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 Aerosols And Clouds (329J): People
Terry  Kubar's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 233-300
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Terry Kubar

Dr. Kubar is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering at UCLA, working remotely at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Aerosols and Clouds Group.  His research interests include satellite remote sensing of clouds, precipitation, and convection using a plethora of multi-sensor A-Train datasets, and he has published several papers on the vertical structure of tropical clouds, radiative forcing of tropical high clouds, high-topped cloud and rain rate relationships, as well as controlling factors of deep convective clouds. Dr. Kubar has also assessed variations of low cloud properties from MODIS and ERA-Interim reanalysis data and their dependence on large-scale dynamics and a new measure of stability to assess the stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition, and to evaluate two versions of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5), both the base model and one which has implemented a new subgrid low cloud parameterization (CAM-CLUBB).  His conditional probability distribution function method is now being implemented into a climate model evaluation web tool in association with the “Climate Model Diagnostic Analyzer” project. 

Dr. Kubar has also used satellite and reanalysis datasets to examine synoptic to subseasonal variations of low clouds and vertical profiles of moist static energy, vertical velocity, temperature, and relative humidity over the southeast Pacific, and has identified strong coherence between boundary layer cloud top height and either potential temperature or relative humidity at or just above cloud top at submonthly timescales. Anomalous cloud fraction, while predicted with skill by measures of stability or moisture, exhibits more noise than cloud top height, and at least some of the variation of cloud fraction can be explained by the shorter periodicity of vertical velocity.  The relationship between increased subsidence and higher low cloud top heights, while at first glance not expected, can be explained by the baroclinic structure of the lower troposphere in the southeast Pacific.    

He is the PI of a three-year NASA ROSES project selected in 2014, entitled: “Radiative and Large-Scale Forcing of Tropical Clouds and Their Controls on High SST Environments Using Multi-Sensor Aqua and ECMWF-Reanalysis Datasets,” and has recently been extensively examining the intimate relationships between SST hot spots, air-sea fluxes, large-scale vertical and horizontal winds, deep convection, and precipitation using satellite observations and reanalysis data on synoptic to interannual timescales in near-equatorial regions characterized by the highest SSTs on the globe, and over which climate sensitivity can be parsed.  This project has firmly established the meteorological setup before, during, and after SST hot spots; during the growth stage of hot spots, the normally persistent easterly winds that dominate the region just south of the equator and just west of the dateline slacken. Ocean temperatures then reach their maximum under the lightest wind conditions, and this, coupled with preceding stronger southeasterlies to the south, help establish an anomalously strong temperature gradient across the domain.  This strong gradient establishes converging low-level airflow towards the highest SSTs, with a switch to westerly winds bringing enhanced unstable air into the region.  This, coupled with anomalously strong low-level convergence, create large-scale ascent, organized deep convection, and maximum precipitation for a sustained period of at least 15-30 days following peak SST.

  • Ph.D. University of Washington (Atmospheric Sciences), 2008
  • B.S. San Jose State University, (Major: Meteorology, Minor: Applied Mathematics), 2003

Professional Experience
  • Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering at UCLA (affiliated with Aerosols and Clouds Group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA)
    • Assistant Research Scientist (2014 – present)
  • Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (affiliated with Climate Physics Group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA)
    • Research Scientist (2011 – 2014)
  • Climate Physics Research Group Earth Science Division – Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
    • Caltech Postdoctoral Research Scholar (2010 – 2011)
  • Climate Physics Research Group Earth Science Division – Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
    • Postdoctoral Research Associated/NASA Fellow (2008 – 2010)

Selected Awards
  • (2015): Was invited and served on the proposal review panel of approximately 20 members for the Atmospheric System Research Program within the Department of Energy’s Office of Science for the Convective Processes Panel near Washington, D.C. in Rockville, MD. 
  • (2014):  Selected Award for NASA ROSES as Principal Investigator of the Science of Terra and Aqua, entitled: “Radiative and Large-Scale Forcing of Tropical Clouds and Their Controls on High SST Environments Using Multi-Sensor Aqua and ECMWF-Reanalysis Datasets”, with funding for three years
  • (2010-2011): Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar,
  • (2008-2010): NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship Award Recipient
  • (2005): University of Washington Department of Atmospheric Sciences forecasting competition champion
  • (2003): Graduate School Top Scholar Award recipient
  • (1999-2003): President’s Scholar (five awards per year), San Jose State University
  • (2001-2003): Golden Key International Honour Society Member
  • (2001-2003: Dean’s Scholar, San Jose State University

Selected Publications
  1. Kubar, T. L., G. L. Stephens, M. Lebsock, V. E. Larson, and P. A. Bogenschutz, 2015: Regional assessments of low clouds against large-scale stability in CAM5 and CAM-CLUBB using MODIS and ECMWF-Interim reanalysis data. J. Climate, 28, 1685-1706.
  2. Kubar, T. L. and A. Behrangi, 2015: The coupling of convection, large-scale atmospheric dynamics, and sea-surface temperature hot spots as characterized by MODIS, TRMM, CERES, and ECMWF-Interim data.  To be submitted to J. Climate. in 12/15.
  3. Kubar, T. L., V. E. Larson, G. Stephens, R. Wood, and M. Lebsock, 2016: Synoptic to Subseasonal Vertical Correlations with MBL Cloud Top Heights over the Southeastern Pacific and Cloud Top Height/Vertical Velocity.  To be submitted to Mon. Wea. Rev.
  4. Terai, C. R., R. Wood, and T. L. Kubar, 2015: Satellite estimates of precipitation susceptibility in low-level marine stratiform clouds.  J. Geophys. Res., 120, 8878-8889.
  5. Li, J.-L.F.,W.-L. Lee, T. Lee, E. Fetzer, J.-Y. Yu, T. L. Kubar, and C. Boening, 2015: The impacts of cloud snow radiative effects on Pacific Ocean surface heat fluxes, surface wind stress, and ocean temperatures in coupled GCM simulations.  J. Geophys. Res., 120, 2242-2260.
  6. Li, J.-L. F., W.-L. Lee, D.E. Waliser, J.-Y., Yu, X. Jiang, T. L'Ecuyer, T. L. Kubar, and E. Fetzer, 2015: The impacts of cloud snow radiative effects on Pacific radiative heating profile in contemporary GCMs using A-Train observations,  J. Geophys. Res., under revision.
  7. Jiang, X., T. L. Kubar, S. Wong, W. S. Olson, and D. E. Waliser, 2014: Modulation of marine low clouds associated with the tropical intraseasonal variability over the eastern Pacific. J. Climate, 27, 5560-5574.  
  8.  Kubar, T.  L., D.  E. Waliser, J.-L. Li, and X. Jiang, 2012: On the annual cycle, variability, and correlations of oceanic low-topped clouds with large-scale circulation using Aqua MODIS and ERA-Interim.  J. Climate, 25, 6152-6174.
  9. Li, J.-L. F., D. E. Waliser, W.-T. Chen, B. Guan, T. L. Kubar, G. Stephens, H-Y Ma, D. Ming, L. Donner, C. Seman, and L. Horowitz, 2012: An observationally based evaluation of cloud ice water in CMIP3 and CMIP5 GCMs and contemporary reanalyses using contemporary satellite data., J. Geophys. Res., 117, D16105, doi:10.1029/2012JD017640.
  10. Lee, J.-E., B. R. Lintner, J. D. Neelin, X. Jiang, P. Gentine, C. K. Boyce, J. B. Fisher, J. T. Perron, T. L. Kubar, J. Lee, and J. Worden, 2012: Reduction of tropical land region precipitation variability via transpiration. Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L19704, doi: 10.1029/2012GL053417.
  11. Kubar, T. L., D. E. Waliser, and J.-L. Li, 2011: Boundary layer and cloud structure controls on tropical low cloud cover using A-Train satellite data and ECMWF analyses.  J. Climate, 24, 194-215.
  12. D. M. Winker, J. Pelon, J. A. Coakley Jr., S. A. Ackerman, R. J. Charlson, P. R. Colarco, P. Flamant, Q. Fu, R. M. Hoff, C. Kittaka, T. L. Kubar, H. Le Treut, M. P. McCormick, G. Mégie, L. Poole, K. Powell, C. Trepte, M. A. Vaughan, and B. A. Wielicki, 2010: The CALIPSO Mission: A Global 3D View of Aerosols and Clouds.  Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 91, 1211-1229.
  13.  Kubar, T. L., D. L. Hartmann, and Wood, R., 2009: Understanding the Importance of Microphysics and macrophysics for Warm Rain in Marine Low Clouds - Part I. Satellite Observations.  J. Atmos. Sci.,66, 2953-2972.
  14. Wood, R., T. L. Kubar, and D. L. Hartmann, 2009: Understanding the importance of microphysics and macrophysics for warm rain in marine low clouds. Part II: Heuristic models of rain formation. J. Atmos. Sci., 66, 2973-2990.
  15. Kubar, T. L. and D. L. Hartmann, 2008: Vertical structure of tropical oceanic convective clouds and its relation to precipitation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L03804, doi: 10.1029/2007GL032811.
  16.  Kubar, T. L., D. L. Hartmann, and R. Wood, 2007: Radiative and convective driving of tropical high clouds.  J. Climate, 20, 5510-5526.
  17. Lopez, M. A., D. L. Hartmann, P. N. Blossey, R. Wood, C. S. Bretherton, and T. L. Kubar, 2009: A test of the simulation of tropical convective cloudiness by a cloud-resolving model.  J. Climate, 22, 2834-2849.

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