Eric Rignot

Picture of Eric Rignot
Donald Bren Professor, Earth System Science
School of Physical Sciences
Senior Research Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Radar Science and Engineering
Chancellor's Professor of Earth System Science, Earth System Science
School of Physical Sciences
Chair, Earth System Science
School of Physical Sciences
Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1991, Electrical Engineering
M.S., University of Southern California, 1988, Electrical Engineering
M.S., University of Southern California, 1987, Aerospace Engineering
Engr., Ecole Centrale Arts et Manufactures Paris, 1985
M.S., University Paris VI, 1986, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Phone: 949 824 3739
Fax: 818 393 5184
University of California, Irvine
Croul Hall
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Glaciology, climate change, radar remote sensing, ice sheet modeling, interferometry, radio echo sounding, ice-ocean interactions
Academic Distinctions
Member of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018
Fellow of American Geophysical Union 2013.
NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal 2012.
NASA Group Achievement Award, IceBridge Mission, 2011.
NASA Group Achievement Award, Ice Sheet System Model, 2011.
National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Service Medal, 2009.
NASA Group Achievement Award, Warm Ice Sounding Explorer Team, 2009.
Bowie Lecture, American Geophysical Union, 2008.
Nobel Peace Prize, co-author IPCC AR4, 2007.
NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 2007.
JPL Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication in 2004.
JPL Level A Award for Technical Achievement, 2004.
NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 2003.
Nomination of "Rignot Glacier, Antarctica" by U. S. Board Geogr. Names, 2003.
JPL Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication in 2002.
JPL Director Lew Allen Award for Excellence in 1998.
IEEE Geos. Rem. Sens. Soc. Award for Best Journal Paper published in 1994.
IEEE Geos. Rem. Sens. Soc. Award for Best Oral Paper at IGARSS'90 Symposium.
12 NASA Certificates of Recognition between 1988 and 1993.
Research Abstract
Our research group is focused on understanding the interactions of ice and climate, in particular to determine how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change in the coming century and how they will affect global sea level.

Our research work combines satellite remote sensing techniques (imaging radar, laser altimetry, radio echo sounding), airborne geophysical surveys, field surveys (GPR, GPS) and numerical modeling (ice sheet system model (ISSM)) and spans from the cold, vast, dry interior regions of Antarctica to the warm, wet, narrow, dynamic glaciers of Patagonia, Chile.

Glaciology mixes different scientific and engineeering disciplines at the corner stone of Earth System Science. Ice interacts with the atmosphere and the surrounding ocean, and has its own internal dynamics. It regroups various scientific disciplines around glaciology.

With the advent of satellites, we have been observing ice sheets at an unprecedented level of spatial detail over vast areas, since 1992. During that time, rapid changes took place in polar and sub-polar regions of broad scientific and societal relevance. This is an exciting time of exploration, discovery and scientific advances, emerging new science of high societal relevance, filled with opportunities to connect with spectacular natural landscapes.

Our research group in glaciology has 10 members at UC Irvine (3 postdocs (Helene Seroussi, Basile de Fleurian, Xu Yun), 4 PhDs (Xin Li, Lu an, Cilan Lai, Hongju), 3 Associate Project Scientists (Jeremie Mouginot, Bernd Scheuchl, Mathieu Morlighem)), 4 members at JPL (3 postdocs (Chris Borstad, Ian Fenty, Feras Habbal), 1 full time researcher (Michael Schodlok)), working on ice sheet numerical modeling, ice-ocean interactions, and remote sensing observations of ice motion in Greenland and Antarctica, and data assimilation methods in collaboration with 3 JPL researchers (Eric Larour, Dimitris Menemenlis, Ala Khazendar) and 2 UC Irvine Professors (Todd Dupont, Isabella Velicogna) and their fellow students and postdocs. We are looking at a steady growth of research activities in cryospheric sciences at UCI in years to come.
J. Bamber, M. van den Broeke, J. Ettema, J. Lenaerts and E. Rignot, Recent large increases in freshwater fluxes from Greenland into the North Atlantic, Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L19501, doi:10.1029/2012GL052552 (2012).
C. P. Borstad, A. Khazendar, E. Larour, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, M.P. Schodlok, and H. Seroussi, Toward a calving law based on continuum damage mechanics, Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L18502, doi:10.1029/2012GL053317 (2012).
A. Shepherd, E. Ivins, A. Geruo, V. R. Barletta, M. Bentley, S. Bettadpur, K. H. Briggs, D. H. Bromwich, R. Forsberg, N. Galin, M. Horwath, S. Jacobs, I. Joughin, M. A. King, J. T. M. Leneaerts, J. Li, S. R. M. Ligtenberg, A. Luckman, S. B. Luthcke, M. McMillan, R. Meister, G. Milne, J. Mouginot, A. Muir, J. P. Nicolas, J. Paden, A. Payne, H. Pritchard, E. Rignot, H. Rott, L. Sorensen, T. Scambos, B. Scheuchl, E. J. O. Schrama, B. Smith, A. Sundal, J. H. van Angelen, W. J. van de Berg, M. van den Broeke, David G. Vaughan, I. Velicogna, J. Wahr, P. Whitehouse, D. J. Wingham, D. Yi, D. Young, J. Zwally, A reconciled estimate of ice sheet mass balance, Science, 338(6111) 1,183-1,189 (2012).
P. Fretwell, H.D. Pritchard, D.G. Vaughan, J.L. Bamber, N.E. Barrand, R. Bell, C. Bianchi, R.G. Bingham, D. D. Blankenship, G. Casassa, G. Catania, D. Callens, H. Conway, A.J. Cook, H.F.J. Corr, D. Damaske, V. Damm, F. Ferraccioli, R. Forsberg, S. Fujita, T. Fu- rukawa, P. Gogineni, J.A. Griggs, G. Hamilton, R.C.A. Hindmarsh, P. Holmlund, J. W. Holt, R.W. Jacobel, A. Jenkins, W. Jokat, T. Jordan, E.C. King, W. Krabill, M. Riger-Kusk, K.Tinto, K.A. Langley, G. Leitchenkov, B.P. Luyendyk, K. Matsuoka, U. Nixdorf, Y. Nogi, O.A. Nost, S.V. Popov, E. Rignot, D. Rippin. A. Riviera, N. Ross, M.J. Siegert, K. Shibuya, A.M. Smith, D. Steinhage, M. Studinger, B. Sun, R.H. Thomas, I. Tabacco, B. Welch, D. A. Young, C. Xiangbin, A. Zirizzotti, Bedmap2: improved ice bed, surface and thickness datasets for Antarctica, The Cryosphere 7, 375-393 (2013).
F. Straneo, P. Heimbach, O. Sergienko, G. Hamilton, G. Catania, S. Griffies, R. Hallberg, A. Jenkins, I. Joughin, R. Motyka, L. Padman, T. W. Pfeffer, S. F. Price, E. Rignot, T. Scambos, M. Truffer and A. Vieli, Challenges to Understand the Dynamic Response of Greenland’s Marine Terminating Glaciers to Oceanic and Atmospheric Forcing, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94(8), 1,131-1,144, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00100.1 (2013).
N. E. Barrand, R. C. A. Hindmarsh, R. J. Arthern, C. R. Williams, J. Mouginot, B. Scheuchl, E. Rignot, S. R.M. Ligtenberg, M. van den Broeke, T. L. Edwards, A. J. Cook and S. B. Simonsen, Computing the volume response of the Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet to warming scenarios to 2200, J. Glaciol., 59(215) 397-409 (2013).
E. Rignot, S. Jacobs, J. Mouginot, B. Scheuchl, Ice shelf melting around Antarctica, Sci- ence, 341(6143), 266-270, DOI:10.1126/science.1235798 (2013).
J. Church, N. White, L. F. Konikow, C. M. Domingues, J. Graham Cogley, E. Rignot, J. Gregory, M. van den Broeke, A. Monaghan and I. Velicogna, Revisiting the Earths sea- level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008, Geophys. Res. Lett. 40(15), 4066-4066, doi:10.1002/grl.50752 (2013).
M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi, E. Larour, E. Rignot, Inversion of basal friction in Antarctica using exact and incomplete adjoints of a higher-order model, J. Geophys. Res., 118 1746- 1753, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20125 (2013).
Y. Xu, E. Rignot, I. Fenty, D. Menemenlis, M. Mar Flexas, Subaqueous melting of Store Glacier, West Greenland from three-dimensional, high-resolution numerical modeling and ocean observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40(17), 4648-4653, doi 10.1002/grl.50825 (2013).
E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, Y. Gim, D. Kirchner, C. Larsen, Low-frequency radar sounding of
temperate ice masses in Southern Alaska, Geophys. Res. Lett., 5399-5405, doi:10.1002/2013GL057452 (2013).
A. Khazendar, M. P. Schodlok, I. Fenty, S. R. M. Ligtenberg, E. Rignot, M. R. van den Broeke, Observed thinning of Totten Glacier linked to coastal polynya variability, Nature Comm. 42857, doi: 10.1038/ncomms3857 (2013).
C. P. Borstad, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, M. P. Schodlok, Creep deformation and buttress- ing capacity of damaged ice shelves: Theory and Application to Larsen C Ice Shelf, The Cryosphere 7, 1931-1947 (2013).
J. Mouginot, E. Rignot, B. Scheuchl, Sustained increase in ice discharge from the Amund- sen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, Geophys. Res. Lett. 41 (5), 1576-1584 (2014).
M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, H. Seroussi, E. Larour, Deeply incised submarine glacial valleys beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet, Nature Geoscience 7, 418-422 (2014).
E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi, B. Scheuchl, Widespread, rapid ground- ing line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica from 1992 to 2011, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(10) 3502-3509 (2014).
P. Dutrieux, C. Stewart, A. Jenkins, K. W. Nicholls, H. F. J. Corr, E. Rignot, K. Steffen, Basal terraces on melting ice shelves, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(15), 5506-5513 (2014).
T. Sutterley, I. Velicogna, E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, T. Flament, M. van den Broeke, J M. van Wessem, C. H. Reijmer, Mass loss of the Amundsen Sea Embayment of West Antarctica from four independent techniques, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41 (23)m 8421-842 (2014).
A.A. Leeson, A. Shepherd, K. Briggs, I. Howat, X. Fettweis, M. Morlighem, E. Rignot, Supraglacial lakes on the Greenland ice sheet advance inland under warming climate, Na- ture Climate Change, 5 (1), 51-55 (2015).
J. Mouginot, E. Rignot, Ice motion of the Patagonia Icefields of South America: 1984-2014, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42(5), 1441-1449 (2015)
E. Rignot, I. Fenty, C. Kemp, X. Yun, C. Cai, Undercutting of Greenland marine-terminating glaciers in deep glacial fjords., Geophys. Res. Lett., bf 42, doi: 10.1002/2015GL064236 (2015).
S. Jacobs, C. Giulivi, P. Dutrieux, E. Rignot, F. Nitsche, J. Mouginot, Getz Ice Shelf melting response to changes in ocean forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 9, 4152-4168, doi 10.1002/jgrc.20298 (2013).
Rignot, E., J. Mouginot, and B. Scheuchl (2011), Ice Flow of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, Science, doi 10.1126/science.1208336.
Rignot, E., J. Mouginot, and B. Scheuchl (2011), Antarctic grounding line mapping from differential satellite radar interferometry, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L10504, doi:10.1029/2011GL047109.
Rignot, E., Velicogna, I., van den Broeke, M.R., Monaghan, A., & Lenaerts, J. (2011) acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L05503-L05508. doi 10.1029/2011GL046583
Professional Societies
Fellow American Geophysical Union
International Glaciological Society
Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science
Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Other Experience
Vice Chair Graduate Studies
UC Irvine 2013—2015
Lead Author IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
UNEP and WMO's Intergovernmental Panel on Climage Change 2010—2014
Contributing Author IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
UNEP and WMO's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2004—2007
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