Profile for Claire Parkinson


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Title: Climate Change Senior Scientist and Goddard Senior Fellow
Affiliation: NASA
Contact: E-mail
Code 615
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Office Phone: 301-614-5715
Fax: 301-614-5644

Research Interests

Climate change; Arctic and Antarctic sea ice; satellite remote sensing; climate modeling; history of science and mathematics.

Short Biography

Claire Parkinson has worked at NASA Goddard since July 1978, with a research emphasis on polar sea ice and its connections to the rest of the climate system and to climate change. Much of her work has involved the analysis of sea ice from satellite data, and she is the lead author of an atlas of Arctic sea ice from satellite data and a coauthor of two other sea ice atlases. She has also developed a numerical model of sea ice and has done field work in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Since April 1993, she has additionally been Project Scientist for the Aqua satellite mission, which launched in May 2002 and is transmitting data on many atmospheric, ocean, land, and ice variables. She has written or cowritten several books, including an introductory text on examining the Earth with satellite imagery, a book on climate modeling, and a book on the history of western science from 1202 to 1930. She speaks frequently to teacher and student groups regarding Earth sciences and satellite remote sensing, and she is a science advisor to the Earth/Sky radio program. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and Phi Beta Kappa. 

Climate Change Book


Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix, published in May 2010, deals with many aspects of climate change, past, present, and future. In this book, Claire clarifies some of the most contentious issues in the climate debate while being respectful to all sides. She summarizes the amazing wealth of information that scientists have unraveled about climate change throughout Earth history, the impacts that humans have had in recent times, and the schemes (called 'geoengineering') that are now being proposed to alter climate intentionally. She cautions against massive geoengineering, especially the schemes that insert additional emissions into the atmosphere or oceans or that destroy land or ocean habitats, warning that our understandings remain imperfect and that our predictions of the future, both in the event of geoengineering and in its absence, could be in error. The book is divided into the following Parts and Chapters:

Part I. The Earth System and Its Ever-Changing Nature
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. 4.6 Billion Years of Global Change
Chapter 3. Abrupt Climate Change

Part II. The Human Factor
Chapter 4. A Short History of Human Impacts
Chapter 5. The Future: Why Some People Are So Concerned While Others Aren't

Part III. Good Intentions and Geoengineering
Chapter 6. Good Intentions Gone Awry
Chapter 7. Geoengineering Schemes
Chapter 8. The Record on Smaller-Scale Attempted Modifications

Part IV. Further Cautionary Considerations
Chapter 9. The Possible Fallibility of Even a Strong Consensus
Chapter 10. The Unknown Future: Model Limitations
Chapter 11. Compounding Social Pressures

Part V. Avoiding Paralysis despite Uncertainty
Chapter 12. What Are the Alternatives?
Chapter 13. Closing Plea

 

Women of Goddard: Illustrating the excitement and variety of STEM careers

In 2011, Claire was heavily involved in a "Women of Goddard" project that was a collaboration between NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Maryland Women's Heritage Center. The project resulted in a book entitled Women of Goddard: Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, edited by Claire Parkinson, Pam Millar, and Michelle Thaller, and a set of six posters created by Claire Parkinson and Kevin Miller. All Goddard women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers were encouraged to participate, and 101 submitted entries for the Women of Goddard book, with two additional entries written for two deceased members of the Goddard community. For each of the 103 women included, the book has a page containing a photograph, a short description of the woman's career, and a quote. The six posters highlight, in order, the book, the Hubble Space Telescope, the Sample Analysis at Mars mission, the Space Shuttle, the Earth-observing Aqua satellite, and Goddard Management. Taken as a whole, the book and posters reflect the many possibilities open to individuals with a STEM background, the excitement of NASA missions, and the deep appreciation that many of these Women of Goddard have for their NASA careers. The book and posters can be downloaded here.

Education

Selected Honors and Awards

Professional Society Memberships

Books

Zwally, H. J., J. C. Comiso, C. L. Parkinson, W. J. Campbell, F. D. Carsey, and P. Gloersen, 1983: Antarctic Sea Ice, 1973-1976: Satellite Passive-Microwave Observations, NASA SP-459, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 206 pp.

Parkinson, C. L., 1985: Breakthroughs: A Chronology of Great Achievements in Science and Mathematics, G. K. Hall, Boston, 576 pp.

Washington, W. M., and C. L. Parkinson, 1986: An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling, University Science Books, Mill Valley, California, and Oxford University Press, Oxford, England, 422 pp. [Translated into Chinese, 1991. Second edition, 2005, University Science Books, Sausalito, California, 353 pp.]

Parkinson, C. L., J. C. Comiso, H. J. Zwally, D. J. Cavalieri, P. Gloersen, and W. J. Campbell, 1987: Arctic Sea Ice, 1973-1976: Satellite Passive-Microwave Observations, NASA SP-489, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 296 pp.

Gloersen, P., W. J. Campbell, D. J. Cavalieri, J. C. Comiso, C. L. Parkinson, and H. J. Zwally, 1992: Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice, 1978-1987: Satellite Passive-Microwave Observations and Analysis, NASA SP-511, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 290 pp.

Gurney, R. J., J. L. Foster, and C. L. Parkinson, editors, 1993: Atlas of Satellite Observations Related to Global Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 470 pp.

Parkinson, C. L., 1997: Earth from Above: Using Color-Coded Satellite Images to Examine the Global Environment, University Science Books, Sausalito, California, 176 pp.

Parkinson, C. L., and R. Greenstone, editors, 2000: EOS Data Products Handbook, Volume 2: ACRIMSAT, Aqua, Jason-1, Landsat 7, Meteor 3M/SAGE III, QuikScat, QuikTOMS, and VCL, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, 253 pp.

Parkinson, C. L., A. Ward, and M. D. King, editors, 2006: Earth Science Reference Handbook: A Guide to NASA's Earth Science Program and Earth Observing Satellite Missions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C., 277 pp.

King, M. D., C. L. Parkinson, K. C. Partington, and R. G. Williams, editors, 2007: Our Changing Planet: The View from Space, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 391 pp.

Parkinson, C. L., 2010: Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, 411 pp.

Parkinson, C. L., P. S. Millar, and M. Thaller, editors, 2011: Women of Goddard: Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, 112 pp.

See the following section for selected other publications.

Publications

Parkinson, C.L. (2014). Spatially mapped reductions in the length of the Arctic sea ice season Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 4316-4322
10.1002/2014GL060434

Parkinson, C.L. (2013). Summarizing the first ten years of NASA’s Aqua mission IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 6(3), 1179-1188
10.1109/JSTARS.2013.2239608

Parkinson, C.L., and J.C. Comiso (2013). On the 2012 record low Arctic sea ice cover: Combined impact of preconditioning and an August storm Geophy. Res. Lett, 40, 1-6
10.1002/grl.50349

Parkinson, C., and J.C. Comiso (2013). On the 2012 record low Arctic sea ice cover: Combined impact of preconditioning and an August storm Geophysical Research Letters,, 40, 1-6
10.1002/grl.50349

Ainley, D.G., N. Nur, J. T. Eastman, G. Ballard, C. L. Parkinson, C. W. Evans, and A. L. DeVries (2012). Decadal trends in abundance, size and condition of Antarctic toothfish in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, 1972–2011 Fish and Fisheries, 21
10.1111/j.1467-2979.2012.00474.x.

Boisvert, L., T. Markus, C. L. Parkinson, and T. Vihma (2012). Moisture fluxes derived from EOS Aqua satellite data for the North Water polynya over 2003-2009 Journal of Geophysical Research, 117(D6).
10.1029/2011JD016949

Cavalieri, D.J., and C.L. Parkinson (2012). Arctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979-2010 The Cryosphere, 6, 881-889
10.5194/tc-6-881-2012

Cavalieri, D., C.L. Parkinson, N. DiGirolamo, and A. Ivanoff (2012). Intersensor Calibration Between F13 SSMI and F17 SSMIS for Global Sea Ice Data Records IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 9(2), 233-236
10.1109/LGRS.2011.2166754

Cavalieri, D., and C.L. Parkinson (2012). Arctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979-2010 The Cryosphere, 6, 881-889
10.5194/tc-6-881-2012

Garrott, R. A., J. J. Rotella, D. B. Siniff, C. L. Parkinson, and G. E. Stauffer (2012). Environmental variation and cohort effects in an Antarctic predator Oikos, 121, 1027-1040
10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19673.x

Parkinson, C.L., and D.J. Cavalieri (2012). Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979-2010 The Cryosphere , 6, 871-880
10.5194/tc-6-871-2012

Parkinson, C.L. (2012). Aqua 10 years after launch The Earth Observer, 24(6), 4-17

Parkinson, C.L., and D.J. Cavalieri (2012). Floating ice: Sea ice. In R. S. Williams, Jr., and J. G. Ferrigno (Ed.), Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World: State of the Earth’s Cryosphere at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Glaciers, Global Snow Cover, Floating Ice, Permafrost and Periglacial Environments . (345-380 ). Washington, DC: ), U.S. Geological Survey.

Parkinson, C. L., P. S. Millar, and M. Thaller (2011). Women of Goddard: Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Parkinson, C. L., P. S. Millar, and M. Thaller (Ed.). Greenbelt, Maryland: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Ballard, G., V. Toniolo, D.G. Ainley, C.L. Parkinson, K.R. Arrigo, and P.N. Trathan (2010). Responding to climate change: Adélie penguins confront astronomical and ocean boundaries Ecological Society of America, 91(7), 2056-2069

Ballard, G., V. Toniolo, D. G. Ainley, C.L. Parkinson, K. R. Arrigo, and P. N. Trathan (2010). Responding to climate change: Adélie penguins confront astronomical and ocean boundaries Ecology, 91(7), 2056 - 2069
10.1890/09-0688.1

Parkinson, C.L. (2010). Coming Climate Crisis? Consider the Past, Beware the Big Fix. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Huang, N., Z. Wu, J.E. Pinzon, C.L. Parkinson, S. Long, K. Blank, P. Gloersen, and X. Chen (2009). Reductions of Noise and Uncertainty in Annual Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Data Advances in Adaptive Data Anaylsis, 1(3), 447-460
10.1142/S1793536909000151

Cavalieri, D.J., and C.L. Parkinson (2008). Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979-2006 J. Geophys. Res., 113(C07004), 19 pp
10.1029/2007JC004564

Comiso, J.C., C.L. Parkinson, R. Gersten, and L. Stock (2008). Accelerated decline in the Arctic sea ice cover. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35(L01703), 6 pp
10.1029/2007GL031972

Comiso, J.C., and C.L. Parkinson (2008). Arctic sea ice parameters from AMSR-E data using two techniques and comparisons with sea ice from SSM/I J. Geophys. Res., 113(C02S05), 16 pp
10.1029/2007JC004255

Comiso, J.C., and C.L. Parkinson (2008). Arctic sea ice parameters from AMSR-E using two techniques, and comparisons with sea ice from SSM/I J. Geophys. Res, 113, C02S05
10.1029/2007JC004255

Parkinson, C.L., and J.C. Comiso (2008). Antarctic sea ice parameters from AMSR-E data using two techniques and comparisons with sea ice from SSM/I J. Geophys. Res., 113(C02S06), 15 pp
10.1029/2007JC004253

Parkinson, C.L., and D.J. Cavalieri (2008). Arctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979-2006 J. Geophys. Res., 113(C07003), 28 pp
10.1029/2007JC004558

Parkinson, C.L. (2008). Changes in polar sea ice coverage. In M.C. MacCracken, F. Moore, and J.C. Topping, Jr. (Ed.), Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change: Exploring the Real Risks and How We Can Avoid Them. (pp. 49-62). London: Earthscan.

Parkinson, C.L., and J.C. Comiso (2008). Antarctic sea ice from AMSR-E from two algorithms and comparisons with sea ice from SSM/I J. Geophys. Res, 113(C02S06).
10.1029/2007JC004253

King, M.D., C.L. Parkinson, K.C. Partington, R.G. Williams, and editors (2007). Our Changing Planet: The View from Space. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Koeln, G.T., Y. Naficy, and C.L. Parkinson (2007). Chronicling the destruction of Eden: The draining of the Iraqi marshes. In M.D. King, C.L. Parkinson, K.C. Partington, and R.G. Williams (Ed.), Our Changing Planet: The View From Space. (312-319). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Parkinson, C.L. (2007). Bound together: Arctic sea ice, ocean, and atmosphere. In Our Changing Planet: The View From Space. (232-237). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Parkinson, C.L. (2007). The Great White Ocean: The Arctic’s changing sea ice cover. In M.D. King, C.L. Parkinson, K.C. Partington, and R.G. Williams (Ed.), Our Changing Planet: The View From Space. (226-231). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Ukita, J., M. Honda, H. Nakamura, Y. Tachibana, D.J. Cavalieri, C.L. Parkinson, H. Koide, and K. Yamamoto (2007). Northern Hemisphere sea ice variability: Lag structure and its implications Tellus, 59A, 261-272

Parkinson, C.L., K.Y. Vinnikov, and D.J. Cavalieri (2006). Evaluation of the simulation of the annual cycle of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice coverages by 11 major global climate models J. Geophys. Res., 111(C7)
10.1029/2005JC003408

Parkinson, C.L., A. Ward, M.D. King, and editors (2006). Earth Science Reference Handbook: A Guide to NASA's Earth Science Program and Earth Observing Satellite Missions. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Parkinson, C.L. (2006). Earth's cryosphere: Current state and recent changes Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 31, 33-60

Stirling, I., and C.L. Parkinson (2006). Possible effects of climate warming on selected populatious of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Canadian Arctic Arctic, 59(3), 261-275

Vinnikov, K.Y., D.J. Cavalieri, and C.L. Parkinson (2006). A model assessment of satellite observed trends in polar sea ice extents Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(L05704)
10.1029/2005GL025282

Washington, W.M., and C.L. Parkinson (2005). An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling. Sausalito, California: Univ. Sci. Books.

Comiso, J.C., and C.L. Parkinson (2004). Satellite-observed changes in the Arctic Physics Today, 57(8), 38-44

Parkinson, C.L. (2004). Southern Ocean sea ice and its wider linkages: insights revealed from models and observtions Ant. Science, 16(4), 387-400
10.1017/S0954102004002214

Cavalieri, D.J., C.L. Parkinson, and K.Y. Vinnikov (2003). 30-Year satellite record reveals contrasting Arctic and Antarctic decadal sea ice variability Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(18), 4-1 - 4-4, 1970
10.1029/2003GL018031

Parkinson, C.L. (2003). Aqua: An Earth-observing satellite mission to examine water and other climate variables IEEE Trans. Geosci. and Remote Sens, 41(2), 173-183

Parkinson, C.L., M.T. Chahine, C.D. Kummerow, and V.V. Salomonson (2003). Foreword to the EOS Aqua Special Issue IEEE Trans. Geosci. and Remote Sens., 41(2), 172

Vaughan, D.G., G.J. Marshall, W.M. Connolley, C.L. Parkinson, R. Mulvaney, D.A. Hodgson, J.C. King, C.J. Pudsey, and J. Turner (2003). Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula Climatic Change, 60, 243-274

Parkinson, C.L., and D.J. Cavalieri (2002). A 21 year record of Arctic sea-ice extents and their regional, seasonal and monthly variability and trends Ann. Glaciol., 34, 441-446

Parkinson, C.L. (2002). Arctic Ocean. In M.C. MacCracken and J.S. Perry (Ed.), The Earth System: Physical and Chemical Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. (199-201). Chichester, United Kingdom: Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change.

Parkinson, C.L. (2002). Trends in the length of the Southern Ocean sea-ice season, 1979-99 Ann. Glaciol., 34, 435-440

Vinnikov, K.Y., A. Robock, D.J. Cavalieri, and C.L. Parkinson (2002). Analysis of seasonal cycles in climatic trends with application to satellite observations of sea ice extent Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(9), 24-1 - 24-4, 3041
10.1029/2001GL014481

Zwally, H.J., J.C. Comiso, C.L. Parkinson, D.J. Cavalieri, and P. Gloersen (2002). Variability of Antarctic sea ice 1979-1998 J. Geophys. Res., 107(C5), 9-1 - 9-21
10.1029/2000JC000733