EUCLIPSE - Summer school
The Guest lecturers
Simona Bordoni , (Ass. Professor California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA): Understanding the Monsoon Dynamics
My research interests are in atmospheric dynamics, with a special emphasis on the use of observations and models to develop a theoretical understanding of important processes and balances that influence weather and climate.
My work to date has been rooted in the tropics and has emphasized two particular scales (mesoscale and large-scale), but I find it difficult to attribute a particular interest to a specific scale. I am particularly interested in monsoons, because of the variety of scales they embody and the exciting research avenues they provide. By means of observations and modeling, my research on monsoons aims at understanding fundamental dynamical mechanisms which are implicated in their existence, their location and different geographical features, and which might help understand how monsoons change with changing climates.

Kerry Emanuel , (Professor MIT, Cambridge, USA): Radiative-Convective Instability
Kerry Emanuel is a prominent meteorologist and climate scientist who specializes in moist convection in the atmosphere, and on tropical cyclones. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, the role of clouds, water vapor, and upper-ocean mixing in regulation of climate, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction.
Emanuel, who has a Ph.D. from MIT (1978), has been a member of the EAPS faculty since 1981 during which time he has served as the Director of the Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography and, more recently, the Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate. He is co-founder of the MIT Lorenz Center, a new climate think tank which fosters creative approaches to learning how climate works. He was named one of Time Magazine's "100 Influential People who Shape Our World´┐Ż in 2006. In 2007, he was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Julia Slingo , (Chief Scientist at the Met Office, Exeter, UK): Uncertainty in Weather and climate Prediction
As Chief Scientist Julia is responsible for providing scientific and technical strategy; ensuring the organisation adheres to good scientific and technical standards, and directing and managing research and development with the Met Office. She also represents the office, on science and technology, across government. Julia became Met Office Chief Scientist in February 2009. Before joining the Met Office she was the Director of Climate Research in NERC's National Centre for Atmospheric Science, at the University of Reading, where she is still a Professor of Meteorology. In 2006 she founded the Walker Institute for Climate System Research at Reading, aimed at addressing the cross disciplinary challenges of climate change and its impacts.
Julia has had a long-term career in climate modelling and research, working at the Met Office, ECMWF and NCAR in the USA. Her personal research addresses problems in tropical climate variability - its influence on the global climate; its role in seasonal to decadal climate prediction, and its response to climate change. Increasingly Julia's research considers the multi-disciplinary aspects of the impacts of climate variability and change on crops and water resources, and the need to improve the representation of weather systems and rainfall distributions in climate prediction models. She has successfully promoted the use of much higher resolution in climate models, required to capture these important processes and phenomena, and this has meant working with some of the world's largest supercomputers, such as the Earth Simulator in Japan.

Adam Sobel, , (Professor Columbia University, New York, USA):Cloud-radiative feedbacks and the Madden- Julian oscillation
Fields of interest: Atmospheric and climate dynamics, tropical meteorology.
In the extratropical latitudes (where, for example, Columbia University is located) we have a fairly good understanding of the basic dynamical processes that control the atmosphere's behavior. This understanding has two manifestations. With sophisticated numerical models, we can predict the extratropical weather fairly well, up to a week ahead or so. We also have much simpler mathematical models which, though not accurate enough to produce good weather forecasts, capture the basic dynamics of the atmosphere and can at least qualitatively simulate the important phenomena such as winter storms, fronts, waves in the jet stream, etc. These simpler models are derived as approximations to the full equations of atmospheric motion and energy. They form the core of our understanding and guide us as we analyze both observations and numerical simulations of the extratropical atmosphere.
The atmosphere behaves differently in the tropics than in the extratropics, and is less well understood. Weather forecasts are considerably less accurate in the tropics, and many of the largest uncertainties in our simulations of the global climate are related to gaps in our understanding of tropical atmospheric processes. In particular, we do not understand, in a wide range of circumstances, what controls where and when rain falls in the tropics. This lack of understanding and predictive capability is expressed by our lack of simple mathematical models for the tropics that combine economy and correctness as successfully as the simple extratropical models do.
My research efforts are focused on improving our understanding of tropical dynamics. I focus to a large extent on what controls rainfall patterns and their variability on time scales of days to decades. My associates and I use mathematical models of varying degrees of complexity for this purpose. Some can be solved with pencil and paper, and some (more typically) require powerful computers. We also analyze observational data, which is important to keep a theoretical and modeling research program grounded in reality. Some of my projects include:
  • Madden-Julian Oscillation (including DYNAMO field program, see maddenjulianconversation.blogspot.com)
  • Tropical cyclones and climate
  • African drought
  • Circulation and seasonal cycle changes under global warming
  • Atmospheric water vapor