Research Interests of Dr. Konstantin Vinnikov

I am a meteorologist and climatologist. I began my scientific life as a student working with the famous Russian climatologist Mikhail I. Budyko and continued to work with him in the Main Geophysical Observatory and State Hydrological Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia) for many years. My first research was on the energy balance of the atmosphere and the earth-atmosphere system. Then, I participated in the Russian program on satellite observation of the Earth's radiation balance. Later I began work on the global climate change problem and was among the leaders of Russian research on greenhouse global warming. In 1975, I organized the Research Laboratory on Contemporary Climate Change at the State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia. My research interests at that time were monitoring of global and regional climate change, study of climate sensitivity, and the effect of global climate change on water resources. The main results of my work during that period were published in my monograph Climate Sensitivity, in which new methods of empirical study of climate sensitivity were developed.

In 1991 I accepted the invitation of Syukuro Manabe and spent the next two years working as a visiting scientist in his group at GFDL/Princeton University. My main finding during that period was that since contemporary climate models are almost as complicated as nature, the same statistical methods should be applied for both modeling results and observed data if we are going to compare them. This approach convinced me that climatic models are much more realistic than their authors think they are.

In 1993 I moved to the University of Maryland to work with Alan Robock in the Department of Meteorology. Although he moved to Rutgers University in 1998, we still work together on projects related to soil moisture and climate change detection. I was interested in change in land surface hydrology related to climate change on different scales. I have also worked on remote sensing of soil moisture using microwave observations from satellites.

As a member of the Graduate School at the State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia I supervised 6 Ph.D. students from 1975 to 1991: 4 in meteorology, 1 in hydrology and 1 in oceanography. Two of them, Pavel Groisman (NCDC) and John Antonov (NODC), successfully continue their scientific careers in the US. Since 1994, I have been an Adjunct Member of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland. At Maryland, I have been a research advisor, together with Alan Robock, of 3 Ph.D. students. The first of them, Adam Schlosser (at COLA now) received his Ph.D. in 1995, and the second, Jared Entin (at GSFC/NASA now), received his Ph.D. in 1998. A third student, Shuang Qiu, received her M.S. in 1998 and began work for NESDIS/NOAA.

My research was always between numerical models and observations. I always worked with global or large-scale data sets of conventional and satellite-retrieved data to study the ocean-land-atmosphere climatic system. The most significant subject of my current scientific interest is the cryosphere (sea ice and snow cover) and its interaction with atmospheric and hydrospheric processes. More details about my research directions are:

March 8, 2004