Isabella Velicogna is a Professor of Earth System Sciences at the University of California Irvine and a Faculty Part time at NASA/Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. She uses novel geophysical methods and satellite remote sensing techniques to understand the physical processes governing ice sheet mass balance and the hydrologic cycle of high latitude regions, with an emphasis on time-variable gravity from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, follow-on gravity missions, and other geophysical data (GPS, precipitation reanalysis, laser altimetry, regional climate models, and in situ observations).
Areas of Expertise (4)
Sea Level Rise
UCI School of Physical Sciences award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education (professional)
NASA Group Achievement Award (professional)
2013 Ice Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise Team (IMBIE)
University of Trieste, Italy: PhD, Engineering (Geodynamics) 1999
University of Trieste, Italy: MS, Physics 1995
University of Trieste, Italy: BS, Physics 1995
- American Meteorological Society (AMS)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- International Glaciological Society (IGS)
- European Geophysical Union (EGU)
Media Appearances (5)
Meanwhile On The Climate Beat: Greenland Lost 600 Billion Tons of Ice Last Year
The Weather Channel online
“We expect more warm events like the one of 2019 (and 2012) in the future; this is a signature of the rapidly changing climate in the Arctic,” said lead author Isabella Velicogna, an Earth science professor at the University of California at Irvine and a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Greenland Continues Melting! Climate Change Sheds 600 Billion Tons of Ice in 60 Days
Tech Times online
"We knew this past summer had been particularly warm in Greenland, melting every corner of the ice sheet," said lead author Isabella Velicogna, senior project scientist at JPL and a professor at UCI. "But the numbers really are enormous."
NASA Satellites Track How Quickly the Poles Are Melting – Greenland Lost 600 Billion Tons of Ice in 2 Months
“We knew this past summer had been particularly warm in Greenland, melting every corner of the ice sheet,” said lead author Isabella Velicogna, senior project scientist at JPL and a professor at UCI. “But the numbers really are enormous.”
Greenland shed enormous 600B tons of ice last year, scientists warn
Fox News online
"We knew this past summer had been particularly warm in Greenland, melting every corner of the ice sheet," said lead author Isabella Velicogna, senior project scientist at JPL and a professor at the University of California, Irvine, in a statement. "But the numbers really are enormous."
Greenland shed ice at unprecedented rate in 2019; Antarctica continues to lose mass
Science Daily online
"We knew this past summer had been particularly warm in Greenland, melting every corner of the ice sheet, but the numbers are enormous," said lead author Isabella Velicogna, UCI professor of Earth system science and JPL senior scientist.
Satellite detection of varying seasonal water supply restrictions on grassland productivity in the Missouri basin, USARemote Sensing of Environment
A Geruo, Isabella Velicogna, Meng Zhao, Andreas Colliander, John S Kimball
2020 Climate observations indicate more frequent drought in recent years, and model predictions suggest that drought occurrence will continue to rise with global warming. Understanding drought impacts on ecosystem functioning requires accurate quantification of vegetation sensitivity to changes in water supply condition. This is complicated by the seasonal variation in plant structural and physiological response to water stress, especially for semi-arid grasslands with characteristic strong spatial and temporal variability in carbon uptake.
Below-surface water mediates the response of African forests to reduced rainfallEnvironmental Research Letters
Nima Madani, John S Kimball, Nicholas C Parazoo, Ashley P Ballantyne, Torbern Tagesson, Lucas A Jones, Rolf H Reichle, Paul I Palmer, Isabella Velicogna, A Anthony Bloom, Sassan Saatchi, Zhihua Liu, A Geruo
2020 Terrestrial ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) is the largest land-atmosphere carbon flux and the primary mechanism of photosynthetic fixation of atmospheric CO2 into plant biomass. Anomalous rainfall events have been shown to have a great impact on the global carbon cycle. However, less is known about the impact of these events on GPP, especially in Africa, where in situ observations are sparse.
Planning for a Changing Mountain Hydroclimate: Using Large Ensembles to Assess Future Risks (Invited Presentation)100th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting
Sarah Kapnick, Thomas L Delworth, Hoi Ga Chan, William F Cooke, Paul Ginoux, S Malyshev, Salvatore Pascale, DB Kirschbaum, Thomas A Stanley, Isabella Velicogna
2020 Large ensembles are useful tools for providing probabilistic estimates of future climate. For climate extremes, they are critical for generating sufficient data to quantify climate risk exposure. For regions of the world where adaptation is closely tied to historical records, large ensembles provide estimates of future shifts in the mean state and variability. Understanding changes in the statistics of climate are critical for effective risk management.
Self‐Consistent Ice Mass Balance and Regional Sea Level From Time‐Variable GravityEarth and Space Science
Tyler C. Sutterley, Isabella Velicogna, Chia‐Wei Hsu
2020 Measurements of time‐variable gravity from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and the GRACE Follow‐on (GRACE‐FO) missions are an invaluable tool for monitoring changes in the mass of the Earth's glaciated regions. We improve upon estimates of glacier and ice sheet mass balance from time‐variable gravity by including instantaneous spatiotemporal variations in sea level.
Evaluation of Regional Climate Models Using Regionally Optimized GRACE Mascons in the Amery and Getz Ice Shelves Basins, AntarcticaGeophysical Research Letters
Yara Mohajerani, Isabella Velicogna, Eric Rignot
2019 We develop regionally optimized Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) solutions to evaluate the mass balance of the drainage basins of Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, and Getz Ice Shelf, West Antarctica. We find that the Amery region is near balance, while the Getz region is rapidly losing mass.