Research Theme Overview

Satellite Algorithm Development, Training and Education is a core thematic area of research for CIRA, and we hold over 30 years of experience in developing, demonstrating, transitioning, and training operational users on satellite meteorological products. This expertise spans both national and international operational satellite systems and extends to operational risk-reduction and research-grade systems. We apply this expertise to the development of new satellite algorithms, anticipating future system capabilities, and training forecasters on the capabilities and limitations of satellite-derived information.

The Regional to Global-scale Modeling Systems theme conducts research and development to provide NOAA and the nation with observing, prediction, computer, and information systems that deliver environmental products ranging from local to global predictions of short-range, high impact weather and air quality events to longer-term intra-seasonal climate forecasts.

The Data Assimilation theme encompasses serveral areas of Physics and Mathematics with the goal of developing new and improved data assimilation methodologies, and applying data assimilation to high-dimensional problems in geosciences and engineering, including carbon cycle, weather, climate, and hydrology.

Research conducted under the Climate and Weather Processes theme employs a combination of numerical models and environmental data to understand processes that dictate changes on weather and climate timescales (minutes to months to years) and the two-way interactions between weather systems and regional and global climate. Research related to the hydrologic cycle, carbon exchanges and turbulent flux exchanges all have the ability to influence both weather and climate and thus form the basis of this research theme. Also included are those studies that look at weather systems from a process perspective and the development of data sets intended for climate trend analysis.

The Data Distribution theme area involves research focusing on identifying effective and efficient methods of quickly distributing and displaying very large sets of environmental and model data using data networks, using web map services, data compression algorithms, and other techniques. CIRA is engaged in a number of notable activities under this thematic research area at both the Fort Collins campus and the NOAA Earth System Research Lab in Boulder.

The Social Science Research Group at CIRA performs quantitative social psychology research on key areas of interaction between the public and atmospheric research.

Education and Outreach at CIRA is designed to support the research performed at CIRA, improve the visibility of CIRA research and researchers to the University, within NOAA, and to the community, and to inspire the next generation of research scientists.