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 Atmospheric Physics And Weather (329E): People
Eric  Fetzer's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 169-237
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Eric Fetzer

Eric Fetzer is an atmospheric scientist specializing in satellite observations. He is currently Project Scientist for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) project at JPL. He is also involved with several related research projects using AIRS and other satellite observations of the atmosphere.

  • B.A., Physics, University of California, Berkeley (1980)
  • Ph.D., Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder (1990)

Research Interests
  • Tropical-to-Midlatitude Transport
  • Subtropical Shallow Convection
  • Atmosphere-Ocean Interaction
  • Deep Atmospheric Convection
  • Upper Tropospheric Humidity and Clouds
  • Polar Processes
  • Application of Computer Technology to Climate Studies
  • Public Outreach


The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, AIRS, is an instrument whose goal is to support climate research and improved weather forecasting.

The NASA Energy and Water cycle Study project uses satellite observations to improve predictions of water-related processes in the Earth's climate system.

NASA's Earth Science Program is dedicated to advancing Earth remote sensing and pioneering the scientific use of satellite measurements to improve human understanding of our home planet.

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena (1996 - Present)
    • AIRS Project Scientist (2011 - Present)
    • Research Scientist (2009 - 2011)
    • Member of the Technical Staff (1994 - 2009)
    • Postdoctoral Researcher (1991 - 1994)

Selected Publications
  1. Braverman, A. J., E. J. Fetzer, B. H. Kahn, E. M. Manning, R. B. Oliphant, and J. P. Teixeira (2012), Massive dataset analysis for NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, Technometrics, 54(1), 1-15.
  2. Casey, S. P. F., Fetzer, E. J., and Kahn, B. H. (2012), Revised identification of tropical oceanic cumulus congestus as viewed by CloudSat, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 1587-1595, doi:10.5194/acp-12-1587-2012.
  3. Kahn, B. H., J. Teixeira, E. J. Fetzer, A. Gettelman, S. M. Hristova-Veleva, X. Huang, A. K. Kochanski, M. Köhler, S. K. Krueger, R. Wood, and M. Zhao (2011), Temperature and water vapor variance scaling in global models: Comparisons to satellite and aircraft data, J. Atmos. Sci., accepted.
  4. Pavelsky, T., J. Boé, A. Hall, E. J. Fetzer (2011), Atmospheric inversion strength over polar oceans in winter regulated by sea ice, Clim. Dyn., 36, 945-955.
  5. Wong, S., E. J. Fetzer, B. Kahn, B. Tian and B. Lambrigtsen (2011), Closing the global water vapor budget with AIRS water vapor, MERRA reanalysis, TRMM and GPCP precipitation, and GSSTF surface evaporation, J. Clim., 24, 6307-6321.
  6. Wong, S., E. J. Fetzer, B. Tian, and B. Lambrigtsen (2011), The apparent water vapor sinks and heat sources associated with the Intraseasonal Oscillation of the Indian Summer Monsoon, J. Clim., 24, 4466- 4479.
  7. Yue, Q., B. H. Kahn, E. J. Fetzer, and J. Teixeira (2011), Relationship between marine boundary layer clouds and lower tropospheric stability observed by AIRS, CloudSat, and CALIOP, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D18212, doi:10.1029/2011JD016136.
  8. Dong, S., S. T. Gille, J. Sprintall and E. J. Fetzer (2010), Assessing the potential of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) surface temperature and specific humidity in turbulent heat flux estimates in the Southern Ocean, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 115, C05013, doi:10.1029/2009JC005542.
  9. Guan, B., N. Molotch, D. Waliser, E. Fetzer and P. Neiman (2010), The sensitivity of snow accumulation in the Sierra Nevada to atmospheric river landfalls and local surface air temperatures, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L20401, doi:10.1029/2010GL044696.
  10. Nasiri, S., V. T. Dang, B. H. Kahn, E. J. Fetzer, M. Schreier (2010), Comparisons of collection 5 MODIS and version 5 AIRS cloud top pressure, cloud fraction, and effective brightness temperature, J. Applied Met. Clim., 50, DOI: 10.1175/2010JAMC.
  11. Tian, B., D. E. Waliser, E. J. Fetzer, B. H. Lambrigtsen, and Y. L. Yung (2010), Vertical moist thermodynamic structure of the Madden-Julian oscillation in Atmospheric Infrared Sounder retrievals: An update and a comparison to ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis, Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 4576-4582.
  12. Ye, H., and E. J. Fetzer (2010), Atmospheric moisture content associated with surface air temperatures over northern Eurasia, Int. J. Hydrology, 30, 1463-1471.
  13. Kahn, B. H., A. Gettelman, E. J. Fetzer, A. Eldering, and C. K. Liang (2009), Cloudy and clear-sky relative humidity in the upper troposphere observed by the A-train, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D00H02, doi:10.1029/2009JD011738.
  14. Sherwood, S. C., N. Andronova, E. Fetzer, and R. Kursinski (2009), What can water vapor reveal about past and future climate change?, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(14), 122.
  15. Fetzer, E. J., W. G. Read, D. Waliser, B. H. Kahn, B. Tian, H. Vömel, F. W. Irion, H. Su, A. Eldering, M. de la Torre Juarez, J. Jiang and V. Dang (2008), Comparison of upper tropospheric water vapor observations from the Microwave Limb Sounder and Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D22110, doi:10.1029/2008JD010000.
  16. Fetzer, E. J., (2006), Preface to special section: Validation of Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Observations, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2005JD007020. See Link for a complete list of contributions.
  17. Fetzer, E. J., B. H. Lambrigtsen, A. Eldering, H. H. Aumann, and M. T. Chahine (2006), Biases in total precipitable water vapor climatologies from Atmospheric Infrared Sounder and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D09S16, doi:10.1029/2005JD006598.
  18. Gettelman, A., W. D. Collins, E. J. Fetzer, A. Eldering and F. W. Irion (2006), A satellite climatology of upper tropospheric relative humidity and implications for climate, J. Climate, 23, 6104-6121.
  19. Gettelman, A., E. J. Fetzer, A. Eldering and F. W. Irion, (2006), The global distribution of supersaturation in the upper troposphere from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, J. Climate, 23, 6089-6103.
  20. Pierce, D. W., T. P. Barnett, E. J. Fetzer, and P. J. Gleckler (2006), Three-dimensional tropospheric water vapor in coupled climate models compared with observations from the AIRS satellite system, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L21701, doi:10.1029/2006GL027060.
  21. Tian, B., D. E. Waliser, E. J. Fetzer, B. H. Lambrigtsen, Y. L. Yung and B. Wang, (2006), Vertical moist thermodynamic structure and spatial-temporal evolution of the Madden-Julian oscillation in Atmospheric Infrared Sounder observations, J. Atmos. Sci., 63, 2462-2485.
  22. Fetzer, E. J., J. Teixeira, E. Olsen and E. Fishbein (2004), Satellite remote sounding of atmospheric boundary layer temperature inversions over the subtropical eastern Pacific. Geophys. Res. Lett., vol. 31, L17102, doi:10.1029/2004GL020174.
  23. Gettelman, A., E. M. Weinstock, E. J. Fetzer, F. W. Irion, A. Eldering, E. C. Richard, K. H. Rosenlof, T. L. Thompson, J. V. Pittman, C. R. Webster and R. L. Herman (2004), Validation of Aqua satellite data in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere with in-situ aircraft instruments. Geophys. Res. Lett., vol. 31, L22107, doi:10.1029/2004GL020730.
  24. Fetzer, E. J., and J. C. Gille (1994), Gravity wave variance in LIMS temperatures. Part I: variability and comparison with background winds. J. Atmos. Sci., 51, 2461-2483.
  25. Fetzer, E. J., and J. C. Gille (1996), Gravity wave variance in LIMS temperatures. Part II: comparison with the zonal-mean momentum balance. J. Atmos. Sci., 53, 398-410.

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