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Sinead Farrell
Associate Professor


Dr. Sinéad L. Farrell is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Science and in the Department of Geographical Sciences, and leads the Polar Oceans Laser and Radar Altimetry (POLARA) Group. As a consequence of climate change, the Arctic Ocean is rapidly losing its sea ice cover which has serious implications for the climate system, including impacts on Earth's energy budget, global ocean circulation and changes in mid-latitude weather. Widespread economic, ecological and societal impacts of declining sea ice are already evident, including increases in commercial shipping through ice-infested waters, coastal erosion in Alaska and changes in fish and wildlife habitats in subpolar seas. Dr. Farrell studies changes underway in the polar climate system using remote sensing techniques. She analyses observations collected by both satellites and aircraft to better understand the geophysical processes controlling the seasonal and inter-annual variability of Earth’s sea ice.  Her work includes fieldwork deployments to the polar regions to validate satellite sensor measurements. Dr. Farrell is a principal investigator on the NASA ICESat-2 mission and is a member of the mission advisory group for the proposed European Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) Mission. Dr. Farrell received her Ph.D. in Space and Climate Physics from University College London in the UK in 2007.

Areas of Interest

  • Remote sensing
  • Cryosphere science: sea ice and polar oceanography
  • Polar climate dynamics
  • Laser and Radar Altimetry, SAR, and Optical Remote Sensing Techniques
  • Earth system science