HMEI Faculty Seminar: “The Mean, the Extreme and the Connection Between Controversial Cloud Feedback and Future Heat Stress”

Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 12:03 pm
Location: 
Virtual
Audience: 
Open to the public
Sponsor(s): 
High Meadows Environmental Institute

Stephan Fueglistaler, associate professor of geosciences and director of the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), will present “The Mean, the Extreme and the Connection Between Controversial Cloud Feedback and Future Heat Stress” for our third talk in the Spring 2021 HMEI Faculty Seminar Series.

This event is free to the public and will be held online via Zoom webinar — register here in advance to receive a webinar link.

Extreme heat is one of the projected outcomes of global warming in the coming decades. Fueglistaler will discuss how theory connects two seemingly disparate problems concerning the mean and the extrema of temperature in climate change models. The scaling of tropical heat stress extrema with mean warming and a controversial cloud feedback not present in current models are both related to the distribution of tropical sea-surface temperatures (SSTs), and the presence of a tropics-wide upper limit on extreme SSTs arising from atmospheric dynamics. His talk provides a solid theoretical ground to interpret observations and evaluate models.

Fueglistaler’s talk is based on his recent publication in the journal Nature Geoscience with Ph.D. candidate Yi Zhang and senior meteorologist Isaac Held in AOS, which was covered in media outlets including The New York Times.

James Smith, the William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of civil and environmental engineering, will lead a discussion and Q&A after the main presentation.

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