Lauren’s research focused on reducing the uncertainty in climate feedbacks and sensitivity by applying methods from optimization and control theory to simple climate models. Interactions among feedback processes, which enhance or dampen the climate’s basic radiative response to natural and anthropogenic forcing, are not easily investigated in complex coupled climate models. Instead, we developed simple physically-based energy balance models resolving individual feedbacks to study the propagation of uncertainty from feedback to climate response.
Additionally, the simple models’ parameters were formally optimized to reproduce the climate of the past century, which placed constraints on projections of future climate change. Our eventual goal was to provide narrower estimates of the equilibrium climate sensitivity and transient climate response. Before coming to Princeton, Lauren worked on engine control systems for Ford Motor Company and the Environmental Protection Agency.