Research Associate Professor
Ph D, McGill University (1996)
Other, Eotvos Lorand University (1989)
Prior to joining UMBC in 1999, Dr. Varnai worked as researcher at the Hungarian Meteorological Service, and as postdoctoral fellow at McGill University and at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Varnai’s research aims at improving our ability to measure the properties of clouds and atmospheric aerosols from space, and to use satellite data for better understanding the impact of clouds and aerosols on the solar heating of our planet. He is particularly interested in the way the three-dimensional nature of atmospheric radiative processes affects satellite observations, and in understanding the way atmospheric particle populations change in the vicinity of clouds. His work involves analyzing data from satellite instruments such as MODIS or CALIOP and airborne instruments such as THOR or CAR, and combining the data with theoretical simulations of radiative processes.
Contracts, Fellowships, Grants, and Sponsored Research
Characterizing the impact of clouds and aerosols heterogeneity on satellite remote sensing and shortwave radiation budget SubContract (Currently Under Review) Sponsored by NASA
(2016) Testing the two-layer model for correcting near cloud reflectance enhancement using LES/SHDOM simulated radiances Journal of Geophysical Research
(2016) Radiative characteristics of clouds embedded in smoke derived from airborne multiangular measurements J. Geophys. Res.
(2015) Effect of cloud fraction on near-cloud aerosol behavior in the MODIS atmospheric correction ocean color product Remote Sensing
(2014) CALIPSO observations of near-cloud aerosol properties as a function of cloud fraction Geophys. Res. Lett.
(2014) Extending 3D near-cloud corrections from shorter to longer wavelengths J. Quant. Spect. Radiative Transfer
(2014) Near-cloud aerosol properties from the 1-km resolution MODIS ocean product Journal of Geophysical Research
(2013) Improvement of MODIS aerosol retrievals near clouds Journal of Geophysical Research
(2013) Shape-induced gravitational sorting of Saharan dust during transatlantic voyage: Evidence from CALIOP lidar depolarization measurements Geophysical Research Letters
(2013) Multi-satellite aerosol observations in the vicinity of clouds Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
(2012) CALIPSO observations of transatlantic dust: vertical stratification and effect of clouds Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
(2012) Cloud droplet size retrievals from zenith radiance measurements: examples from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program and the Aerosol Robotic Network Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
(2012) Effect of CALIPSO cloud aerosol discrimination (CAD) confidence levels on observations of aerosol properties near clouds Atmospheric Research
(2012) Taking the pulse of pyrocumulus clouds Atmospheric Environment
(2012) Analysis of co-located MODIS and CALIPSO observations near clouds Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
(2012) A variational method to retrieve the extinction profile in liquid clouds using multiple field-of-view lidar Journal of applied meteorology and climatology
(2011) Cloud Impact on Surface Altimetry From a Spaceborne 532-nm Micropulse Photon-Counting Lidar: System Modeling for Cloudy and Clear Atmospheres IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens.
(2011) Implementation on Landsat data of a simple cloud mask algorithm developed for MODIS land bands IEEE Geosc. & Rem. Sens. Lett.
(2011) Global CALIPSO observations of aerosol changes near clouds IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett.
Scale dependence of cirrus heterogeneity effects. Part I: MODIS thermal infrared channels Atmos. Chem. Phys.
2016 AGU Fall Meeting Oral Presentation Radiative characteristics of clouds embedded in and occurring beneath smoke using airborne multiangular measurements American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 15, 2016)
2016 AGU Fall Meeting Oral Presentation Characterizing the solar reflection from wildfire smoke plumes using airborne multiangle measurements American Geohysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 14, 2016)
2016 AGU Fall Meeting Poster Specular reflection from nearly horizontal ice crystals in EPIC data American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 13, 2016)
2016 AGU Fall Meeting Poster Variations in Earth brightness observed by EPIC American Geophysical Union San Francisco (Dec 13, 2016)
Scientific Meeting to Honor Gyorgy Major Oral Presentation Satellite measurements of atmospheric aerosols in the vicinity of clouds Hungarian Academy of Sciences & Hungarian Meteorological Service Budapest, Hungary (Sep 23, 2016)
Yoram Kaufman Memorial Symposium Oral Presentation Aerosol properties in partly cloudy conditions NASA GSFC Greenbelt, MD (Jun 23, 2016)
2016 MODIS/VIIRS Science Team Meeting Poster Application of an improved correction algorithm to MODIS aerosol retrievals NASA Silver Spring, MD (May 7, 2016)
2016 MODIS/VIIRS Science Team Meeting Oral Presentation MODIS and CALIPSO observations of aerosol properties in partly cloudy conditions NASA Silver Spring, MD (May 7, 2016)
2016 International Radiation Symposium Oral Presentation Testing the two-layer model for estimating cloud-induced clear sky reflectance enhancement using LES/SHDOM computed radiances International Radiation Commission Auckland, New Zealand (Apr 21, 2016)
2016 International Radiation Symposium Oral Presentation Cloud-related variations in aerosol properties observed by MODIS International Radiation Commission Auckland, New Zealand (Apr 20, 2016)
2016 International Radiation Symposium Oral Presentation Theory and possible applications of the spectrally invariant approximation International Radiation Commission Auckland, New Zealand (Apr 17, 2016)
CALIPSO-CloudSat Science Team Meeting Oral Presentation Effect of cloud fraction on near-cloud aerosol behaviors NASA Newport News, VA (Mar 2, 2016)
CALIPSO-CloudSat Science Team Meeting Poster Some technical aspects of a CALIOP and MODIS data analysis that examines near-cloud aerosol properties as a function of cloud fraction NASA Newport News, VA (Mar 1, 2016)
2015 AGU Fall Meeting Oral Presentation Radiative interactions of clouds embedded in wildfire smoke using multiangular airborne observations American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 18, 2015)
2015 AGU Fall Meeting Poster Effect of wildfires on surface reflectance from a savanna ecosystem American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 17, 2015)
2015 AGU Fall Meeting Oral Presentation Impact of cloud and blowing snow on ice sheet altimetry: A comparison between ICESat and ICESat-2 American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 17, 2015)
2015 AGU Fall Meeting Poster An empirical function for bidirectional reflectance characterization for smoke aerosols using multi-angular airborne measurements American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 15, 2015)
2015 AGU Fall Meeting Oral Presentation CALIPSO observations of changes in dust properties during transatlantic transport American Geophysical Union San Francisco, CA (Dec 15, 2015)