· Climate dynamics, including understanding the mechanisms of climate variability
· Climate modeling, ranging from simple models to general circulation models (GCMs)
· Atmosphere-ocean interactions
· Tropical dynamics
Below are the more specific topics I worked on for my M.S. and Ph.D:
Quantifying The Role of Ocean Dynamics in Ocean Mixed Layer Temperature Variability
It is understood that ocean dynamical processes are fundamental to the El Niño- Southern Oscillation. Does heat transport by ocean currents have an active role in driving climate variability outside of the Tropical Pacific?
To improve our understanding of the role of ocean dynamics in climate variability, I have used observations, reanalyses, and a state-of-the-art ocean state estimate, ECCO (Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean), to quantify the role of ocean dynamics in mixed-layer temperature variability on monthly to decadal timescales across the global oceans.
Consistent with previous studies, the results indicate that the ocean dynamical contribution to temperature variance is largest over the western boundary currents, their extensions, and regions of equatorial upwelling (top panel). However, In contrast to many previous studies, the results suggest that ocean dynamics reduce the variance of Northern Hemisphere mixed-layer temperatures on timescales longer than a few years (bottom panel).
The Sensitivity of Convective Self-Aggregation to Domain Size
During my M.S. degree, I performed idealized simulations of the tropical atmosphere wherein the convection spontaneously self-organizes; a process that is often referred to as "convective self-aggregation". The simulations were performed across wide range of domain sizes, ranging from ~700-6000km across, to better understand how the properties of the convective aggregation change as the domain size is increased. A movie illustrating the evolution of precipitation and precipitable water in the simulation with the largest domain size (6144km x 6144km) is shown below.
The results reveal many important domain-size sensitivities, such the emergence of a 25-30 day oscillation between deep convection and congestus clouds when the model domain size is made sufficiently large. This oscillation of convective aggregation at large spatial scales may provide insights into the largest intraseasonal oscillation in the tropical atmosphere, the Madden-Julian Oscillation.