Climate-Chemistry Interactions

Using downscaling to study atmospheric climate-chemistry interactions and human impact (Atmospheric Sciences)

Our previous research has explored how the interactions of atmospheric chemistry and physical processes affect atmospheric composition (e.g., tropospheric and stratospheric ozone, urban air quality), the resulting radiative forcing on climate, and the effects on the climate system resulting from both human activities and natural phenomena. Central to this work is the development of mathematical models of the chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere and the development of parallel algorithms to quickly evaluate these models using large parallel computers.

The proposed project would be to adapt some of these existing models for use in local impact studies using downscaling. Global climate models use a coarse spatial resolution, using grid points separated by hundreds of kilometers, which are unable to consider important small scale features like clouds or surface land features. In order to perform local impact studies, downscaling methods were developed to obtain surface climate processes and changes, using a much finer grid and regional-scale atmospheric data derived from the global climate models. The REU students will adapt these downscaling techniques to previously developed atmospheric climate-chemistry models, such as CCSM.