The connection between Earth’s oceans and atmosphere has a direct impact on the weather and climate conditions experienced around the globe. For example, warmer than normal ocean temperatures in the tropics can alter weather patterns, causing drought over the western US, while bringing extreme rains to the southeast. Understanding the processes driving these types of interactions is a key component in improving forecasts and warnings. This information can help keep communities safe and guide decisions related to such issues as water management, emergency planning, and ecosystem resilience.
PSD's Atmosphere-Ocean Processes Team investigates the roles of ocean processes, air-sea interaction, and tropical-extratropical exchanges on climate variability. We use a combination of data analysis and modeling to better understand and characterize some of the physical mechanisms driving Earth's weather and climate, from time scales ranging from days to decades.