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Allison McComiskey

Chair, Environmental & Climate Sciences Department

Dr. McComiskey is Department Chair of Environmental and Climate Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her research interests are in the radiative forcing of atmospheric constituents, specifically aerosols and clouds, that change in response to human actions and the long-term impact of these changes on the global energy budget. She is an observationalist recognizing the critical role of models that operate at all scales in understanding climate processes, predicting future climate scenarios, guiding renewable energy applications, and informing related policy decisions. Thus, much of her work is undertaken with an eye toward improving and expanding observations for better climate process understanding and integrating measurements and models. Dr. McComiskey currently serves as a Commissioner of the International Radiation Commission, is a member of the AMS Radiation Committee, is the Chair of the Broadband Radiation Working Group of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network, and a co-Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Climate and Radiation. She has a long-standing relationship with the Department of Energy Atmospheric System Research program and Atmospheric Radiation Measurement facility and has served on several of their science and infrastructure advisory committees, currently acting as co-Chair of the Aerosol Measurement Science Group.



  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D., Geography, 2003
  • Northern Arizona University, M.A., Geography, 1998
  • Southern Methodist University, B.S., Anthropology, 1992



  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science

Areas of Interest

  • Atmospheric radiative transfer; ground- and space-based remote sensing
  • Cloud and aerosol radiative forcing of the climate system; spatio-temporal distribution of forcing
  • Use of process- to global-scale observations for climate model evaluation
  • Managing integrative atmospheric observing systems to directly address science questions


  • NOAA Technology Transfer Award, for improving forecasts of turbine-height winds and solar irradiance from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh weather model to improve usage of renewable power by industry, 2017


  • Group Chief Global Radiation Group and Physical Scientist, Global Monitoring Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, 2014-2018
  • Research Scientist II, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder and NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, 03/15/2008-12/26/2014
  • Research Scientist I, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder and NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, 08/01/2003-03/14/2008
  • Assistant Professor, Texas State University, 08/2002-07/2003

External Service

  • Gordon Research Conference for Radiation and Climate, Vice-Chair 2019, Chair 2021
  • Commissioner, International Radiation Commission, 2017-present
  • Member, Radiation Committee of the American Meteorological Society, 2013-2015, 2017-present
  • Chair, Aerosol Measurement Science Group, DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, 2014-present
  • Chair, Atmosphere Collaboration Team, Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, 2014-2017
  • International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere, Radiation and Aerosol Working Groups, 2015-present
  • The Aerosol, Cloud, and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure External Board, 2015

Publications (2014-present)

Sorooshian, A., Anderson, B., Bauer, S. E., Braun, R. A., Cairns, B., Crosbie, E., Dadashazar, H., Diskin, G., Ferrare, R., Flagan, R. C., Hair, J., Hostetler, C., Jonsson, H. H., Kleb, M. M., Liu, H., MacDonald, A. B., McComiskey, A., Moore, R., Painemal, D., Russell, L. M., Seinfeld, J. H., Shook, M., Smith Jr., W. L., Thornhill, K., Tselioudis, G., Wang, H., Zeng, X., Zhang, B., Ziemba, L., and Zuidema, P. Aerosol-Cloud-Meteorology Interaction Airborne Field Investigations: Using Lessons Learned from the US West Coast in the Design of ACTIVATE off the US East Coast. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., accepted (2019).

de Boer, G., M. Ivey, B. Schmid, D. Lawrence, D. Dexheimer, F. Mei, J. Hubbe, A. Bendure, J. Hardesty, M.D. Shupe, A. McComiskey, H. Telg, C. Schmitt, S.Y. Matrosov, I. Brooks, J. Creamean, A. Solomon, D.D. Turner, C. Williams, M. Maahn, B. Argrow, S. Palo, C.N. Long, R. Gao, and J. Mather, 2018: A Bird’s Eye View: Development of an Operational ARM Unmanned Aerial Capability for Atmospheric Research in Arctic Alaska. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi:10.1175/BAMSD-17-0156.1.

Creamean, J. M., Maahn, M., de Boer, G., McComiskey, A., Sedlacek, A. J., and Feng, Y.: The influence of local oil exploration and regional wildfires on summer 2015 aerosol over the North Slope of Alaska, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 555-570, doi:10.5194/acp-18-555-2018, 2018.

Sherman, J. P. and McComiskey, A.: Measurement-based climatology of aerosol direct radiative effect, its sensitivities, and uncertainties from a background southeast US site, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 4131-4152, doi:10.5194/acp-18-4131-2018, 2018.

Calbo, J., C. N. Long, J. A. González, J. Augustine, A. McComiskey. 2017. The thin border between cloud and aerosol: sensitivity of several ground based observation techniques, Atmos. Res., doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2017.06.010.

Kassianov, E., M,.Pekour, C. Flynn, L. K. Berg, J. Beranek, A. Zelenyuk, C. Zhao, R. Leung, P.-L. Ma, L. Riihimaki, J. Fast, J. Barnard, G. Hallar, I. B. McCubbin, E. W. Eloranta, A. McComiskey, P. Rasch. 2017. Large Contribution of Coarse Mode to Aerosol Microphysical and Optical Properties: Evidence from Ground-Based Observations of a Transpacific Dust Outbreak at a High-Elevation North American Site, J. Atmos. Sci., doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0256.1.

Zamora, L. M., Kahn, R. A., Eckhardt, S., McComiskey, A., Sawamura, P., Moore, R., and Stohl, A. 2017. Aerosol indirect effects on the nighttime Arctic Ocean surface from thin, predominantly liquid clouds, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp- 17-7311-2017.

Feingold, G. J. Balsells, F. Glassmeier, T. Yamaguchi, J. Kazil, A. McComiskey. 2017. Analysis of Albedo vs. Cloud Fraction Relationships in Liquid Water Cloud using Heuristic Models and Large Eddy Simulation, J.Geophys. Res-Atmospheres, doi:10.1002/2017JD026467.

Sena, E., A. McComiskey, G. Feingold. A long-term study of aerosol-cloud interactions and their radiative effect at the Southern Great Plains using ground-based measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp-16-11301-2016.

Feingold, G., A. McComiskey, T. Yamaguchi, J. S. Johnson, K.S. Carslaw, and K. S. Schmidt. New Approaches to Quantifying Aerosol Influence on the Cloud Radiative Effect, PNAS,

McComiskey, A. and R. A. Ferrare, 2016: Aerosol Physical and Optical Properties and Processes. The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program: The First 20 Years, Meteor. Monogr., No. 57, Amer. Meteor. Soc., eds., doi:10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0028.1.

Feingold, G. and A. McComiskey, 2016: Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation Research. The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program: The First 20 Years, Meteor. Monogr., No. 57, Amer. Meteor. Soc., eds., doi:. 10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0022.1.

Yamaguchi, T., G. Feingold, J. Kazil, and A. McComiskey. Stratocumulus to cumulus transition in the presence of elevated smoke layers, 2015, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi/10.1002/2015GL066544.

Gao, R.-S., J. W. Elkins, G. J. Frost, A. C. McComiskey, F. L. Moore, D. M. Murphy, J. A. Ogren, I. Petropavlovskikh, and K. H. Rosenlof. 2015. A Novel Approach to Atmospheric Measurements Using Gliding UASs, in Dynamic Data-Driven Environmental Systems Science. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-25138-7.

Attwood, A. R., R. A. Washenfelder, C. A. Brock, W. Hu, K. Baumann, P. Campuzano-Jost, D. A. Day, E. S. Edgerton, D. M. Murphy, B. B. Palm, A. McComiskey, N. L. Wagner, S. S. de Sá, A. Ortega, S. T. Martin, J. L. Jimenez, and S. S. Brown. 2014.Trends in sulfate and organic aerosol mass in the Southeast U.S.: Impact on aerosol optical depth and radiative forcing, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 7701-7709, doi:10.1002/ 2014GL061669.

Lee, S.-S., G. Feingold, A. McComiskey, T. Yamaguchi, I. Koren, J. V. Martins, and H. Yu. 2014. Effects of gradients in biomass burning aerosol on shallow cumulus convective circulations. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1002/2014JD021819.