AOS Faculty Profile
Address: 366 GFDL
Phone: (609) 452-6565
Email: tom.delworth at noaa.gov
My research is largely focused around decadal to centennial climate variability and change through the synthesis of climate models and observational data. On these time scales, variations of the climate system are a mixture of natural variability and a response of the climate system to changing greenhouse gases and aerosols. Understanding the natural variability of the climate system on decadal scales, and how that interacts with changing radiative forcing, is critical to our ability to detect and predict climate change from the global to the regional scale.
One theme of my research is the role of the ocean in the global climate system. The oceans transport large amounts of heat from the Tropics to higher latitudes, and move heat from the surface to the interior of the ocean. These heat transports play a crucial role in both natural variability of the climate system, and how the climate system responds to changing greenhouse gases and aerosols.
Another theme involves changes in climate extremes such as drought. Small shifts or changes in precipitation patterns can be critical for society. We use high-resolution climate models to better understand and predict precipitation variability and change on decadal time scales, involving both natural variability and the response to radiative forcing changes.
Some Recent Publications:
Delworth, Thomas L., and Fanrong Zeng, August 2014: Regional rainfall decline in Australia attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gases and ozone levels. Nature Geoscience, 7(8), DOI:10.1038/ngeo2201.
Kapnick, Sarah B. , Thomas L Delworth, M Ashfaq, Sergey Malyshev, and P C D Milly, November 2014: Snowfall less sensitive to warming in Karakoram than in Himalayas due to a unique seasonal cycle. Nature Geoscience, 7(11), DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2269
Msadek, Rym , Thomas L Delworth, Anthony Rosati, Whit G Anderson, Gabriel A Vecchi, You-Soon Chang, Keith W Dixon, Rich Gudgel, William F Stern, Andrew T Wittenberg, X-Q Yang, Fanrong Zeng, Rong Zhang, and Shaoqing Zhang, September 2014: Predicting a Decadal Shift in North Atlantic Climate Variability Using the GFDL Forecast System. Journal of Climate, 27(17), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00476.1.
Wittenberg, Andrew T. , Anthony Rosati, Thomas L Delworth, Gabriel A Vecchi, and Fanrong Zeng, April 2014: ENSO modulation: Is it decadally predictable? Journal of Climate, 27(7), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00577.1.
Delworth, Thomas L., Anthony Rosati, Whit G Anderson, Alistair Adcroft, Ventakramani Balaji, Rusty Benson, Keith W Dixon, Stephen M Griffies, Hyun-Chul Lee, Ronald C Pacanowski, Gabriel A Vecchi, Andrew T Wittenberg, Fanrong Zeng, and Rong Zhang, April 2012: Simulated climate and climate change in the GFDL CM2.5 high-resolution coupled climate model. Journal of Climate, 25(8), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00316.1.