Kenneth R. Minschwaner

Professor of Physics and Research Physicist with the Geophysical Research Center


Classes I've Taught at Tech:

Research Interests:

I'm interested in the radiative processes governing the photochemistry of the atmosphere and Earth's climate. Most recently, this involves looking at the feedback influence of water vapor in the atmosphere, in collaboration with Andy Dessler at Texas A&M. Here are some pdf files of our water vapor papers. 2004 paper on H2O feedback, 2006 analysis of climate models, 2007 paper on the regulation of tropical upper tropospheric water vapor.

A related research area involves the effect of trace greenhouse gases on the Earth's radiation budget. This project used data from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite ( UARS) to calculate the radiative forcing of climate by methane, nitrous oxide, and CFC-12.

Other research interests include the factors governing the penetration and scattering of solar ultraviolet radiation (including analysis of balloon measurements), molecular spectra (such as oxygen ultraviolet absorption cross sections), I also have worked quite a bit on the physics and chemistry of the stratospheric ozone layer, such as a study concerning the isentropic mixing of midlatitude air into the tropical lower stratosphere

Here is a link to some of the calculations involved in the trace gas lifetimes reevaluation).

Recent Measurements:

One measurment project involved observations of the total column of hydroxyl (OH) in the Earth's atmosphere. We now have several years of data from observations over New Mexico Tech since April of 1996.

A related measurement program involves biologically active UV-B and total column ozone.


Department of Physics
New Mexico Tech
Socorro, NM 87801
phone: 505+835-5226

Department of Physics, New Mexico Tech.