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Climate dynamics

PI: Tapio Schneider
Institution: California Institute of Technology
Abstract:
Basic climatic features such as the pole-to-equator surface temperature gradient, the thermal stratification of the atmosphere, and the distribution of atmospheric water vapor are maintained by turbulent fluxes that interact with large-scale radiative processes. For example, the surface temperature gradient between pole and equator results from an interaction between differential heating of the Earth~s surface (the equator is heated more strongly than the poles) and turbulent heat transport. My research, based on theoretical considerations, simulations with climate models of various complexity, and analyses of observational data, focuses on the development of theories of the turbulent fluxes of heat, mass, and water vapor that maintain the global-scale climate. Such theories help us understand the changes in the atmospheric climate that occurred over the Earth~s history and that are likely to occur in the future.

I am planning to use the archive for research on climate change detection and attribution and on the hydrologic cycle of the atmosphere.

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