Cooperative Institute for Climate Science News – Fall 2014

Contributed by Joanne Curcio for PEI ・ Princeton Environmental Institute

Climate Change 2013With the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (AR5) in 2013, several AOS graduate students, including many affiliated with the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (CICS), decided to organize a summer reading group that would cover the Working Group I (WGI) report, detailing the physical science basis of climate change. CICS Graduate Students Todd Mooring, Geeta Persad, Jeffrey Strong, and Hannah Zanowski led the group.  Group leaders facilitated discussion of selected report chapters in the presence of an invited expert speaker, usually one of the contributing authors of the chapter. Group leaders included both graduate students and postdocs: Jane Baldwin (CICS), Kit-Yan Choi (CICS), Carolina Dufour (AOS), Ivy Frenger (AOS), Spencer Hill (CICS), Jaya Khanna (AOS), Nick Lutsko (CICS), Todd Mooring (CICS), Adele Morrison (AOS), Geeta Persad (CICS), Jeffrey Strong (CICS), Zach Subin (EEB), Anna Trugman (AOS), Hannah Zanowski (CICS), and Wenyu Zhou (CICS).

Other CICS news includes a sampling of studies published over the summer:

A recent 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 in the Journal of Climate.

Former AOS Graduate Student Joe Majkut is the lead author of a recent 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 of the study along with CICS Director Jorge Sarmiento. The paper, “An Observing System Simulation for Southern Ocean Carbon Dioxide Uptake” was published in the Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.