group of the Universidad de Santiago de Chile. I am also interested in bringing polar research into the undergraduate classroom using Polar ENgagement through GUided INquiry (PENGUIN) modules. My research interests also include measuring the effects of black carbon on snow in the Andes and in Antarctica, studying surface roughness on ice crystals through SEM images and molecular dynamics, and using molecular dynamics to explore a possibile role for RNA on ice in the origins of life on Earth.
Clouds and trace gases in polar regions
I study the greenhouse effects of clouds and trace gases in the Arctic and Antarctic to understand their contributions to the energy budget. My main collaborators are Von Walden, Chris Cox, Steven Neshyba, and Raul Cordero.
Black carbon in the Chilean Andes
Black carbon is an anthropogenic pollutant that decreases the albedo of ice and snow. In the Chilean Andes, black carbon on glaciers enhances the melt rate. Because glaciers are an important source of drinking water in Chile, glacier loss is a topic of major concern. In July 2015, I will be part of a field expedition (led by Steven Neshyba, in collaboration with Steve Warren of the University of Washington and Raul Cordero of the Universidad de Santiago de Chile) to sample black carbon on snow in the Chilean Andes.
Roughening on ice crystal surfaces
Advances in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) have made it possible to monitor the growth and ablation of ice crystals on the surfaces of ice crystals at resolutions not previously possible. In collaboration with Steven Neshyba, our work has revealed horizontal corrugations, or "trans-prismatic strands", visible on SEM images of ice taken at the University of Puget Sound in collaboration with Steven Neshyba. We also examine consequences of the roughening for light-scattering properties affecting radiative flux and remote sensing.
Molecular dynamics at the ice-vapor interface
Key atmospheric properties of cirrus clouds can ultimately be traced back to molecular processes occurring at the ice-vapor interface. Many of these molecular-level processes can be studied by simulation, using the rapidly-advancing field of molecular dynamics (MD). Recent work, in collaboration with Steven Neshyba, has involved the use of MD to investigate how surface diffusivity affects atmospherically important phenomena, such as the mass accommodation coefficient, and mechanisms underlying ice surface roughness.