The Center for Atmospheric Sciences | » M. Patrick McCormick

    • PhD, Physics, College of William and Mary, 1967

    • MA, Physics, College of William and Mary, 1964

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  • M. Patrick McCormick

    For the past 46 years Dr. McCormick’s research has been focused on ground-based, airborne and satellite lidar and limb extinction (occultation) techniques for global characterization of aerosols, clouds, ozone and other atmospheric species.


    Education:      Ph.D. and M.A. Physics, College of William and Mary, 1967 and 1964

    respectively, B.A. Physics, Washington and JeffersonCollege, 1962


    Professional Experience:

    Professor of Physics, HamptonUniversity, 1996 – Present

    Head Aerosol Research Branch, NASALangleyResearchCenter, 1975 – 1996

    Head, Photo-Electronic Instr. Section, NASALangleyResearchCenter, 1970 – 1975

    Research Scientist, NASALangleyResearchCenter, 1967 – 1970


    Professional Societies and Activities: Principal/Co-Principal* Investigator: SAM*, SAM II, SAGE I, SAGE II, SAGE III, LITE and CALIPSO* Satellite Experiments; Member, International Radiation Commission (IRC) (1983-present) ; Founder (1983), Past Chairman (1983-1996), Treasurer (1996-present), International Coordination Group on Laser Atmospheric Studies, IRC ; Past Chairman, AMS Committee on Laser Atmospheric Studies (1979-1985); Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society. Presently serving on NASA’s NAC ESS.


    Awards and Honors

    Arthur S. Flemming Award for Outstanding Young People in Federal Service (1979) ; NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1981) ; H.J.E. Reid Award for the Outstanding Paper of 1990, NASA LaRC ; Jule G. Charney Award, American Meteorological Society

    (1991); NASA Space Act Award (1994) ; NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (1996) ; William T. Pecora Award, NASA and Department of the Interior (1996) ; NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories Outstanding Paper Award (1998) ; NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (2000) ; The Remote Sensing Lecturer Award, American Meteorological Society (2000) ; Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist Award (2007)



    Dr. McCormick has published over 430 papers, journal articles, NASA publications and books, including 270 refereed journal publications. Selected recent publications follow:


    McCormick, M. P., L. W. Thomason & C. R. Trepte, Atmospheric effects of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, Nature, Vol. 373, 399-404, 1995.

    Kovacs, T. A., and M. P. McCormick, Observations of Typhoon Melissa During the Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE), Journal of Applied Meteorology, 42, 1003-1013, 2003.

    McCormick, M. P. Space Lidar for Earth and Planetary Missions. ESA SP-561, 2004.

    McCormick, M. Patrick, Airborne and Spaceborne Lidar. Chapter 13 in Lidar: Range-Resolved Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Claus Weitkamp, editor, Springer, ISBN 0-387-40075-3, 2005.

    Tao, Zongming, M. Patrick McCormick, Dong Wu, and Mark Vaughan, Measurements of Cirrus Cloud Backscatter Color Ratio with a Two-wavelength Lidar, Appl. Opt., 1478-1485, 2008.

    Nazaryan, H., M. P. McCormick, and W. Paul Menzel, Global characterization of cirrus clouds using CALIPSO data, J Geophys. Res., 113, D16211, doi:10.1029/2007JD009481, 2008.

    Tao, Zongming, M. Patrick McCormick, and Dong Wu, A comparison method for spaceborne and ground-based lidar and its application to the CALIPSO lidar Applied Physics B: Lasers and Optics, 91, 639-644, 2008.

    Yang, E.-S., D. M. Cunnold, M. J. Newchurch, R. J. Salawitch, M. P.McCormick, J. M. Russell, III,

    J. M. Zawodny, and S. J. Oltmans, First stage of Antarctic ozone recovery, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D20308, doi:10.1029/2007JD009675, 2008.

    McCormick, M. P., D. M. Winker, E. V. Browell, J. A. Coakley, C. S. Gardner, R. M. Hoff, G.S. Kent, S. H. Melfi, R. T. Menzies, C. M. R. Platt, D. A. Randall and J. A. Reagan, Scientific investigations planned for the lidar in-space technology experiment (LITE), Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 74, 205-214, 1993.

    McCormick, M. P., Spaceborne Lidars, The Review of Laser Engineering, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 89-93, Feb. 1995.

    J. Hansen, M. P. McCormick, and L. Thomason: “A Pinatubo climate modeling investigation, NATO ASI Series, Volume, Sub series I.”, Global Environment Change, Editors: G. Fiocco, D. Fua and G. Visconti: Springer-Verlag (1995).

    Solomon, S., R. W. Portmann, R. R. Garcia, L. W. Thomason, L. R. Poole, and M. P. McCormick, The role of aerosol variations in anthropogenic ozone depletion at northern midlatitudes. J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 101, No. D3, 6713-6727, 1996.

    Winker, D. M.; R. H. Couch, and M. P. McCormick, An Overview of LITE: NASA’s Lidar In-space Technology Experiment, IEEE, Vol. 84, No. 2, 164-180, 1996.

    McCormick, M. P., P-Huan Wang and M. C. Pitts, Background stratospheric aerosol and Polar Stratospheric Cloud reference models,, Advances in Space Research, Vol. 18, No. 9/10, 155-177, 1996.

    Chiou, E. W., M. P. McCormick and W. P. Chu, Global water vapor distributions in the stratosphere and upper troposphere derived from 5.5 years of SAGE II observations, JGR, Vol. 102, No. D15, 19,105-19,118, 1997.

    Hoff, R. M. and M. P. McCormick, Remote sensing of stratospheric aerosols, clouds and gases, NATO ASI Series, Vol. I54. “The Stratosphere and Its Role in the Climate System,” Editor: Guy Brasseur, Springer-Verlag, 1997. 3

    Cuomo, P. Di Girolamo, G. Pappalardo, Spinelli, V. Berardi, M. Armenante, M. P. McCormick, Lidar in Space Technology Experiment correlative measurements by lidar in Potenza, southern Italy, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 103, No. D10, Pages 11,455-11,463, May 27, 1998.

    McCormick, M. P., The flight of SAGE III on ISS, Ed. Mohamed S. El-Genk, NASA CP 458, Space Technology and Applications International Forum, 1999.

    Wang, Pi-Huan, G. S. Kent, K. A. Powell, G. K. Yue, L. R. Poole, and M. P. McCormick, Properties of the 1975 SAM II Antarctic 1.0- micrometer extinction coefficients: Implications of dehydration and seasonal evolution of the Antarctic polar vortex, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 105, No. D7, Pages 9407-9420, April 16, 2000.

    J. Anderson, C. Brogniez, L. Cazier, V. K. Saxena, J. Lenoble, and M. P. McCormick, Characterization of Aerosols from Simulated SAGE III Measurements Applying Two Retrieval Techniques, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 105, No. D2, 2013-2027, 2000.

    Winker, David M., Jacques Pelon, M. Patrick McCormick, The CALIPSO Mission: Spaceborne lidar for observation of aerosols and clouds, Proceedings of the SPIE, Vol. 4893, pp. 1-11, 2003, (SPIE, Crete, Greece, 22-27 September 2002).

    Poole, L. R., J. R. Pelon, M. P. McCormick, CALIPSO: Global aerosol and cloud observations from lidar and passive instruments, Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Remote Sensing, 2002.

    Michelsen, H. A., G. L. Manney, F. W. Irion, G. C. Toon, M. R. Gunson, C. P. Rinsland, R. Zander, E. Manieu, M. J. Newchurch, P. N. Purcell, E. E. Remsberg, J. M. Russell III, H. C. Pumphrey, J. W. Waters, R. M. Bevilacqua, K. K. Kelly, E. J. Hinsta, E. M. Weinstock, E. W. Chiou, W. P. Chu, M. P. McCormick, and C. R. Webster, ATMOS version 3 water vapor measurements: Comparisons with observations from two ER-2 Lyman-A hygrometers, MkIV, HALOE, SAGE II, MAS, and MLS, J. Geophys. Res., 107, No. D3, p.10, 1029, 2002.

    Morris, G. A., J. F. Gleason, J. M. Russell, III, M. R. Schoeberl and M. P. McCormick, A comparison of HALOE V19 with SAGE II V6.00 ozone observations using trajectory mapping, J. Geophys. Res., 107, No. D13, 2002.

    Rind, D. and M. P. McCormick. SAGE III Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents for Solar Lunar Products, Revised March 26, 2002, EOS Project Sci. Office, GSFC, 2002.

    Kovacs, T. A., M. P. McCormick, C. R. Trepte, D. M. Winker, A. Garnier, J. Pelon, Coordination of quid pro quo ground-based measurements of cloud and aerosol optical properties for validation of the CALIPSO mission, Proceedings of SPIE vol. 5653, 281-289, 2004.

    Nazaryan, H., M. P. McCormick, and J. M. Russell III (2005), New studies of SAGE II and HALOE ozone profile and long-term change comparisons. J. Geophys. Res., 110, D09305, 13 pages, 2005.

    Omar, Ali H., Jae-Gwang Won, David M. Winker, Soon-Chang Yoon, Oleg Dubovik, and M. Patrick McCormick, Development of global aerosol models using cluster analysis of Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) measurements. J. Geophys. Res., 110, D10S14, 14 pages, 2005.

    McCormick, M. Patrick, Airborne and Spaceborne Lidar. Chapter 13 in Lidar: Range-Resolved Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Claus Weitkamp, editor, Springer, ISBN 0-387-40075-3, 2005.

    McCormick, M. P., A review and outlook for lidar science including space programs, Reviewed and revised papers presented at the 23rd International Laser Radar Conference, Editors: Chikao Nagasawa and Nobuo Sugimoto, ISBN4-9902916-0-3, 2006.

    Winker, D. M., Jacques Pelon, and M. Patrick McCormick, Initial results from CALIPSO, Reviewed and revised papers presented at the 23rd International Laser Radar Conference, Editors: Chikao Nagasawa and Nobuo Sugimoto, ISBN4-9902916-0-3, 2006

    Yang E.-S., D. M. Cunnold, R. J. Salawitch, M. P. McCormick, J.M. Russell III, J. M. Zawodny, S. Oltmans, M. J. Newchurch, Attribution of recovery in lower-stratospheric ozone, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D17309, doi:10.1029/2005JD006371, 2006.

    Nazaryan, H. , M. P. McCormick, and J. M. Russell III, Comparative analysis of SBUV/2 and HALOE ozone profiles and trends, Geophys. Res., 112, D10304, doi:10.1029/2006JD007367, 2007.

    Project: Nabro Eruption

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    Analysis of the evolution of aerosol transport due to Nabro Eruption using CALIPSO and HYSPLIT model For many decades, people have known the immense effect of volcanic aerosol on the Earth’s atmosphere. Volcanic aerosol can pose a health hazard for any life on earth, as well as get into upper layers of the atmosphere and […]

    Project: Research about Cirrus Clouds

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    As we all know, cirrus clouds play an important role in the Earth’s energy balance. Cirrus clouds have the dual/opposing characteristics depending on the balance between how much energy it traps from ground emitted infrared radiation and how much solar radiation cirrus reflect back to space. Cirrus clouds are distributed largely in tropical areas because […]

    Project: Lidar Examination of Raman Extinction and Scattering

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    Raman Extinctinction and Scattering Using Lidar Returns Raman extinction provides a way to determine constituents of the atmosphere remotely using Lidar.  This can be done using retrieved Lidar and radiosonde data in conjunction with the Raman scattering equation.  Different molecules cause different wavelength shifts in the incident beam, which enables concentrations, densities, etc, to be […]

    Project: Planetary boundary layer (PBL) height detect by fractal dimension (FD) of three-wavelength lidar signals

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    Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) is the important link between the earth’s surface and the free atmosphere. Determination of the PBL heights and the PBL structure is very important for understanding the dynamic of the PBL. The three-wavelength lidar signals can be used to calculate fractal dimension (FD). The the signal of fractal dimension could be […]

    Project: HU Center for Atmospheric Research and Education (CARE)

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    The Atmospheric and Planetary Science (APS) Department at Hampton University (HU) has established the Center for Atmospheric Research and Education (CARE) in collaboration with NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) and partners at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Supported by NASA’s MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) Program, CARE will […]