Dynamics of past, present, and future climates

The nature of the coupling between dynamical and radiative controls on global change is both a priority and major challenge in climate dynamics. The climate community has tended to focus on one or the other side of this same coin: how the Earth's energy budget responds to forcing (with feedbacks emerging as a primary research tool) or how the general circulation of the atmosphere responds. The theme of our group's work is to unite these two perspectives. Spatial patterns of climate change arise due to interactions between various components of the atmosphere and land surface. Adjustments to water vapor and clouds, for instance, modulate changes in the large-scale circulation, which manifest as shifts in the location and intensity of precipitation. Progress in constraining uncertainty in climate projections and developing reliable adaptation strategies is predicated upon a mechanistic understanding of these complex, coupled processes.

The Feldl Group in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, conducts research in climate dynamics, including past, present, future, and occasionally extrasolar climates. Recent projects have focused on atmospheric feedbacks and climate sensitivity, coupling between clouds and circulations, and the role of the ocean in setting the timescales and geographic patterns of climate change and variability. If you would like to join us in beautiful Santa Cruz, please note the following resources.

For prospective graduate students: Please apply to the graduate program in Earth and Planetary Sciences and also consider applying for a fellowship: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, NASA Graduate Student Research Program.

For prospective postdoctoral fellows: Demonstrating your ability to pursue and fund independent research is especially important. Please get in touch if you have an idea for a joint research proposal. In addition, the following fellowships are highly recommended: NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, NSF Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship.