A new interdisciplinary grant from the Collaborations in Mathematical Geosciences (CMG) Program of the National Science Foundation will include research on a wide range of current statistical problems in the atmospheric sciences. This grant is joint between the Departments of Statistics and Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M, and includes Marc Genton, Bani Malleck, and Mikyoung Jun from Statistics, and Kenneth Bowman, Saravanan, and Gerald North from Atmospheric Sciences.
Observation and Simulation of Precipitation
Kenneth Bowman and Gerald North are using data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite to study the role of tropical precipitation in climate and to test climate models. Courtney Schumacher is using data from the TRMM Precipitation Radar to study interannual variability of precipitation in the tropics.
Andrew Dessler uses data from NASA's A-train satellites (Aqua, Aura, CALIPSO and CloudSat) as well as analysis of general circulation models to better understand feedbacks in the climate system. The primary areas of study are those from water vapor and clouds. Together, these are responsible for much of the predicted temperature increase from anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions.
Coupled Modeling of Climate Variability and Predictability
R. Saravanan works with Ping Chang (Oceanography Department) to study and model phenomena that involve interactions between different components of the climate system. We use a hierarchy of numerical models, ranging from simple 2-dimensional models to comprehensive 3-dimensional general circulation models, to study phenomena such as the Tropical Pacific El Niño and Tropical Atlantic Variability.
Robert Korty's research group is collaborating with Debbie Thomas (Oceanography) to study atmospheric and ocean circulations during times in Earth's geologic history that were much hotter than today. Her laboratory work uses fish skeletons and debris to map some chemical and physical properties of a prehistoric ocean, and the group is using her results to test theories of deep water formation during these times.
Robert Korty's group is also studying hurricanes in past climates by analyzing simulations from very hot periods long ago to much colder ones such as Pliestocene ice ages. They are studying the thermal and moisture profiles of the tropical atmosphere in these different climate states to place limits on how intensities of hurricanes might change with climate. The group tracks storms in low resolution climate simulations and prepares to simulate paleohurricanes using sophisticated models that will allow them to analyze how sensitive tropical storm precipitation is to climate.