Research Associate Professor
Departmental Affiliation: Physics
JCET Research Group: Climate and Radiation
GSFC Code: 613
Phone: (301) 614-6408
Most Recent Publication:
Várnai, T., and A. Marshak (2009), MODIS observations of enhanced clear sky reflectance near clouds, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L06807, doi:10.1029/2008GL037089.
My work focuses on 3-D radiative processes that influence cloud development and satellite measurements of clouds, and on multiview lidar measurements of thick cloud structures.
Dr. Tamas Várnai received his M.Sc. equivalent degree in Meteorology from the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary in 1989. He then joined the Hungarian Meteorological Service for two years, after which he enrolled to McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His research focused on how cloud heterogeneities influence the way clouds reflect solar radiation. After receiving his Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 1996, he continued his research as a post-doctoral fellow first at McGill University, then at the University of Arizona.
In addition to examining the theory of three-dimensional radiative effects, his work also included the development of operational algorithms for the MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer) instrument on board the Terra satellite, calculating the amount of solar radiation clouds reflect.
Dr. Várnai joined JCET in 1999, where he works on estimating the influence of cloud heterogeneities on operational MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) cloud property retrievals and develops cloud property retrieval algorithms for the THOR (THickness from Offbeam Returns) lidar system.