Defenses Fall 2016Spring 2016 | Spring 2017
Towards Understanding the Role of Natural Variability in Climate Change
December 9, 2016
Natural variability plays a large role in determining surface climate on local and regional scales. Understanding the role of natural variability is crucial for accurately assessing and attributing climate trends, both past and future. O...
Impacts of Assimilating Vertical Velocity, Latent Heat, or Hydrometer Water Contents Retrieved from a Single Reflectivity Data Set
December 7, 2016
Assimilation of observation data in cloudy regions has been challenging due to the unknown distribution of cloud drop sizes. Attempts to assimilate data in cloudy regions generally assume a drop size distribution, but most assimilation s...
Vertically Resolved Weak Temperature Gradient Analysis of the Madden-Julian Oscillation
December 5, 2016
Interactions between moisture, convection, and large-scale circulations are thought to play an important role in destabilizing the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). A simplified framework for understanding such interactions is developed, ...
Observations and Simulations of the Interactions between Clouds, Radiation, and Precipitation
October 31, 2016
The first part of this study focuses on the radiative constraint on the hydrologic cycle as seen in observations. In the global energy budget, the atmospheric radiative cooling (ARC) is approximately balanced by latent heating, but on re...
Impact of Drought on Grassland Productivity Across the Wet-Dry Gradient in the U.S. Great Plains in 2010-2012
October 18, 2016
Severe, prolonged droughts are predicted to occur more frequently due to global
climate change. Since grasslands already grow in regions that are water limited, they are particularly vulnerable to changes in precipitation. Climate mod...
Using Operational HMS Smoke Observations to Gain Insights on North American Smoke Transport and Implications for Air Quality
October 3, 2016
Wildfires represent a major challenge for air quality managers, as they are large sources of particulate matter (PM) and ozone (O3) precursors. Smoke can be transported thousands of kilometers to deteriorate air quality over large region...
Blending Model Output with Satellite-Based and In-Situ Observations to Produce High-Resolution Estimates of Population Exposure to Wildfire Smoke
September 8, 2016
In the western US, emissions from wildfires and prescribed fire have been associated with degradation of regional air quality. While atmospheric aerosol particles with aerodynamic diameters less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) have known impacts ...
THE HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY OF MISCANTHUS × GIGANTEUS AS A BIOFUEL CROP IN THE US MIDWEST
September 8, 2016
Miscanthus × giganteus (M. × giganteus) is a dense, 3-5 m tall, productive perennial grass that has been suggested to replace corn as the principal source of biofuel for the US transportation industry. However, cultivating a regime of ...
On Quasi-Periodic Baroclinic Variability in the Extratropical Circulation
August 24, 2016
A number of recent studies have demonstrated that large-scale extratropical wave activity is characterized by quasi-periodic behavior on timescales of 20-30 days, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. This phenomenon has been termed t...
The Impacts of Amazon Deforestation on Pacific Climate
July 25, 2016
Variability in eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation are known to affect Amazonian precipitation, but to what extent do changing Amazonian vegetation and rainfall impact e...
Convective Cold Pools: Characterization and Soil Moisture Dependence
July 21, 2016
Convective cold pools play an important role in Earth’s climate system. However, a common framework does not exist for conceptually defining and objectively identifying convective cold pools in observations and models. The first part o...
Land Surface Sensitivity of Mesoscale Convective Systems
July 8, 2016
Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are important contributors to the hydrologic cycle in many regions of the world as well as major sources of severe weather. MCSs continue to challenge forecasters and researchers alike, arising from d...