CAREER: Understanding Moisture Transport and Its Coupling to the Large-scale Energy and Momentum of the Northern Hemisphere Summer Circulation

Lead PI: Tiffany Shaw

Unit Affiliation: Ocean and Climate Physics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

September 2013 - August 2018
North America ; New York City, NY ; New York
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The research objective of this CAREER grant is to build a physical framework that explains the role of moisture transport in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) summer circulation, including its variability and future change. A theoretical framework connecting moisture transport by subtropical anticyclones, Monsoons and baroclinic eddies to energy and momentum transports and the general circulation will be developed. The framework will be used to 1) test and understand the dynamical interactions of the NH summer circulation using idealized numerical model simulations and 2) create process-based diagnostics to validate the NH summer circulation in state-of-the-art climate models and analyze and interpret projected future changes in the circulation and the implications for wet and dry regions on Earth. The educational objectives are to engage teachers in climate research and to incorporate physical concepts into secondary school earth science curriculum. The educational activities involve collaboration with Columbia Secondary School (CSS) a selective sixth- through twelfth-grade title 1 science, engineering and math school. The activities will be coordinated with Columbia University's Summer Research Program (CUSRP) for science teachers, an NSF supported program. The educational activities will 1) engage secondary school teachers in science, which has been shown to positively impact students and other teachers, 2) address a national need to educate the public about climate change science through the development of secondary school earth science curriculum that synthesizes weather and climate within a unifying physical science perspective and 3) encourage the participation of underrepresented minorities in climate science.