Jan Lieser, ACE CRC, Australia, Sept. 2017 

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Zachary (Zack) Kaufman, UCSC Climate Dynamics

I am currently a PhD candidate in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at UC Santa Cruz.  In 2016, I received my undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in Earth and Environmental Sciences.    

I am broadly interested in the climate system of Earth's polar regions, which feature fascinating, complex interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, and sea ice. I primarily work with Professor Nicole Feldl, applying novel causal discovery techniques to quantify the physical mechanisms underlying polar climate change. Currently, my research utilizes large geophysical datasets from state-of-the-art climate models. In the past, I have worked on polar paleoclimate reconstructions using deep-sea sediment cores in the Weddell Sea.                        


Contact info: zskaufma (at) ucsc (dot) edu 
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High-resolution modeling capabilities have enabled new research on open-ocean polynyas, an important  sea-ice feature in the Southern Ocean. See our published research on the topic, conducted in collaboration with the US Department of Energy's HiLAT Project:

Z. S. Kaufman, N. Feldl, W. Weijer, M. Veneziani, 2020: Causal Interactions Between Southern Ocean Polynyas and High-Latitude Atmosphere-Ocean Variability. Journal of Climate, 33, 4891-4905. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0525.1.


 Arctic warming is amplified by a positive lapse rate feedback in winter, when boundary-layer temperature inversions focus warming near the surface. I apply causal inference techinques to identify the dominant physical processes that set this vertical warming structure. Recently published work quantifies the effect of changes in atmospheric heat transport and sea-ice extent on multiweek time scales.

Z.S. Kaufman & N. Feldl, (2021): Causes of the Arctic’s Lower-Tropospheric Warming. Journal of Climate, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-21-0298.1