September 14, 2015  |  321-Pickering Auditorium, 11am

Event Image

About this Lecture

The Role of the Stratosphere in Climate and Long-range Prediction

The WCRP's SPARC Project (Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate) began in 1992 to bring focus to the important role of chemical changes associated with the developing stratospheric ozone hole on polar temperatures, general circulation, and climate. At the time, most climate and weather forecasting models included only a limited number of stratospheric levels that served primarily to create a sponge layer for damping vertically propagating disturbances. Today, the importance of stratospheric chemistry and dynamics on recent climate change and long-range prediction has led to the development of models with well-resolved stratospheres and inclusion of a host of important middle-atmospheric processes. This is true for many of the models participating in the CMIP and for global forecasting models at leading weather forecasting centers. The talk will review some of recent results highlighting the role of stratospheric processes in climate and long-range prediction.


M. Joan Alexander

Joan is a Sr. Research Scientist, VP at NorthWest Research Assoc., and Adjoint Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the U. Colorado since 1998. She mentors postdoctoral researchers and graduate students in atmospheric dynamics research including mesoscale storm and wave dynamics, tropical waves, precipitation, and clouds, atmospheric remote sensing, and global circulation. She also serves as co-Chair of the SPARC Scientific Steering Group. She formerly served as President of the Atmospheric Sciences Division of the AGU, and as a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate. She is a Fellow of the AMS. Before moving to Boulder, she was a postdoc in Atmospheric Sciences at the U. Washington where she specialized in atmospheric gravity waves generated by storms, and then a UW Research Professor for another 4 years focusing on stratospheric dynamics. She holds M.S. and PhD degrees in Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences from U. Colorado, studying radiative transfer and dynamics of the upper atmospheres of Mars and Venus.