Island University Professor Collaborates with NASA to Focus on Climate Projections

Published: May 09, 2014

Island University Professor Collaborates with NASA to Focus on Climate Projections

Dr. Feiqin Xie, Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, recently secured a $354,113 research grant from the Earth Science Division within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Xie’s research proposal titled, “Boundary Layer Cloud Entrainment Study with MODIS, MISR, CALIPSO, GPSRO, AMSR-E Measurements and Global Reanalysis,” was selected to receive funding for three years. Xie will use state-of-the-art NASA satellite technology to study low forming clouds and their impact on future climate projections.     

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2013 report reiterated that clouds, especially the low clouds, remains the largest source of uncertainty in climate projections,” said Xie. “In this project, we will use NASA satellites to study the evolution of low clouds by examining how fast drier air can mix into moist air within a cloud, which is a key process defining the lifetime of clouds.”

Observations taken from multiple NASA satellites will allow Xie to look at the height of clouds, the temperature, winds over the ocean, and how long clouds stay present in the atmosphere. He believes that this study will advance our understanding of the of low cloud formations, which will improve the global climate model simulation and ultimately allow for better future predictions. Out of the 212 proposals received by NASA, only 56 were selected for funding.

Xie will collaborate with researchers from the University of Washington, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Xie’s proposal was selected based on merit, relevance, and responsiveness to NASA program goals and objectives.

“After working at UCLA and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for several years, I am excited to become a member of the beautiful Island University,” said Xie. “I am very happy to see the strong commitment from the College of Science and Engineering and the university to build high-quality research programs in order to train and inspire our highly-energized undergraduate and graduate students.”