Climate plays an important role in the behavior of the terrestrial portion of the Earth System. Less frequently discussed, however, is the idea that changes in the land surface itself can influence the atmosphere and climate. My work is focussed on understanding how changes in the land surface can drive responses in the atmosphere, at both regional and global scales.
In particular, my work aims to identify where the atmosphere is most sensitive to changes in the land surface, which surface properties have the biggest impact on the atmosphere at any given location, and how changes in surface energy and water fluxes modify atmospheric processes.
I use Earth System Models to study how the land and the atmosphere interact. My work has leveraged the Community Earth System Model (CESM), SLIM (an idealized land model which I have developed to run coupled to the CESM framework), and Isca (an idealized global circulation model). I enjoy thinking about idealized representations of the Earth system, in particular to dig into the basic physical processes involved in land-atmosphere coupling. This includes exploring representations of “Earth” with idealized continental configurations.
I am also interested in regional land-atmosphere coupling. I aim to understand how properties of the land surface modulate physical processes in the atmospheric boundary layer and lower troposphere to modify cloud formation and precipitation in different climate regimes (e.g. tropical vs. boreal areas). My goal is to understand what scale of vegetation change in a given biome is required to drive a local, regional, or large-scale response in the atmosphere.