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

  • Bischoff, T., T. Schneider, and A. N. Meckler, 2016: A Conceptual model for the response of tropical rainfall to orbital variations. Journal of Climate, submitted.

  • Adam, O., T. Bischoff, and T. Schneider, 2016: Seasonal and interannual variations of the energy flux equator and ITCZ. Part II: Zonally varying shifts of the ITCZJournal of Climate29, 7281-7293.
    [PDF] [Official Version]

  • Fisher, B. M., G. S. Orton, J. Liu, T. Schneider, M. E. Ressler, and W. F. Hoffman, 2016: The organization of Jupiter’s upper tropospheric temperature structure and its evolution, 1996-1997. Icarus, 280, 268–277.
    [PDF][Official Version]

  • Wills, R. C. and T. Schneider, 2016: How stationary eddies shape changes in the hydrological cycle: Zonally asymmetric experiments in an idealized GCMJournal of Climate, 29, 3161-3179.
    [PDF] [Official Version]

  • Liu, J. and T. Schneider, 2016: Contrasting responses to orbital precession on Titan and Earth. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 7774–7780.
    [PDF] [SI] [Official Version]