Research Activities


While my research has been largely based on analysis of observations obtained in close collaboration with colleagues all over the world, I have also worked fairly closely with ocean, atmosphere, and coupled climate modelers. My involvement with the Tropical Oceans/Global Atmosphere (TOGA) research program for the past decade has included making observations during numerous oceanographic research expeditions, planning process studies such as the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE), and working with colleagues on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) TOGA Advisory Panel to help shape the overall TOGA program in its evolution. Substantial new datasets were acquired during TOGA/COARE, which offer exciting new opportunities to understand the processes which couple the atmosphere and ocean on a broad range of time and space scales. These new observations are being analyzed in conjunction with a variety of ocean and atmosphere models, with the aim of ultimately improving the model parameterizations of the impact on large time and space scales by processes which occur on short time and space scales.


In 1987, David Karl and I organized the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program with funding by the National Science Foundation under the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and JGOFS programs. The time series of physical, chemical and biological measurements of the water column in the deep ocean north of Hawaii is now more than 18 years long. Recent analyses of the hydrography have been concentrating on seasonal and interannual variations throughout the water column, including evidence of El Nino-Southern Oscillation signatures in the deep ocean temperatures. These observations clearly illustrate that the detection of climate change in the ocean will require sufficient understanding and modeling of the interannual (and decadal) natural variability in order to remove the large "noise" which may well mask the anthropogenic changes. Also, the analysis of the WOCE hydrographic survey of the World Ocean will have to consider these signals in order to approach a "snapshot" baseline.


During 1992, the approaching end of the TOGA program at the end of 1994 led me to work with numerous colleagues to articulate the scientific rationale for the Global Ocean-Atmosphere-Land System (GOALS) for Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction Program. As a member of the NAS Advisory Panel for this program, I am leading the scientific and implementation planning for the Austral-Asian Monsoon component of GOALS, in close collaboration with the World Climate Research Programme's new CLIVAR program. These planning activities, combined with my participation on the NOAA Advisory Panel for the Climate and Global Change Program have provided me with an understanding of the numerous and complex issues involves with climate system modeling, and the need for critical observational efforts to support that research. Thus, in addition to the climate-related personal research, I have developed a substantial background and a knowledge of the state-of-the-art in climate variability and change issues, especially the interdisciplinary aspects. This is reflected in some of my course offerings.

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