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, February 2016: The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation on climate through its influence on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Journal of Climate, 29(3), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0396.1.
Delworth, Thomas L., Fanrong Zeng, Gabriel A Vecchi, Xiaosong Yang, Liping Zhang, and Rong Zhang, July 2016: The North Atlantic Oscillation as a driver of rapid climate change in the Northern Hemisphere. Nature Geoscience, 9(7), DOI:10.1038/ngeo2738.
Jia, Liwei, Gabriel A Vecchi, Xiaosong Yang, Richard G Gudgel, Thomas L Delworth, William F Stern, Karen Paffendorf, Seth D Underwood, and Fanrong Zeng, June 2016: The Roles of Radiative Forcing, Sea Surface Temperatures, and Atmospheric and Land Initial Conditions in U.S. Summer Warming Episodes. Journal of Climate, 29(11), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0471.1.
Saba, Vincent S., Stephen M Griffies, Whit G Anderson, Michael Winton, M A Alexander, Thomas L Delworth, J A Hare, Matthew J Harrison, Anthony Rosati, Gabriel A Vecchi, and Rong Zhang, January 2016: Enhanced warming of the northwest Atlantic Ocean under climate change. Journal of Geophysical Research, 121(1), DOI:10.1002/2015JC011346.
Zhang, Wei, Gabriel A Vecchi, Hiroyuki Murakami, Thomas L Delworth, Andrew T Wittenberg, Anthony Rosati, Seth D Underwood, Whit G Anderson, Lucas M Harris, Richard G Gudgel, Shian-Jiann Lin, G Villarini, and Jan-Huey Chen, February 2016: Improved Simulation of Tropical Cyclone Responses to ENSO in the Western North Pacific in the High-Resolution GFDL HiFLOR Coupled Climate Model. Journal of Climate, 29(4), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0475.1.
Zhang, Liping, and Thomas L Delworth, in press: Simulated response of the Pacific decadal oscillation to climate change. Journal of Climate. DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0690.1. May 2016.
Zhang, Liping, Thomas L Delworth, and Fanrong Zeng, in press: The impact of multidecadal Atlantic meridional overturning circulation variations on the Southern Ocean. Climate Dynamics. DOI:10.1007/s00382-016-3190-8. May 2016.
Zhang, Rong, R Sutton, G Danabasoglu, and Thomas L Delworth, et al., June 2016: Comment on “The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation without a role for ocean circulation”. Science, 352(6293), DOI:10.1126/science.aaf1660.