Dr. Valentina Radic

Dr. Valentina Radic, PhD


The overarching and long-term objective of my research program is to quantify the response of mountain glaciers to climate change on regional and global scales, and to narrow the uncertainties in projections of glacial contributions to regional streamflow and global sea level rise. To address these objectives, I draw on modern quantitative field, modeling and data analysis methods. 

During my PhD (2004-2008), I developed and applied novel numerical and statistical methods to project the contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise in response to future climate forcing scenarios from global climate models.  In addition to projections of glacier mass loss on global scale, my model has identified the regions with the largest potential contribution to future sea level rise (Arctic Canada, Alaska and Antarctic glaciers) and the regions most vulnerable to glacier wastage (European Alps, New Zealand, Caucasus). The latter are projected to lose more than 75% of their current ice volume by 2100.

My postdoctoral research at UBC (2008-2012) focused on a highly detailed study of glacier changes in Western Canada, where significant infrastructure investment in hydropower generation relies on future water resources. As part of the long-term collaborative project between several Canadian universities, I contributed to the development of the Regional Glaciation Model (RGM). The RGM, used to project high-resolution glacier mass and meltwater runoff changes on a regional scale, is the first regional modeling approach that couples a surface mass balance model with an ice dynamics model of high complexity (Clarke et al., 2015).

My research on the projections of glacier mass changes on regional and global scales led me to identify three major sources of uncertainties in the current modeling approaches of glacier melt at these scales: (1) sensitivity to poorly constrained parameters in the semi-empirical models of surface mass balance; (2) sensitivity to the downscaling methods used to convert the large-scale climate variables to sub-kilometer local-scale forcing at glacier surfaces; and (3) poor parameterization of turbulent heat fluxes, an important contributor to energy available for melting, at sloped glacier surfaces. One of my main research goal is to address and narrow these uncertainties. To achieve that goal, we not only need better models and more observations, but also ‘a fresh look at an old problem’

Selected Publications

Foroozand H., Radić V. and S. V. Weijs. Application of entropy ensemble filter in neural network forecasts of tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures. Entropy, 20(207), 2018.

Bach E., Radić V. and C. Schoof. How sensitive are mountain glaciers to climate change? Insights from a block model. J. Glaciol, 2018, 1-12.

Radić V., Menounos B., Shea J., Fitzpatrick N., Tessema M. A. and S. J. Déry. Evaluation of different methods to model near-surface turbulent fluxes for a mountain glacier in the Cariboo Mountains, BC, Canada. The Cryosphere 11, 2017, 2897-2918.

Fitzpatrick N., Radić V.. and B. Menounos. Surface energy balance closure and turbulent flux parameterization on a mid-latitude mountain glacier, Purcell Mountains, Canada. Front. Earth Sci., 5:67, 2017.

Gilbert A., Flowers G. E., Miller G. H., Refsnider K., Young N. E. and V. Radić. The projected demise of Barnes Ice Cap: evidence of an unusually warm 21st century Arctic. Geophys. Res. Lett., 44(6), 2017), 2810-2816.

Aubry T. J., Jellinek A. M., Degruyter W., Bonadonna C., Radić V., Clynne M. and A. Quainoo. Impact of global warming on the rise of volcanic plumes and implications for future volcanic aerosol forcing. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121(22), 2016.