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Eric Fetzer

Photo of Eric Fetzer


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 169-237

Pasadena, CA 91109





Member of:

Atmospheric Physics And Weather


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)

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)

Research Interests

  • Clouds and Water Vapor
  • Boundary Layers and Shallow Clouds
  • Atmospheric Deep Convection
  • Upper Tropospheric Humidity and Clouds
  • Polar Processes
  • Application of Computer Technology to Climate Studies
  • Multi-Instrument Satellite Data Sets

Selected Publications

  1. Guillaume, A., B. H. Kahn,Q. Yue, E. J. Fetzer, S. Wong, G. J. Manipon, H. Hua and B. D. Wilson (2017), Horizontal and vertical scaling of cloud geometry from CloudSat, J. Climate, accepted.
  2. Kahn, B. H., G. Matheou, Q. Yue, T. Fauchez, E. J. Fetzer, M. Lebsock, J. Martins, M. M. Schreier, K. Suzuki, and J. Teixeira (2017), An A-train and MERRA view of cloud, thermodynamic, and dynamic variability within the subtropical marine boundary layer, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 9451-9468,
  3. Ye, H., E. J. Fetzer, S. Wong, and B. H. Lambrigtsen (2017), Rapid decadal convective precipitation increase over Eurasia during the last three decades of the 20th century, Science Advances, 3, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1600944.
  4. Behrangi, A., E. J. Fetzer and S. L. Granger (2016), Early detection of drought onset using near surface temperature and humidity observed from space, Int. J. Remote Sensing, 37:16, 3911-3923, DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2016.1204478.
  5. Devasthale, A., J. Sedlar, B. H. Kahn, M. Tjernström, E. J. Fetzer, B. Tian, J. Teixeira, and T. S. Pagano (2016), A decade of spaceborne observations of the Arctic atmosphere: novel insights from NASA's AIRS Instrument, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(11), 2163-2176.
  6. Field, R. D., G. R. van der Werf, T. Fanin, E. J. Fetzer, R. Fuller, H. Jethva, R. Levy, N. J. Livesey, M. Luo, O. Torres, and H. M. Worden (2016), Indonesian fire activity and smoke pollution in 2015 show persistent nonlinear sensitivity to El Niño-induced drought, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sciences, 113(33), 9204-9209.
  7. Guan, B., D. E. Waliser, F. M. Ralph, E. J. Fetzer, and P. J. Neiman (2016), Hydrometeorological characteristics of rain-on-snow events associated with atmospheric rivers, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, doi:10.1002/2016GL067978.
  8. Li, J. L. F., et al. (2016), Considering the radiative effects of snow on tropical Pacific Ocean radiative heating profiles in contemporary GCMs using A-Train observations, Journal of Geophysical Research. Atmospheres, 121(4), 1621-1636. doi:
  9. Wang, T., E. J. Fetzer, S. Wong, B. H. Kahn, and Q. Yue (2016), Validation of MODIS cloud mask and multilayer flag using CloudSat-CALIPSO cloud profiles and a cross-reference of their cloud classifications, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, doi:10.1002/2016JD025239.
  10. Wong, S., A. D. D. Genio, T. Wang, B. H. Kahn, E. J. Fetzer, and T. S. L'Ecuyer (2016), Responses of tropical ocean clouds and precipitation to the large-scale circulation: atmospheric-water-budget-related phase space and dynamical regimes, J. Clim., 29(19), 7127-7143.
  11. Yue, Q., B. H. Kahn, E. J. Fetzer, Schreier, S. Wong, X. Chen and X. Huang (2016), Observation-based longwave cloud radiative kernels derived from the A-Train, J. Clim., 29, 2023-2040.
  12. Boylan, P., J. Wang, S. A. Cohn, E. Fetzer, E. S. Maddy, and S. Wong (2015), Validation of AIRS version 6 temperature profiles and surface-based inversions over Antarctica using Concordiasi dropsonde data, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, doi:10.1002/2014JD022551.
  13. L'Ecuyer, T. S., H. K. Beaudoing, M. Rodell, W. Olson, B. Lin, S. Kato, C. A. Clayson, E. Wood, J. Sheffield, R. Adler, G. Huffman, M. Bosilovich, G. Gu, F. Robertson, P. R. Houser, D. Chambers, J. S. Famiglietti, E. Fetzer, W. T. Liu, X. Gao, C. A. Schlosser, E. Clark, D. P. Lettenmaier, and K. Hilburn, 2015: The Observed State of the Energy Budget in the Early Twenty-First Century. J. Climate, 28, 8319-8346, doi:
  14. Rodell, M., H. K. Beaudoing, T. S. L'Ecuyer, W. S. Olson, J. S. Famiglietti, P. R. Houser, R. Adler, M. G. Bosilovich, C. A. Clayson, D. Chambers, E. Clark, E. J. Fetzer, X. Gao, G. Gu, K. Hilburn, G. J. Huffman, D. P. Lettenmaier, W. T. Liu, F. R. Robertson, C. A. Schlosser, J. Sheffield, and E. F. Wood, 2015: The Observed State of the Water Cycle in the Early Twenty-First Century. J. Climate, 28, 8289-8318, doi:
  15. Wang, T., S. Wong, and E. J. Fetzer (2015), Cloud regime evolution in the Indian monsoon intraseasonal oscillation: Connection to large-scale dynamical conditions and the atmospheric water budget, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 9465-9472, doi:10.1002/2015GL066353.
  16. Wong, S., E. J. Fetzer, M. Schreier, G. Manipon, E. F. Fishbein, B. H. Kahn, Q. Yue, and F. W. Irion (2015), Cloud-induced uncertainties in AIRS and ECMWF temperature and specific humidity, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 1880-1901, doi:10.1002/2014JD022440.
  17. Kahn, B. H., Irion, F. W., Dang, V. T., Manning, E. M., Nasiri, S. L., Naud, C. M., Blaisdell, J. M., Schreier, M. M., Yue, Q., Bowman, K. W., Fetzer, E. J., Hulley, G. C., Liou, K. N., Lubin, D., Ou, S. C., Susskind, J., Takano, Y., Tian, B., and Worden, J. R.: The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder version 6 cloud products, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 399-426, doi:10.5194/acp-14-399-2014, 2014.
  18. Wong, Sun, T. S. L'Ecuyer, William S. Olson, Xianan Jiang, Eric J. Fetzer, 2014: Local balance and variability of atmospheric heat budget over oceans: Observation and reanalysis-based estimates. J. Climate, 27, 893-913. doi:
  19. Guan, B., N. P. Molotch, D. E. Waliser, E. J. Fetzer, and P. J. Neiman (2013), The 2010/2011 snow season in California's Sierra Nevada: Role of atmospheric rivers and modes of large-scale variability, Water Resources Res., 49, 1-13, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20537.
  20. Ryoo, J.-M., Y. Kaspi, D. W. Waugh, G. N. Kiladas, D. E. Waliser, E. J. Fetzer and J. Kim, 2013: Impact of Rossby wave breaking on U.S. west coast winter precipitation during ENSO events, J. Clim., 26, 6360-6382.
  21. Tian, B., E. J. Fetzer, B. H. Kahn, J. Teixeira, E. Manning, and T. Hearty (2013), Evaluating CMIP5 Models using AIRS tropospheric air temperature and specific humidity climatology, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118, 114-134, doi:10.1029/2012JD018607.
  22. Yue, Q., E. J. Fetzer, B. H. Kahn, S. Wong, G. Manipon, A. Guillaume and B. Wilson (2013), Cloud-state-dependent sampling in AIRS observations based on CloudSat cloud classification, J. Climate, 26, 8357-8377.
  23. Yue, Q., B. H. Kahn, H. Xiao, M. M. Schreier, E. J. Fetzer, J. Teixeira, and K. Suselj (2013), Transitions of cloud-topped marine boundary layers characterized by AIRS, MODIS, and a large eddy simulation model, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 118(15), 8598-8611, doi:


  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. Guan, B., D. E. Waliser, N. P. Molotch, E. J. Fetzer and P. J. Neiman (2012), Does the Madden-Julian Oscillation influence wintertime atmospheric rivers and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada?, Mon. Wea. Rev., 140, 325-342, DOI: 10.1175/MWR-D-11-00087.1
  3. Tian, B., C. O. Ao, D. E. Waliser, E. J. Fetzer, A. J. Mannucci, and J. Teixeira (2012), Intraseasonal temperature variability in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere from the GPS radio occultation measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D15110, doi:10.1029/2012JD017715.
  4. 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., 68, 2156-2168.
  5. Liang, C. K., A. Eldering, A. Gettelman, B. Tian, S. Wong, E. J. Fetzer, and K. N. Liou (2011), Record of tropical interannual variability of temperature and water vapor from a combined AIRS‐MLS data set, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D06103, doi:10.1029/2010JD014841.
  6. 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, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0756-8.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Fetzer, E. J., L. McMillin, D. Tobin, H. H. Aumann, M. R. Gunson, W. W. McMillan, D. E. Hagan, M. D. Hofstadter, J. Yoe, D. Whiteman, J. Barnes, R. Bennartz, H. Vömel, V. Walden, M. Newchurch, P. Minnett, R. Atlas, F. Schmidlin, E. T. Olsen, M. Goldberg, S. Zhou, H. Ding, W. Smith, Sr., H Revercomb, 2003: AIRS / AMSU / HSB Validation, IEEE Transactions Geosci. and Remote Sensing, 41, 418-431.
  15. 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.