Events & News
Climate Change to Alter Global Pattern of Mild Weather
A new report led by former CICS Researcher Karin van der Wiel (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) includes the first global analysis of how climate change may affect the frequency of mild-weather days, which are defined as having temperatures between 64 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 30 degrees Celsius) with low rain and humidity. The current global average of 74 mild days a year will drop by 10 days by 2100, with mid-latitude areas such as the United States experiencing more mild days and tropical areas seeing more hot and humid days. The paper, published January 18 in the journal Climatic Change, is coauthored by GFDL Physical Scientist Sarah Kapnick, a former AOS postdoctoral research associate, and Gabe Vecchi, a lecturer in Geosciences who worked on the research while at GFDL. NOAA Release
Winter 2017 Poster Expo at GFDL: Registration Deadline
GFDL is hosting a Poster Expo on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 1pm-4pm. The Winter Expo is an opportunity for GFDL/AOS/CICS scientists to share their research with colleagues. Posters are limited to 30; new or existing posters are acceptable. Register by 5pm on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.
How Much longer can Antarctica’s Hostile Ocean Delay Global Warming?
Article in Nature describes efforts by CICS Director Jorge Sarmiento (George J. Magee Professor of Geosciences and Geological Engineering, Princeton University/SOCCOM Director) and collaborators to gather first real-time data on processes that govern carbon in the Southern Ocean.
It has been long accepted that climate models project a large-scale rainfall decline in the future over the subtropics. A new study, led by CICS Scientist Jie He, an AOS postdoctoral research associate, and coauthored by Brian Soden (RSMAS), a former AOS postdoc, finds that most of the subtropical rainfall decline occurs over ocean, not land, suggesting that its impact on people living in the subtropical regions could be less severe than previously thought. The lack of rainfall decline over subtropical land is attributed to the faster land warming relative to the ocean. The paper was published recently in the journal, Nature Climate Change.
The Impact of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on Springtime Dust Activity in Syria
The increasing trend of aerosol optical depth in the Middle East and a recent severe dust storm in Syria have raised questions as to whether dust storms will increase and promoted investigations on the dust activities driven by the natural climate variability underlying the ongoing human perturbations such as the Syrian civil war. A new study, led by CICS Scientist Bing Pu, an AOS associate research scholar, and coauthored by Paul Ginoux, a GFDL physical scientist, examines the influences of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on dust activities in Syria using an innovative dust optical depth (DOD) dataset derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Deep Blue aerosol products. The study was published recently in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Coarse-grained Component Concurrency in Earth System Modeling
In nature, the many processes that make up the Earth system take place simultaneously, for instance the condensation of water vapor into clouds, and the blocking of sunlight by those clouds. In computer simulations, these often take place in sequence. The authors of a recent study, led by CICS Scientist V. Balaji, head of the Modeling System Group at GFDL, demonstrate how to make these processes also execute in parallel in computer simulations. The study was published in Geoscientific Model Development and coauthored by AOS Faculty Member Isaac Held, among others.
Human-caused climate warming increased the chances of the torrential rains that unleashed devastating floods in south Louisiana in mid August by at least 40 percent, according to a team of GFDL/Princeton University and partner scientists with World Weather Attribution (WWA) who conducted a rapid assessment of the role of climate on the historic heavy rain event. AOS Postdoctoral Research Associate Karin van der Wiel, a CICS researcher, led the assessment. The team also included Sarah Kapnick, a physical research scientist at GFDL, and AOS Faculty Member Gabe Vecchi, among others. The rapid assessment was submitted to the open access journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, which has an open online peer review process. The work was supported by CICS.
Washington Post article New York Times article Climate Central article
A recent paper led by CICS Researcher Levi Silvers, an AOS associate research scholar, shows that a GCM in Radiative Convective Equilibrium is sufficiently similar across a range of domain sizes to justify the use of RCE to study both a GCM and a high resolution model on the same domain with the goal of improved constraints on the parameterized clouds. Despite similar climate states between domains, the climate feedback parameter varies by more than a factor of two. This variation is related to both shortwave and longwave cloud radiative effects. The study was published in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.
The authors of a new study, led by former AOS Postdoctoral Research Fellow Thomas Frölicher (ETH Zurich), provide a first holistic assessment of the magnitude of changes and the sources of uncertainty in 21st century projections of potential ocean ecosystem stressors at global and regional scales. This has been accomplished by analyzing output from a range of Earth system models that participated in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). The paper, coauthored by Keith Rodgers (AOS/CICS), Charlie Stock (GFDL), and William Cheung (NF-UBC Nereus Program), was published August 31 in Global Biogeochemical Cycles.
The white paper resulting from the USCLIVAR workshop in October 2015 at GFDL on Translating Process Understanding to Improve Climate Models is now published. The paper, coauthored by CICS Associate Director Sonya Legg, synthesizes the ocean, atmospheric, and climate modeling and observational communities' input on the need for a coordinated effort to translate process understanding into climate model improvements.
A recent study led by AOS Postdoctoral Research Associate Karin van der Wiel, a CICS researcher, and published in the Journal of Climate employed three newly developed global coupled climate models to study the impact of horizontal atmospheric model resolution (tile size) on precipitation extremes. Results show that higher-resolution models significantly improve the simulation of mean precipitation, the distribution of precipitation, and spatial patterns, intensity and seasonality of precipitation extremes. Van der Wiel coauthored the study with Sarah Kapnick (GFDL), Gabe Vecchi (GFDL/AOS), William Cooke (UCAR), Tom Delworth (GFDL/AOS), Liwei Jia (AOS), Hiroyuki Murakami (AOS), Seth Underwood (GFDL), and Fanrong Zeng (GFDL).
Most people avoid spending time in lightning-prone locales. But this month, scientists are heading to an area of Venezuela that sees more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the world, to test a system designed to forecast strike frequency up to three months in advance. The researchers — led by CICS Researcher Ángel Muñoz, an AOS postdoctoral research associate — will monitor atmospheric conditions and lightning strikes there for the next 3 years, collecting data for 72-hour periods every 3 months.
With Droughts and Downpours, Climate Change Feeds Chesapeake Bay Algal Blooms
A recent study led by AOS Postdoctoral Research Associate Minjin Lee, a CICS researcher, shows that weather patterns tied to climate change may increase the severity of algal blooms in Chesapeake Bay as extreme rainfall cycles flush larger amounts of nitrogen from fertilizer and other sources into the Susquehanna River. The researchers, including coauthors Elena Shevliakova, Sergey Malyshev, Chris Milly, and Peter Jaffe, found that a spike in rainfall can increase nitrogen levels in the bay even if the amount of fertilizer used on land remains the same, leading to explosive algae growth that poisons humans and wildlife, and devastates fisheries.
CICS Scientist Angel Muñoz, an AOS postdoctoral research associate, was recently quoted in a National Geographic article about his research on the Zika virus and climate ...
Teachers from New Jersey schools came to the Princeton campus July 11-15 for QUEST, a hands-on program cosponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS) that helps teachers enhance their knowledge of science, math and technology.
CICS Scientist Minjin Lee, an AOS postdoctoral research associate, is the lead author of a recent study that demonstrates that increases in climate variability — high precipitation occurring after multiyear dry spells — is likely to lead to severe water-quality problems. The study was published online in Geophysical Research Letters on July 16. The paper's coauthors include: GFDL's Elena Shevliakova, Sergey Malyshev, Chris Milly, and Peter Jaffe (CEE).
Angel Muñoz Discusses Zika Virus and Climate
AOS Postdoctoral Research Associate Angel Muñoz, a CICS researcher, was interviewed recently about the Zika virus and climate. The story was published July 6 on ClimateWire. He also coauthored a technical report last month that looked at the role of climate in the spread of Zika in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Welcome the Newly Arrived CICS Summer Interns
Alyssa Stansfield, from Rutgers University, hosted by Xiaosong Yang; Ariek Norford, from Franklin and Marshall College, hosted by John Dunne; Maryam Abdi-Oskouei, from University of Iowa, hosted by Vaishali Naik; Maria Pulido-Velosa from Florida International University, hosted by John Krasting; Leonardo Rodriguez Gutierrez, from University of Illinois, hosted by Sonya Legg; Alice Nadeau, from University of Minnesota, hosted by Jasmin John and John Dunne; Claire Miles, from Stanford University, hosted by Liwei Jia; Aria Alexander, from Princeton University, hosted by Gabe Vecchi; Miguel Moravec, from Vanderbilt University, hosted by Seth Underwood.
All interns will be spending 8-10 weeks conducting research at GFDL.
Anthropogenic Mediterranean Warming Essential Driver for Present and Future Sahel Rainfall
A new paper led by CICS Scientist Jongyeon Park, an AOS postdoctoral research associate, emphasizes the role of the Mediterranean Sea as the most critical pathway of the greenhouse gas impact on West African monsoon rainfall in recent and future warming periods. The study was published recently in Nature Climate Change.
CICS Sponsors QUEST Summer Institute
CICS will continue its collaboration with a Princeton University professional development institute for New Jersey teachers this summer. Princeton's Program in Teacher Preparation will offer a summer institute, QUEST, in science and mathematics for teachers of grades 3-12 from July 11 -15, 2016. QUEST is designed to enhance teachers' content knowledge and their skills through hands-on experiments and discussion. QUEST will focus on "disciplinary core ideas" as well as "science and engineering practices of the next-generation science standards" to support teachers' implementations. Teachers of grades 3-8 may attend a session on "weather and climate," while middle and high school teachers are invited to attend a session on "life in extreme environments."
Congratulations to Junyi Chai who successfully defended his Ph.D. Thesis "Understanding Geostrophic Turbulence in a Hierarchy of Models" on June 21, 2016.
CICS Research Internship Program
This summer, CICS will host interns to work with scientists at the University and GFDL. The interns are undergraduate and graduate students from outside Princeton. The interns will spend 8-10 weeks participating in research internships in atmospheric, oceanic and earth system science. Students will work on a focused scientific problem under the close supervision of their GFDL host, and benefit from resources and activities at GFDL, including interaction with scientists and graduate students, access to high performance computing and library facilities, and opportunities to participate in a wide range of seminars and lab social events.
New Research Examines the North Atlantic Oscillation and its Influence on Global Weather
A recent study led by AOS Faculty Member Tom Delworth examines how a natural atmospheric force -- the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) -- may be changing currents in the North Atlantic. The study suggests that variations in the NAO can drive multidecadal climate variability over the Northern Hemisphere, including rapid sea ice loss and multidecadal changes in Atlantic tropical storm activity. AOS Faculty Member Gabe Vecchi, CICS Scientist Liping Zhang, an AOS associate research scholar, and AOS Faculty Member Rong Zhang are among the coauthors. The paper was published in Nature Geoscience. GFDL Research Highlights
Model Hierarchies Workshop November 2-4, 2016
In an effort to readily isolate observed behavior of a complex model in a simpler one, and represent findings from idealized models in GCMs, a Model Hierarchies Workshop will be held on Main Campus from November 2-4, 2016. The abstract submission deadline is May 15, 2016.
Recent Paper Explores the Roles of Radiative Forcing, Sea Surface Temperatures, and Atmospheric and Land Initial Conditions in U.S. Summer Warming Episodes
CICS Scientist Liwei Jia, an AOS associate research scholar, is the lead author of a recent paper investigating U.S. summer heat waves. Two contrasting cases, the summers of 2006 and 2012, are explored in detail to illustrate the distinct roles of SSTs, direct radiative forcing, and atmospheric and land initial conditions in driving the heat waves. The study was published in the Journal of Climate.
The Vastly, Shrinking Northern Glaciers that We Never Even Talk About
"We pay far too little attention the northern and southern glaciers of the Canadian Arctic archipelago. If you do an entire inventory of all the glaciers, they actually are changing more than Greenland and Antarctica at the moment, or have been,” says Princeton geoscientist Christopher Harig, who conducted the new study in Geophysical Research Letters along with CICS Principal Investigator Frederik Simons.
A new study led by CICS Scientist Andrew Barton, an AOS associate research scholar, suggests that climate change is triggering changes in marine phytoplankton communities that could have a long-term effect on marine food webs. 87 different species of marine phytoplankton found in the North Atlantic were studied, comparing the organisms' mean historical (1951-2000) and projected future ranges (2051-2100). Most marine phytoplankton are projected to move poleward as climate changes, and the shifts may be driven by changes in mixed layer depth, temperature, salinity, light, and nutrients. The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Modeling a Living Planet: A Symposium Celebrating the Research of Jorge L. Sarmiento
A two-day symposium marking the seventieth birthday of CICS Director Jorge Sarmiento, the George J. Magee Professor of Geoscience and Geological Engineering, will be held March 14-15, 2016 in the Taylor Auditorium, Frick Lab. The symposium will cover interactions among the physical, geochemical, and biological aspects of the climate system. A set of invited talks will provide broad context for panel discussions and poster sessions. Registration is required and limited to 200 attendees. Registration will close on February 29, 2016.
The Winter 2016 GFDL/AOS/CICS Poster Expo will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 1pm-4pm in the Smagorinsky Seminar Room, GFDL. The Winter Expo is an opportunity for GFDL/AOS/CICS scientists to share their research with colleagues. To see the agenda and list of posters, visit the Poster Expo webpage.
In Rainforests, Battle for Sunlight Shapes Forest Structure
Researchers have discovered that competition for sunlight among rainforest trees leads to the remarkably consistent pattern of tree sizes seen in tropical forests around the globe. The finding, published January 8 in the journal Science and coauthored by CICS Investigator Steve Pacala, Princeton’s Frederick D. Petrie Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and AOS associated faculty member, could help refine models of how rainforests absorb carbon dioxide and hold back rising global temperatures. Access the study here.
Winter 2016 Poster Expo at GFDL: Registration Deadline Extended
GFDL is hosting a Poster Expo on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 1pm-4pm. The Winter Expo is an opportunity for GFDL/AOS/CICS scientists to share their research with colleagues. Posters are limited to 30; existing posters are acceptable. Register by 5pm on Friday, January 8.
Congratulations to He Wang who successfully defended his Ph.D. Thesis "Large Scale Impacts of Subarctic Channel Flows and Deep Water Formation in Climate Models" on January 5, 2016.
Warm NIghts Could Flood the Atmosphere with Carbon under Climate Change
A study led by Princeton University researchers suggests that hotter nights may wield more influence than previously thought over the planet's atmosphere as global temperatures rise — and could eventually lead to more carbon flooding the atmosphere. Former and current AOS/CICS scientists Joe Majkut, Claudie Beaulieu, Jorge Sarmiento, and Elena Shevliakova are among the paper's coauthors.
A new paper, co-led by CICS Researcher Xin Zhang, a postdoctoral research associate in PEI, is among the first to globally analyze “nitrogen use efficiency” – a measure of the amount of nitrogen a plant takes in to grow versus what is left behind as pollution. Looking at fertilizer and crop harvest data in regions like the United States, Western Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, the researchers examined how policies and market conditions have influenced farmers’ use of nitrogen fertilizers over the past five decades. Denise Mauzerall, an AOS associated faculty member and CICS PI, is among the paper's coauthors. The paper, "Managing nitrogen for sustainable development," was published online November 23 as a Perspectives piece in Nature.
This spring, a new event will be held to celebrate the research and creative endeavors by Princeton University undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Princeton Research Day will feature talks, posters, performances, art exhibitions and digital presentations from students and postdocs across the disciplines.The event will be held May 5, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Frist Campus Center. To learn more, visit the
Winter 2016 Poster Expo at GFDL
GFDL is hosting a Poster Expo on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from 1pm-4pm. The Winter Expo is an opportunity for GFDL/AOS/CICS scientists to share their research with colleagues. Posters are limited to 30; existing posters are acceptable. Register early, but no later than 5pm on Wednesday, January 6.
In a lead article for the Computing in Science Engineering (CISE) special issue on climate computing, CICS Scientist V. Balaji, an AOS senior professional specialist, presents trends in climate science, driving models toward higher resolution, greater complexity, and larger ensembles, all of which present computing challenges.
U.S. Reaffirms its Commitment to SOCCOM
At Chile’s 2015 Our Ocean conference, the United States committed to a series of concrete actions to protect precious ocean areas and marine resources. The United States will invest over $21 million in the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project (SOCCOM), a robotic observing system collecting key data in the Southern Ocean to transform our understanding of its role in climate change. The Program is directed by CICS Director Jorge Sarmiento, an AOS faculty member.
Congratulations to CICS Scientist Rob Nazarian, an AI (Assistant in Instruction) in GEO 425, for receiving the 2015 Arnold Guyot Graduate Student Teaching Prize, the first AOS student to receive the award. The prize is awarded for excellence in instruction and interactions with graduate students, contribution to course curricula and length of service of teaching a course in the Geosciences Department. The award was announced at the Geosciences picnic and comes with an honorary certificate and a monetary prize.
Smith and Bou-Zeid Join Researchers in Establishing the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN)
CICS Investigators James Smith and Elie Bou-Zeid are among Princeton University researchers who will join 14 academic institutions and partners nationwide on a $12 million project to address the challenges that threaten urban water systems in the U.S. and globally.
How to Curb Emissions? Put a Price on Carbon Now in the Policy Debate: Literally putting a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses is the best approach for nurturing the rapid growth of renewable energy and reducing emissions, according to a new policy article published in Nature. The authors – which include the Wilson School's Michael Oppenheimer, an AOS associated faculty member and CICS investigator, – urge policymakers to implement a range of policies until the time that a carbon price becomes politically realistic.
On Warmer Earth, Most of Arctic may Remove, Not Add, Methane
Higher Arctic temperatures brought about by climate change could result in the release of massive amounts of carbon locked in the region’s frozen soil in the form of carbon dioxide and methane. New research coauthored by David Medvigy, a CICS investigator, and published in The ISME Journal suggests that, thanks to methane-hungry bacteria, a majority of Arctic soil might be able to absorb methane from the atmosphere rather than release it.
After Extreme Drought, Forests Take Years to Rebuild CO2 Storage Capacity
An analysis of drought impacts at forest sites worldwide found that living trees took an average of two to four years to resume normal growth rates — and thus carbon-dioxide absorption — after a drought ended, according to a Princeton-based study published this week in the journal Science. The research team included William Anderegg, a visiting associate research scholar in the Princeton Environmental Institute, and Princeton colleagues Steve Pacala, an AOS associated faculty member; Adam Wolf, an associate research scholar in ecology and evolutionary biology; and CICS Scientist Elena Shevliakova, a senior climate modeler in ecology and evolutionary biology and at GFDL.
From Wednesday, August 5th through Friday, August 7th, AOS Program will be hosting the "Challenges in Using Current Atmospheric Models to Study Extreme Climate Scenarios" Workshop. Invited Speakers include: Natalie Burls (George Mason University), Matthew Huber (University of New Hampshire), and Robin Wordsworth (Harvard University). The workshop will take place in GFDL's Smagorinsky Room. All in the AOS/GFDL community are invited to attend. Please RSVP by Friday, July 31, 2015.
Marine ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced changes. Marine ecosystem drivers that contribute to stressing ecosystems – including warming, acidification, deoxygenation and perturbations to biological productivity– can co-occur in space and time, but detecting their trends is complicated by the presence of noise associated with natural variability in the climate system. A new paper led by CICS Scientist Keith Rodgers, an AOS research scholar, considers emergence characteristics for the four individual and combined drivers. The results underscore the importance of sustained multi-decadal observing systems for monitoring multiple ecosystem drivers. The study was recently published in Biogeosciences.
New Research will Help Forecast Bad Ozone Days over the Western U.S.
A new study led by CICS Scientist Meiyun Lin, an AOS associate research scholar, uses observations and numerical simulations to demonstrate a strong connection between high ozone days in the western U.S. during late spring and La Niña, an ocean-atmosphere phenomena that affects global weather patterns. This linkage is important for developing seasonal forecasts with a few months of lead time to aid in western U.S. air quality planning and for effective implementation of U.S. ozone standards. AOS Faculty Member Larry Horowitz is a coauthor of the study recently published in Nature Communications. GFDL Research Highlights
Dissecting the Ocean's Unseen Waves to Learn Where the Heat, Energy and Nutrients Go
CICS Associate Director Sonya Legg, an AOS senior research oceanographer, and colleagues from collaborating institutions (including Maarten Buijsman, a former AOS postdoc and now an assistant professor of physical oceanography at the University of Southern Mississippi) created the first “cradle to grave” model of the world’s most powerful internal ocean waves. The study was published online April 29, 2015 in Nature.
Washington Post article
A symposium honoring 2015 Benjamin Franklin Medal Awardee Suki Manabe will be held on Monday, April 20th from 9:00 to 12:30 pm in the Friend Center. In this symposium, talks will examine advances that have been made in understanding climate change and the future challenges that remain in developing a predictive understanding of Earth's climate system. Program Schedule
AGU Share Science in Your Community Workshop - March 27, 2015
Are you interested in improving your ability to communicate your work to audiences outside of science? Are you curious about how to conduct effective public outreach? Students, postdocs, staff, and faculty, are invited to attend a hands-on science communication workshop, hosted by STEP, on Friday, March 27 in Robertson Hall.
Enrollment is limited; sign up here at your earliest convenience. Have questions? Email Rachel Licker at email@example.com
CICS Associate Director Sonya Legg, an AOS faculty member, is coauthor of a new article featured in a special issue of Oceanography "Women in Oceanography: A Decade Later." The article " The Impact of MPOWIR: A Decade of Investing in Mentoring Women in Physical Oceanography" describes the MPOWIR (Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention) Program, a US community-initiated and community-led mentoring program aimed at improving the retention of women physical oceanographers in academic and/or research positions. It also describes MPOWIR's impact to date and outlines its future directions.
New Study Uses GFDL Global Climate Models to Investigate Behavior of Brewer-Dobson Circulation
In a new study led by CICS Scientist Pu Lin, an AOS postdoctoral research associate, GFDL global climate models were used to investigate how the Brewer-Dobson circulation would vary in response to different natural and anthropogenic climate forcings. The authors calculate the strengths of the Brewer-Dobson circulation simulated by GFDL global climate models CM3 and CM2.1, and find that the strengths correlate with the tropical mean surface temperature. This correlation is also supported by observational-based analysis. Yi Ming, a lecturer in Department of Geosciences and the AOS Program, and GFDL Director V. Ramaswamy are coauthors of the study published in Geophysical Research Letters.
Representations of the Nordic Seas Overflows and their Large Scale Climate Impact in Coupled Models
CICS Scientist He Wang, a graduate student in the AOS program, is the lead author of a new study published in Ocean Modelling that describes the sensitivity of the North Atlantic climate in GFDL models to the model representation of the Nordic Sea overflows (flows of dense water through gaps in the ridge between Greenland and Scotland). These flows are usually poorly captured in coarse resolution climate models. Wang and coauthors CICS Associate Director Sonya Legg and Robert Hallberg, an AOS faculty member, find that the Meridional overturning circulation, the direction of the warm North Atlantic Current, and the temperature and salinity of the northernmost part of the Atlantic can all be affected. This is the first study to carefully compare old and new methods of capturing the overflows in climate models, and to show the importance of representing these flows accurately in order to correctly simulate the climate in the North Atlantic.
Diversity in Science: A Conversation - Wednesday, Feb. 25th 6 - 8 pm
EEB Women in Science Partnership & Princeton Women In Geosciences (PWiGs) invite all members of the AOS/CICS community (faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and research staff) to a gathering of GEO, AOS/CICS, and EEB to celebrate and discuss the value of diversity in science. The event features dinner (from Chipotle), a faculty panel featuring voices from our department, and group discussions. Be part of the conversation! RSVP by Feb.18th.
Energy Flux into Internal Lee Waves: Sensitivity to Future Climate Changes using Linear Theory and a Climate Model
A recent study led by former CICS Postdoctoral Research Associate Angelique Melet (LEGOS, France), in collaboration with former CICS Scientist Max Nikurashin (University of Tasmania), examines how the energy transferred from geostrophic eddies to lee-waves (small-scale underwater waves over bumpy sea-floor topography), can change as climate changes, e.g. due to global warming. This lee-wave energy is important because it can drive mixing in the interior of the Southern Ocean. AOS Faculty Member Robert Hallberg, Alistair Adcroft (GFDL), and CICS Associate Director Sonya Legg are couathors of the study published in the Journal of Climate.
Soil’s Large Carbon Stores could be Freed by Increased CO2, Plant Growth
A recent study shows that an increase in human-made carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could initiate a chain reaction between plants and microorganisms that would unsettle one of the largest carbon reservoirs on the planet — soil. Benjamin Suleman, a postdoctoral researcher in the Princeton Environmental Institute, conducted the research with a team that included Richard P. Phillips, A. Christopher Oishi, CICS Scientist Elena Shevliakova, and Stephen W. Pacala.The study, partially supported by CICS, was published in Nature Climate Change. Princeton Journal Watch
GFDL is hosting a Poster Expo on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 1pm-4pm. The Winter Expo is an opportunity for GFDL/AOS/CICS scientists to share their research with colleagues. Posters are limited to 30; existing posters are acceptable. Register early, but no later than 5pm on Wednesday, January 7.
New Study Examines the Influence of Asia’s High-Mountain Seasonal Cycle on Regional Differences in Climate Change
A new study led by CICS Scientist Sarah Kapnick, an AOS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, compares a set of high-resolution models simulations with the latest available observations to focus on the distinct seasonal cycles and resulting climate change signatures of Asia’s high-mountain ranges. The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, suggest a meteorological mechanism for regional differences in the glacier response to climate warming. GFDL Research Highlights
Fall Foliage Season may be Later, but Longer on Warmer Earth
Climate change could postpone fall leaf peeping in some areas of the United States as summer temperatures linger later into the year, Princeton University researchers report in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. Trees need daily temperatures to be low enough and daylight hours to be short enough to produce the vivid vistas of fall, explained CICS Investigator David Medvigy, an assistant professor of geosciences. He and first author Su-Jong Jeong, a former CICS scientist now at NASA, found that daily temperature and daylight hours can not only be used to predict the timing of leaf coloration, but that the influence of these factors depends on the individual tree species and the specific geographic area. full story
Congratulations to Sam Potter who successfully defended his Ph.D. Thesis "Superrotation and tropical waves in idealized atmospheric models" on August 15, 2014.
The "Art of Science 2014" exhibit showcases 44 images of artistic merit created during the course of scientific research. More than 250 images were submitted by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, postdocs, staff and alumni representing over 25 departments. This year, for the first time in its seven-year history, the competition also includes video. Twelve videos were chosen from more than 50 submissions. Check out AOS Associate Research Scholar Martin Jucker's Fly Me video (best seen wtih blue-red 3D glasses) in the video gallery. Art of Science 2014 was co-sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS). Related article
A new study coauthored by CICS Investigator David Medvigy, an AOS faculty member, explains the environmental factors that cause the leaves to change color in autumn. Variations in the timing of leaf coloring throughout the U.S., why the leaves of different species change color at different times, and how the timing of leaf coloring will change over the next 100 years are discussed. The lead author of the paper is Su Jong-Jeong, a former CICS scientist and AOS postdoctoral associate presently at NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The paper, titled "Macroscale prediction of autumn leaf coloration throughout the continental United States," was recently published online in Global Ecology and Biography and can be found here.
In the News ... CICS Investigator Eric Wood Mapping Water Trends for African Maize
To understand how climate change may affect the availability of water for agriculture, a new study coauthored by Eric Wood, a CICS investigator and the study's senior author, analyzed trends in the water cycle in maize-growing areas of 21 African countries between 1979 and 2010. The analysis was published in the July issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters and can be found here.
CICS Associated Faculty Member Simon Levin, the George M. Moffett Professor of Biology at Princeton University, was elected Foreign Member of the Lombard Institute Academy of Science and Letters.
A new study led by CICS Scientist Spencer Hill, an AOS graduate student, uses a GFDL climate model to investigate how temperature changes caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases and aerosols affect how the atmosphere transports energy from the hot tropics to the cold poles. In so doing, he and his GFDL coauthors, AOS Faculty Members Yi Ming and Isaac Held, provide a simple physical explanation for the widely reported result that movements of tropical rainfall north or south are tightly linked to energy transports across the equator. The paper "Mechanisms of forced tropical meridional energy flux change" was recently published online in the Journal of Climate and can be accessed here.
AOS Graduate Student Joe Majkut is the lead author of a new study that reviews current estimates of the CO2 uptake in the Southern Ocean and projections of its response to climate change. The authors show, via an observational system simulation experiment, that float-based sampling provides a significant opportunity for measuring the mean fluxes and monitoring the mean uptake over decadal scales. AOS Associate Research Oceanographer Brendan Carter, AOS Collaborator Thomas Froelicher (ETH Zurich), Carolina Dufour, an AOS postdoctoral research associate, and CICS Scientist Keith Rodgers are coauthors on the study along with CICS Director Jorge Sarmiento. The paper, "An Observing System Simulation for Southern Ocean Carbon Dioxide Uptake" was partially supported by CICS and was published on June 2 in the Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. The study can be found here.
A recent paper, coauthored by CICS Scientists Sergey Malyshev and Elena Shevliakova, describes "LM3," a new model of terrestrial water, energy, and carbon, intended for use in global hydrologic analyses and as a component of earth-system and physical-climate models. The study, led by Chris Milly (U.S. Geological Survey and GFDL) was published on June 2 in the Journal of Hydrometeorology and can be found here.
GFDL Poster Expo Wednesday, July 16th
GFDL is hosting a Poster Expo on Wednesday, July 16 from 10am-1pm. The Expo is an opportunity for GFDL/AOS/CICS scientists to share their research with colleagues and current summer interns being hosted by GFDL/AOS/CICS. Posters are limited to 25; existing posters are acceptable. Register early, but no later than 5pm on Monday, June 16.
CICS Scientist Junyi Chai, an AOS Graduate Student, is the lead author of a recent study that provides a new estimate for eddy scale. The results of this study fill in the gap between studies that assume the Rossby deformation radius is a good estimate for the eddy scale and studies that assume an inverse energy cascade is relevant. Former CICS Associate Director Geoff Vallis (University of Exeter) coauthors the study. The study can be found here.
CICS scientists, joined by scientists from the AOS Program and GFDL, were among 25 scientists from fields ranging from astrophysics to oceanography to biogeochemistry to robotics who participated in the Young Women's Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics on Friday, March 21st in the Frick Chemistry Laboratory at Princeton University. An annual event launched in 2001, the conference introduces middle-school and high-school aged girls (in 7th though 10th grades) to women scientists and engineers and the wide breadth of careers available to them in these fields. Ivy Frenger (AOS), Sonya Legg (CICS), Todd Mooring (CICS), Allison Smith (CICS), Desiree Tommasi (GFDL), Marian Westley (GFDL), and Hannah Zanowski (CICS) spent the day with the girls in a variety of formats including, small-group presentations and hands-on demonstrations and activities. Almost 400 young women from 46 schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania attended the event.
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New Study Shows that Oceanic Lee-Waves Make an Impact on Large-Scale Circulation and Climate -- Indicating the Importance of Including this Process in Climate Models
Former CICS Scientist Angélique Melet, currently a postdoc at CNES/LEGOS in France, is the lead author of new paper that explores the combined effects of internal tide– and lee wave–driven mixing on the ocean state. This is the first time the effect of oceanic lee-waves has been parameterized in a climate model. The results show that lee-waves make an impact on the large-scale circulation and climate, indicating the importance of including this process in climate models. AOS Faculty Members Robert Hallberg, a GFDL oceanographer, and Sonya Legg, the Associate Director of CICS, are coauthors on the study, along with Maxim Nikurashin, a lecturer/research fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania and a former CICS scientist. The paper, "Sensitivity of the Ocean State to Lee Wave–Driven Mixing," is published in the March issue of the Journal of Physical Oceanography and can be found here.
Perspectives Piece Examines Seasonal Hurricane Predictions
Gabriel Vecchi, a lecturer in the Department of Geosciences and the AOS Program and a GFDL researcher, is the co-author of a Perspectives piece on seasonal hurricane predictions appearing in Science February 7. The piece discusses the current state and ways forward on seasonal hurricane prediction, including prediction verification, learning from failed predictions, and correctly describing and communicating uncertainty. The piece can be accessed here.
In a new study led by CICS Scientist & AOS Research Scholar Meiyun Lin, researchers found that since the mid-1990s, shifts in atmospheric circulation have caused Asian ozone pollution reaching Hawaii to be relatively low in spring but rise significantly in autumn. The findings, published online Jan. 26 in Nature Geosciences, indicate that variability in airflow patterns must be considered when attributing observed ozone changes to human-induced trends in precursor emissions. The study can be found here.
Princeton Journal Watch article
In the News ... NOAA's Climate Program Office (CPO) Highlights Mao's Study that Proposes Revised Mechanism for Isoprene Chemistry
A recent study led by CICS Scientist & AOS Associate Research Scholar Jingqiu Mao proposes a thoroughly revised mechanism for isoprene chemistry, which not only allows for a more accurate model simulation, but fundamentally improves our understanding of atmospheric chemistry. The study can be found here. CPO highlights
'Tiger Stripes' underneath Antarctic Glaciers Slow the Flow
A new study led by CICS Scientist Olga Sergienko, an AOS Associate Research Scientist, in collaboration with researchers at the British Antarctic Survey has found that narrow stripes of dirt and rock beneath massive Antarctic glaciers create friction zones that slow the flow of ice toward the sea. Understanding how these high-friction regions form and subside could help researchers understand how the flow of these glaciers responds to a warming climate. The paper was published online by Science Nov. 7th and can be found here. full story
Drought Monitoring and Forecast System Developed to Monitor the African Water Cycle
CICS Scientist Eric Wood, a professor in CEE, and his research team have developed a drought monitoring and forecast system for sub-Saharan Africa. full story
Recent Study Specifies the Extent to which Plants have Prevented Climate Change Since Pre-industrial Times
A new study led by CICS Scientist Elena Sheliakova found that land ecosystems have kept the planet cooler by absorbing billions of tons of carbon, especially during the past 60 years. It is the first study to specify the extent to which plants have prevented climate change since pre-industrial times. The study was published October 15th in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and can be found here.
New Study Focuses on the Breaking of Low-mode Internal Waves at Sloping Topography
The breaking of low-mode internal waves at sloping topography is the focus of a new study by CICS Associate Director Sonya Legg. The study examines where internal waves break, relative to the topography, and where the mixing is distributed. According to Legg, the Internal Wave Driven Mixing Climate Process Team will use this information to improve their climate model ocean mixing parameterizations. The paper, "Scattering of low-mode internal waves at finite isolated topography," has been accepted by the Journal of Physical Oceanography and an early online release is available here.
A unique housing arrangement between a specific group of tree species and a carbo-loading bacteria may determine how well tropical forests can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a Princeton University-based study partially supported by CICS. The findings suggest that the role of tropical forests in offsetting the atmospheric buildup of carbon from fossil fuels depends on tree diversity, particularly in forests recovering from exploitation. The paper, "Key role of symbiotic N2 fixation in tropical forest secondary succession," was published Sept. 15 in the journal Nature and can be found here.
Recent Study Shows the Important Role of Biosphere in Modulating Global Nitrogen Cycling
CICS Scientist and AOS Associate Research Scholar Jingqiu Mao is the lead author of a new study that presents a new isoprene oxidation mechanism for global models with extensive evaluations. With this validated mechanism, the authors show the importance of biosphere on nitrogen export from the U.S. and new insights into how biosphere changes the surface air quality over the eastern U.S. The article has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres and is available here.
New CICS Associate Director Announced
Sonya Legg will be the new Associate Director of the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS-Princeton) effective September 2, 2013. Sonya brings tremendous talent and a deep commitment to the mission of CICS. She will be taking over from Geoff Vallis, who is leaving Princeton University to take on a faculty position at the University of Exeter in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences starting October 1, 2013. Please join CICS Director Jorge Sarmiento in welcoming her to this key position.
Recent Study Investigates the Role of Anthropogenic Aerosols in the Earlier Onset of the Indian Monsoon in the Late 20th Century
CICS Scientist and AOS Research Scholar Massimo Bollasina is the lead author of a recent study that examines the impact of the late 20th century increase of anthropogenic aerosols on the onset of the Indian summer monsoon. The research team included Yi Ming, a lecturer in the Department of Geosciences and the AOS Program, and GFDL Director V. Ramaswamy. The article has been accepted for publication by Geophysical Research Letters and is available here. GFDL Research Highlights can be found here.
Study Demonstrates the Nonlinear Effect of Biomass Burning Strength on Radiative Forcing
A team of researchers led by CICS Scientist and AOS Associate Research Scholar Jingqiu Mao use a fully coupled chemistry-climate model (GFDL AM3) to demonstrate the nonlinear effect of biomass burning strength on radiative forcing in a recent study published in Geophysical Research Letters. At present-day emission levels, biomass burning produces atmospheric cooling, but increasing emissions to over 5 times present levels would result in warming. The study was published online on March 26, 2013. GFDL Research Highlights can be found here.
Congratulations to CICS Researcher and AOS Graduate Student Ilissa Ocko on her selection for the Emerging Alumni Scholars Award for 2012-2013. The Alumni Council's Committee on Academic Programs for Alumni (CAPA) selected Ilissa based on the excellence of her dissertation project, her ability to communicate in an engaging manner to a broad public outside of her discipline, and merits of her distinguished career at Princeton.
Our GFDL partners have released a new study that projects the doubling of heat-stress related labor capacity losses globally by 2050 with a warming climate. The study uses existing occupational health and safety thresholds to establish a new metric to quantify a healthy, acclimated individual's capacity to safely perform sustained labor under environmental heat stress. Coauthors of the study include GFDL Scientists John Dunne (lead author), Ronald Stouffer, and Jasmin John. The research was published online on February 24, 2012 in Nature Climate Change.
GFDL Research Highlights can be found here. NOAA Press Release
New Study Finds that Global Snowfall will Reduce, but Certain Regions will Receive More Snow under 2xCO2
AOS Postdoctoral Research Associate and CICS Scientist Sarah Kapnick is the lead author of a new study in the Journal of Climate that showcases the ability of the new high-resolution CM2.5 GFDL model for simulating snow variables. It examines the response of snowfall and snow covered area to a doubling of CO2 (translating to ~5F warming globally), finding that global snowfall reduces, but some special regions receive more snow.
GFDL Research Highlights can be found here.
Recent Study Discovers New Role of Aerosols
A team of researchers led by CICS Scientist and AOS Associate Research Scholar Jingqiu Mao has discovered a major and previously unrecognized role of aerosols in atmospheric oxidant chemistry. According to Mao,"This work solves a long-standing problem of underestimating air pollutants (carbon monoxide) transport to the Arctic in global chemistry models and also suggests a previously unrecognized positive radiative forcing of aerosols through the effects on the chemical budgets of major greenhouse gases including methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).” The paper, published on January 16 in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, can be found here.
Trees in the continental U.S. could send out new spring leaves up to 17 days earlier in the coming century than they did before global temperatures started to rise, according to a new study by CICS Researchers Su-Jong Jeong, David Medvigy, Elena Shevliakova, and Sergey Malyshev. The abstract can be found here.
AOS Research Scholar and CICS Scientist Yalin Fan coauthors letter warning of stronger wind and waves due to warming
An international team of climate researchers, including AOS Reserach Scholar and CICS Scientist Yalin Fan, has written and published an open letter in the journal Nature Climate Change, describing wind and wave pattern changes expected to come about due to global warming. The letter, published online January 13, can be found here.
Bollasina and coauthors honored by World Meteorological Organization
Congratulations to Massimo Bollasina, a CICS scientist and a postdoc in the AOS Program, and coauthors Yi Ming and V. "Ram" Ramaswamy on winning the World Meteorological Organization's Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award for 2013. Their paper, "Anthropogenic aerosols and the weakening of the South Asian Summer Monsoon" (published in the journal Science in September 2011) tied weaker South Asian summer monsoons to human activities.
Study Being Discussed EPA with Implications for the 2013 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ground-level Ozone
A recent study by a team of researchers led by CICS Scientist and AOS Associate Research Scholar Meiyun Lin is being actively discussed by the EPA with implications for the 2013 review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground-level ozone. The paper was published in the Journal of Research – Atmospheres in mid-October.
CICS Receives $3 Million in Federal Funds to Enhance Climate Science, Education
The Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS) recently received more than $3 million in new federal funding intended to support climate science and education. U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced the new support Aug. 27 with the funding coming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). full story
Asian Emissions Contributing to Air Pollution in Western US
In a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, a team of researchers led by CICS Scientist and AOS Associate Research Scholar Meiyun Lin found that the contribution of Asian emissions to intercontinental pollution is higher than was previously believed. full story Media coverage in Nature
Throughout the academic year, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) hosts seminars every Wednesday at noon - 1:00 p.m. and every Thursday from 2:00 pm - 3:00 p.m. in the Smagorinsky Seminar Room. These events feature internal and external speakers who discuss their research on various aspects of atmosphere, ocean, weather and climate. Click here for a complete list of GFDL seminars.
Geosciences hosts a number of events including their departmental lecture series on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m., the Environmental Geology & Geochemistry Seminar (EGGS) Lecture Series on Thursdays at 12:30-1:30 p.m., and the Solid Earth Brown Bag Seminars on Friday at 12 noon in Guyot Hall Room 220. They also regularly host their Junior Colloquium .
Click here for a complete list of Geosciences Series.
The David Bradford Seminars in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, co-sponsored with the Princeton Environmental Institute, are a lunchtime seminar series held at Wallace Hall, Room 300 at noon - 1:00 p.m . Lunch is provided starting at 11:45 a.m.
Click here for a complete list of STEP seminars..
The AOS Program Biogeochemistry Seminar series is an informal seminar series that is held on Fridays at 2:00 p.m. in the Sayre Hall Conference Room. During the academic year, speakers from within the Program as well as visitors from the outside of the University give informal talks covering a broad range of topics relating to the ocean, atmosphere, and climate, with a particular emphasis on the global carbon cycle. The goal of the series is to allow research staff and visiting colleagues to present their work in an informal atmosphere where a free exchange of ideas can take place.
Click here for a complete list of AOS seminars.