Climate Dynamics: An Introduction

Caltech’s Climate Dynamics Group studies atmospheric dynamics both here on Earth and on other planets.

We aim to elucidate fundamental questions about climate such as, What controls the surface temperatures and winds? What shapes rainfall patterns? Where and when do clouds form in the atmosphere?

To answer such questions, we analyze observational data and perform systematic studies of atmospheric dynamics with numerical models, with which we simulate flows ranging from meter-scale motions in clouds to the thousands of kilometers of circulations spanning the globe.

Thanks to the availability of unprecedented atmospheric data – obtained, for example, from space-based platforms – and to the increasing maturity of numerical models, ours is the age in which the physical laws that govern climate as an aggregate system will likely be discovered. Our goal is to contribute to that discovery.

Recent Publications

  • Mbengue, C., and T. Schneider, 2017: Storm-track shifts under climate change: toward a mechanistic understanding using baroclinic mean available potential energyJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74, 93-110.
    [PDF] [Official version]

  • Bischoff, T., T. Schneider, and A. N. Meckler, 2017: A Conceptual model for the response of tropical rainfall to orbital variations. Journal of Climate, submitted.

  • Mbengue, C. O., and T. Schneider, 2017: Linking Hadley circulation and storm tracks in a conceptual model of the atmospheric energy balanceJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences, submitted.

  • Adam, O., T. Schneider, and F. Brient, 2017: Relation of seasonal and regional aspects of the double-ITCZ bias in CMIP5 models to the atmospheric energy budget. Journal of Climate, submitted.

  • Schneider, T., 2017: Physics of Earth’s Climate.
    Evolving draft.