|Water vapor is arguably
the most important gas in the atmosphere: it's the primary greenhouse gas,
and when it condenses into clouds/rain, it releases a massive amount of
latent heat, enough to raise the
temperature of near-surface tropical air by
This latent heat release acts like "gasoline" for hurricanes and large scale
circulations in the tropics and extratropics alike. Since warmer air can hold
more moisture, water vapor content will rise rapidly with global warming
(global increases of 10-25% are expected by 2100 in mid-range emissions
My primary research focus is the effect of water vapor on the global
circulation of the atmosphere. I've studied
energy fluxes, the
of the Hadley circulation, the effect of moisture on
and the dynamics of
coupled tropical waves, often in simplified settings with the goal being
a better understanding of how these phenomena work.
As tools for my research, I utilize everything from
climate models and
resolving models to highly idealized
mathematical models (e.g, one-dimensional first baroclinic mode models
of the Walker
circulation). I wrote a
moist general circulation model during my graduate work at
Princeton, which my collaborators and I have used to study the effect of
intensities and the jet stream position, the effect of a
rescaling on the general circulation of the atmosphere, and the role of
condensation on cloud formation on Saturn's moon Titan in addition to some
of the topics listed above.
I am greatly interested in applying the theoretical understanding
developed from the simple and intermediate-complexity models to
paleoclimate and global warming scenarios.
has used these simple theories to show a surprising source of the double ITCZ problem, the most persistent bias of climate models.
A complete list of my publications can be found here.