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 the behavior of the climate system is a mixture of natural variability combined with the response of the climate system to changing radiative forcing induced by changing greenhouse gases and aerosols. Understanding the natural variability of the climate system on decadal scales is critical to our ability to detect climate change, and to understand the processes responsible for observed change from the global to the regional scale.
One theme of my research is the role of the Atlantic ocean in the climate system. The Atlantic transports approximately 1.3 Petawatts of heat poleward, and fluctuations in this heat transport can have a significant impact on climate. Our recent research has demonstrated that changes in the Atlantic can influence climate over a broad region of the globe, including Indian and African monsoonal rainfall, Atlantic climate conditions that influence hurricane activity, and North American drought. We are actively engaged in trying to better understand the physical processes underlying this variability, and the role of the ocean in the climate system. I am also interested in the influence of the ocean on North American drought, particularly on decadal time scales. We are also engaged in building new climate models that can better simulate the Earth's Climate System, leading to improved understanding and prediction of the Earth's future climate.
Some Recent Publications:
Farneti, Riccardo, Thomas L. Delworth, et al, 2010: The Role of Mesoscale Eddies in the Rectification of the Southern Ocean Response to Climate Change. Journal of Physical Oceanography, doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4353.1
Delworth, Thomas L., and Rong Zhang, et al., 2008: The potential for abrupt change in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation In Abrupt Climate Change: Final Report, Synthesis & Assessment Product 3.4, CSSP, Reston, VA, U.S. Geological Survey, 258-359.
Delworth, Thomas L., et al, 2006: GFDL's CM2 Global Coupled Climate Models. Part I: Formulation and Simulation Characteristics. Journal of Climate, 19(5), doi:10.1175/JCLI3629.1.
Delworth, Thomas L., and Keith W Dixon, 2006: Have anthropogenic aerosols delayed a greenhouse gas-induced weakening of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation? Geophysical Research Letters, 33(2), L02606, doi:10.1029/2005GL024980.