Eric Wolf

Eric Wolf
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP)

PhD

About

106
Publications
15,400
Reads
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2,887
Citations
Citations since 2017
91 Research Items
2736 Citations
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Introduction
In the most general sense, I am interested in the study of planetary atmospheres and their evolution. My work is theoretical and computational. My primary tools are general circulation models, line-by-line and correlated-k radative transfer models, and cloud and aerosol microphysical models. ​Go to my website at http://storyofthewolf.wixsite.com/erictwolf
Additional affiliations
May 2014 - present
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Research Associate
May 2014 - present
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
September 2007 - May 2014
University of Colorado Boulder
Field of study
  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
Full-text available
On water-dominated planets, warming from increased solar insolation is strongly amplified by the water vapor greenhouse feedback. As the Sun brightens due to stellar evolution, Earth will become uninhabitable due to rising temperatures. Here we use a modified version of the Community Earth System Model from the National Center for Atmospheric Resea...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of low-mass stars and cool dwarfs have received significant scrutiny recently because their shorter orbital periods increase their chances of detection and characterization compared to planets around G-dwarfs. As these planets are likely tidal-locked, improved 3D numerical simulations of such planeta...
Article
Full-text available
Low-mass stars show evidence of vigorous magnetic activity in the form of large flares and coronal mass ejections. Such space weather events may have important ramifications for the habitability and observational fingerprints of exoplanetary atmospheres. Here, using a suite of three-dimensional coupled chemistry–climate model simulations, we explor...
Article
Full-text available
The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) project was initiated to compare 3D climate models that are commonly used for predicting theoretical climates of habitable zone extrasolar planets. One of the core models studied as part of THAI is ExoCAM, an independently curated exoplanet branch of the National Center for Atmospheric Rese...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rocky planets orbiting M-dwarf stars are among the most promising and abundant astronomical targets for detecting habitable climates. Planets in the M-dwarf habitable zone are likely synchronously rotating, such that we expect significant day-night temperature differences, and potentially limited fractional habitability. Previous studies have focus...
Article
Planets in synchronous rotation around low-mass stars are the most salient targets for current ground- and space-based missions to observe and characterize. Such model calculations can help to prioritize targets for observation with current and future missions; however, intrinsic differences in the complexity and physical parameterizations of vario...
Article
Full-text available
With an increased focus on the observing and modeling of mini-Neptunes, there comes a need to better understand the tools we use to model their atmospheres. In this Paper, we present the protocol for the Comparing Atmospheric Models of Extrasolar Mini-Neptunes Building and Envisioning Retrievals and Transits, CAMEMBERT, project, an intercomparison...
Preprint
Full-text available
With an increased focus on the observing and modelling of mini-Neptunes, there comes a need to better understand the tools we use to model their atmospheres. In this paper, we present the protocol for the CAMEMBERT (Comparing Atmospheric Models of Extrasolar Mini-neptunes Building and Envisioning Retrievals and Transits) project, an intercomparison...
Preprint
Planets in synchronous rotation around low-mass stars are the most salient targets for current ground- and space-based missions to observe and characterize. Such model calculations can help to prioritize targets for observation with current and future missions; however, intrinsic differences in the complexity and physical parameterizations of vario...
Article
Full-text available
The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) is a community project that aims to quantify how differences in general circulation models (GCMs) could impact the climate prediction for TRAPPIST-1e and, subsequently, its atmospheric characterization in transit. Four GCMs have participated in THAI: ExoCAM, LMD-Generic, ROCKE-3D, and the U...
Article
Full-text available
With the commissioning of powerful, new-generation telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes, the first characterization of a high molecular weight atmosphere around a temperate rocky exoplanet is imminent. Atmospheric simulations and synthetic observables of target exoplanets are essen...
Article
Full-text available
To identify promising exoplanets for atmospheric characterization and to make the best use of observational data, a thorough understanding of their atmospheres is needed. Three-dimensional general circulation models (GCMs) are one of the most comprehensive tools available for this task and will be used to interpret observations of temperate rocky e...
Article
Full-text available
A key item of interest for planetary scientists and astronomers is the habitable zone: the distance from a host star where a terrestrial planet can maintain necessary temperatures in order to retain liquid water on its surface. However, when observing a system’s habitable zone, it is possible that one may instead observe a Venus-like planet. We def...
Preprint
Full-text available
A key item of interest for planetary scientists and astronomers is the habitable zone, or the distance from a host star where a terrestrial planet can maintain necessary temperatures in order to retain liquid water on its surface. However, when observing a system's habitable zone, it is possible that one may instead observe a Venus-like planet. We...
Preprint
The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) project was initiated to compare 3D climate models that are commonly used for predicting theoretical climates of habitable zone extrasolar planets. One of the core models studied as part of THAI is ExoCAM, an independently curated exoplanet branch of the National Center for Atmospheric Rese...
Preprint
To identify promising exoplanets for atmospheric characterization and to make the best use of observational data, a thorough understanding of their atmospheres is needed. 3D general circulation models (GCMs) are one of the most comprehensive tools available for this task and will be used to interpret observations of temperate rocky exoplanets. Due...
Preprint
The TRAPPIST-1 Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) is a community project that aims to quantify how dfferences in general circulation models (GCMs) could impact the climate prediction for TRAPPIST-1e and, subsequently its atmospheric characterization in transit. Four GCMs have participated in THAI so far: ExoCAM, LMD-Generic, ROCKE-3D and t...
Preprint
With the commissioning of powerful, new-generation telescopes such as the JWST and the ELTs, the first characterization of a high molecular weight atmosphere around a temperate rocky exoplanet is imminent. The best target we have so far of a potentially habitable planet accessible to these telescopes is TRAPPIST-1e. Numerical atmospheric simulation...
Article
Full-text available
For decades, the scientific community has been trying to reconcile abundant evidence for fluvial activity on Noachian and early Hesperian Mars with the faint young Sun and reasonable constraints on ancient atmospheric pressure and composition. Recently, the investigation of H2-CO2 collision-induced absorption has opened up a new avenue to warm Noac...
Article
Full-text available
The era of atmospheric characterization of terrestrial exoplanets is just around the corner. Modeling prior to observations is crucial in order to predict the observational challenges and to prepare for the data interpretation. This paper presents the report of the TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison workshop (2020 September 14-16). A rev...
Preprint
Full-text available
The era of atmospheric characterization of terrestrial exoplanets is just around the corner. Modeling prior to observations is crucial in order to predict the observational challenges and to prepare for the data interpretation. This paper presents the report of the TRAPPIST Habitable Atmosphere Intercomparison (THAI) workshop (14-16 September 2020)...
Preprint
Low-mass stars show evidence of vigorous magnetic activity in the form of large flares and coronal mass ejections. Such space weather events may have important ramifications for the habitability and observational fingerprints of exoplanetary atmospheres. Here, using a suite of three-dimensional coupled chemistry-climate model (CCM) simulations, we...
Article
Full-text available
Much attention has been given to the climate dynamics and habitable boundaries of synchronously rotating planets around low mass stars. However, other rotational states are possible, particularly when higher eccentricity orbits can be maintained in a system, including spin-orbit resonant configurations. Additionally, the oscillating strain as a pla...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of terrestrial exoplanets is uncovering increasingly diverse architectures. Of particular interest are those systems that contain exoplanets at a variety of star-planet separations, allowing direct comparison of exoplanet evolution (comparative planetology). The Kepler-1649 system contains two terrestrial planets similar both in size...
Preprint
Much attention has been given to the climate dynamics and habitable boundaries of synchronously rotating planets around low mass stars. However, other rotational states are possible, particularly when higher eccentricity orbits can be maintained in a system, including spin-orbit resonant configurations. Additionally, the oscillating strain as a pla...
Preprint
The discovery of terrestrial exoplanets is uncovering increasingly diverse architectures. Of particular interest are those systems that contain exoplanets at a variety of star-planet separations, allowing direct comparison of exoplanet evolution (comparative planetology). The Kepler-1649 system contains two terrestrial planets similar both in size...
Preprint
Full-text available
Variations in the reflective properties of the bulk material that comprises the surface of land-dominated planets will affect the planetary energy balance by interacting differently with incident radiation from the host star. Furthermore, low-mass cool stars, such as nearby M8V dwarf TRAPPIST-1, emit a significant fraction of their flux in longer w...
Article
Full-text available
Here we use a 3‐D climate system model to study the habitability of Earth‐like planets orbiting in circumbinary systems. In the most extreme cases, Earth‐like planets in circumbinary systems could experience variations in the incident stellar flux of up to ~50% on ~100‐day timescales. However, we find that Earth‐like planets, having abundant surfac...
Article
We present self-consistent three-dimensional climate simulations of possible habitable states for the newly discovered habitable-zone Earth-sized planet TOI-700 d. We explore a variety of atmospheric compositions, pressures, and rotation states for both ocean-covered and completely desiccated planets in order to assess the planet's potential for ha...
Article
Full-text available
TRAPPIST-1 is a fantastic nearby (∼39.14 light years) planetary system made of at least seven transiting terrestrial-size, terrestrial-mass planets all receiving a moderate amount of irradiation. To date, this is the most observationally favourable system of potentially habitable planets known to exist. Since the announcement of the discovery of th...
Preprint
TRAPPIST-1 is a fantastic nearby (~39.14 light years) planetary system made of at least seven transiting terrestrial-size, terrestrial-mass planets all receiving a moderate amount of irradiation. To date, this is the most observationally favourable system of potentially habitable planets. Since the announcement of the discovery of TRAPPIST-1 planet...
Article
Full-text available
Stellar evolution models predict that the solar luminosity was lower in the past, typically 20-25% lower during the Archean (3.8-2.5 Ga). Despite the fainter Sun, there is strong evidence for the presence of liquid water on Earth’s surface at that time. This “faint young Sun problem” is a fundamental question in paleoclimatology, with important imp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Stellar evolution models predict that the solar luminosity was lower in the past, typically 20-25 % lower during the Archean (3.8-2.5 Ga). Despite the fainter Sun, there is strong evidence for the presence of liquid water on Earth's surface at that time. This "faint young Sun problem" is a fundamental question in paleoclimatology, with important im...
Preprint
Full-text available
We report the detection of the first circumbinary planet found by TESS. The target, a known eclipsing binary, was observed in sectors 1 through 12 at 30-minute cadence and in sectors 4 through 12 at two-minute cadence. It consists of two stars with masses of 1.1 MSun and 0.3 MSun on a slightly eccentric (0.16), 14.6-day orbit, producing prominent p...
Article
The search for water-rich Earth-sized exoplanets around low-mass stars is rapidly gaining attention because they represent the best opportunity to characterize habitable planets in the near future. Understanding the atmospheres of these planets and determining the optimal strategy for characterizing them through transmission spectroscopy with our u...
Preprint
Upcoming telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), or the Extremely Large Telescope (ELTs), may soon be able to characterize, through transmission, emission or reflection spectroscopy, the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets orbiting nearby M dwarfs. One of the most promising candidates is the late M dwarf system TRAPPIST-1 which has se...
Article
Full-text available
Upcoming telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) or the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) may soon be able to characterize, through transmission, emission or reflection spectroscopy, the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets orbiting nearby M dwarfs. One of th...
Article
Full-text available
Small exoplanets of nearby M-dwarf stars present the possibility of finding and characterizing habitable worlds within the next decade. TRAPPIST-1, an ultracool M-dwarf star, was recently found to have seven Earth-sized planets of predominantly rocky composition. The planets e, f, and g could have a liquid water ocean on their surface given appropr...
Article
Full-text available
We are on the verge of characterizing the atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zones of M dwarf stars. Due to their large planet-to-star radius ratios and higher frequency of transits, terrestrial exoplanets orbiting M dwarf stars are favorable for transmission spectroscopy. In this work, we quantify the effect that water clouds h...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present the discovery and validation of a three-planet system orbiting the nearby (31.1 pc) M2 dwarf star TOI-700 (TIC 150428135). TOI-700 lies in the TESS continuous viewing zone in the Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere; observations spanning 11 sectors reveal three planets with radii ranging from 1 R to 2.6 R and orbital periods ranging from 9.98 t...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present the discovery and validation of a three-planet system orbiting the nearby (31.1 pc) M2 dwarf star TOI-700 (TIC 150428135). TOI-700 lies in the TESS continuous viewing zone in the Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere; observations spanning 11 sectors reveal three planets with radii ranging from 1 R$_\oplus$ to 2.6 R$_\oplus$ and orbital periods r...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present self-consistent three-dimensional climate simulations of possible habitable states for the newly discovered Habitable Zone Earth-sized planet, TOI-700 d. We explore a variety of atmospheric compositions, pressures, and rotation states for both ocean-covered and completely desiccated planets in order to assess the planet's potential for h...
Article
Full-text available
We present the discovery and validation of a three-planet system orbiting the nearby (31.1 pc) M2 dwarf star TOI-700 (TIC 150428135). TOI-700 lies in the TESS continuous viewing zone in the Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere; observations spanning 11 sectors reveal three planets with radii ranging from 1 R_⊕ to 2.6 R_⊕ and orbital periods ranging from 9....
Preprint
Full-text available
Robustly modeling the inner edge of the habitable zone is essential for determining the most promising potentially habitable exoplanets for atmospheric characterization. Global climate models (GCMs) have become the standard tool for calculating this boundary, but divergent results have emerged among the various GCMs. In this study, we perform an in...
Article
Full-text available
The TRAPPIST-1 system, consisting of an ultracool host star having seven known Earth-sized planets, will be a prime target for atmospheric characterization with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). However, the detectability of atmospheric molecular species may be severely impacted by the presence of clouds and/or hazes. In this work, we perform...
Preprint
We are on the verge of characterizing the atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zones of M dwarf stars. Due to their large planet-to-star radius ratios and higher frequency of transits, terrestrial exoplanets orbiting M dwarf stars are favorable for transmission spectroscopy. In this work, we quantify the effect that water clouds h...
Preprint
The search for water-rich Earth-sized exoplanets around low-mass stars is rapidly gaining attention because they represent the best opportunity to characterize habitable planets in the near future. Understanding the atmospheres of these planets and determining the optimal strategy for characterizing them through transmission spectroscopy with our u...
Preprint
Full-text available
Small exoplanets of nearby M dwarf stars present the possibility to find and characterize habitable worlds within the next decade. TRAPPIST-1, an ultracool M dwarf star, was recently found to have seven Earth-sized planets of predominantly rocky composition. The planets e, f, and g can have a liquid water ocean on their surface given appropriate at...
Article
Full-text available
Planets that revolve around a binary pair of stars are known as circumbinary planets. The orbital motion of the stars around their center of mass causes a periodic variation in the total instellation incident upon a circumbinary planet. This study uses both an analytic and numerical energy balance model to calculate the extent to which this effect...
Preprint
Full-text available
The TRAPPIST-1 system, consisting of an ultra-cool host star having seven known Earth-size planets will be a prime target for atmospheric characterization with JWST. However, the detectability of atmospheric molecular species may be severely impacted by the presence of clouds and/or hazes. In this work, we perform 3-D General Circulation Model (GCM...
Preprint
Full-text available
Planets that revolve around a binary pair of stars are known as circumbinary planets. The orbital motion of the stars around their center of mass causes a periodic variation in the total instellation incident upon a circumbinary planet. This study uses both an analytic and numerical energy balance model to calculate the extent to which this effect...
Preprint
Full-text available
Habitability is a measure of an environment's potential to support life, and a habitable exoplanet supports liquid water on its surface. However, a planet's success in maintaining liquid water on its surface is the end result of a complex set of interactions between planetary, stellar, planetary system and even Galactic characteristics and processe...
Preprint
Full-text available
We use a one-dimensional (1-D) cloud-free climate model to estimate habitable zone (HZ) boundaries for terrestrial planets of masses 0.1 M$_{E}$ and 5 M$_{E}$ around circumbinary stars of various spectral type combinations. Specifically, we consider binary systems with host spectral types F-F, F-G, F-K, F-M, G-G, G-K, G-M, K-K, K-M and M-M. Scaling...
Article
Full-text available
Upcoming telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) or the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) may soon be able to characterize, through transmission spectroscopy, the atmospheres of rocky exoplanets orbiting nearby M dwarfs. One of the most promising candida...
Article
Full-text available
Up in smoke Extensive and intense wildfires in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in 2017 injected large quantities of smoke into the stratosphere. Yu et al. used satellite observations and modeling to characterize the history and chemistry of that smoke. The smoke rose to altitudes between 12 and 23 kilometers within 2 months owing to sola...