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Climate Dynamics News Archive


Scientists have discovered the cause for an observed slowdown in the Walker Circulation (WC) over the past 60 years, and in the process boosted their confidence in atmospheric models. The WC is a wind pattern in the tropical Pacific that, as it changes from year to year, spawns floods and droughts in North America and…

Linking Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy was dubbed a “Super storm” for its unusual formation. Kerry Cook, a climate scientist at the Jackson School, calls it a hybrid that was “drawing energy from the warm tropical Atlantic, but also from strong temperature gradients associated with the jet stream and the cold front.” Cook cautions against making any direct connection…

Climatologist Rong Fu prefers a bird’s eye view of the Earth’s climate. That’s “birds,” as in satellites, which she uses to study climate processes in remote areas such as the Amazon, the Tibetan Plateau, and tropical oceans. This perspective helps Fu understand how climate changes in these remote areas could have an impact closer to…

The Jackson School of Geosciences’ programs in climate research and education will benefit tremendously from several new high profile faculty and researchers including Kerry Cook. Her research focuses on how Earth’s surface structures—including topography, water, soil, vegetation, geology and human development—affect atmospheric circulation and precipitation and how those impacts in turn affect surface structures. She…

When Robert Dickinson began working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado in 1968, global climate models were crude and wildly inaccurate. “The code I worked with covered Los Angeles with snow,” he laughs. “That was a problem with modeling how frost forms on the ground.” He eventually concluded that the…

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