About Joey

Joey Comiso started his career as a pa­rticle physicist at Florida State University, UCLA, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of Virginia, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory.  He then joined NASA Goddard Space Flight Center when a new program called Mission to Planet Earth was just starting.  Among the mission's key objectives is to understand better how the­­­ unexpected rapid rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affects the climate of our planet, which may be the only entity in the universe with intelligent life. This led to the launch of high performing satellite systems under the Earth Observing System (EOS) and supporting data distribution and global modeling systems. Dr. Comiso was a principal investigator and science team member of several satellite sensor programs under the EOS and chief scientist of aircraft missions to the Arctic and the Antarctic associated with the program. The focus of his studies has been the polar regions where early signals of climate change are expected because of ice-albedo feedback. He developed algorithms that convert satellite data to geophysical parameters that he used to create long term records on ice concentration, surface temperature, cloud cover, and chlorophyll-a concentration. He studied sensible and latent heat polynyas and their role in deep ocean convection and bottom water formation. He was among the first, if not the first, to report a dramatic decline in the Arctic perennial sea ice cover and accelerated warming in the Arctic that have provided unequivocal indicators of climate change.  He has also participated in the Philippine Balik Scientist Program and has collaborated with local scientists in research on smart agriculture, forest cover change, pollution, extreme events, and the detection of schools of fish. He was a coordinating lead author of the IPCC 2014 AR5/WG1 report, recipient of the NASA Outstanding Achievement in Science Medal, and a corresponding member of the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology.

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