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Atmospher Sci & Global Chg

April 2015

Hagos MJO Paper Featured in Eos

Dr. Samson Hagos, atmospheric researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, authored a paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Researcher - Atmospheres which was then chosen as a research spotlight in the American Geophysical Union's Eos Earth & Space Science News weekly newsletter. "Researchers Roll Clouds into Climate Modeling" appeared in the April 2015 newsletter as a summary of how scientists can now explicitly simulate cloud systems in regional and global climate models instead of parameterizing them.

On comparing model simulations that included clouds with what played out in reality during observations as part of the ARM Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) Investigation Experiment/Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation Experiment (AMIE/DYNAMO) field campaigns, the team found factors as small as raindrop physics may affect the accuracy of these state-of-the-art models.

"Our study highlights the utility of using observations to evaluate how well the next generation of climate models, called cloud-permitting models, can directly capture the behavior of clouds," said Hagos. "While these newer models have not yet completely overcome several challenges, they do capture some processes fairly well.  For example the relationship between cloud size and depth, which is an important feature of organization of tropical clouds, is well reproduced by the model simulations."

Hagos is a recognized leader in tropical cloud dynamics and regional climate modeling. His research interests are focused on the understanding and modeling of precipitation processes over a wide range of spatio-temporal scales, from the lifecycles of individual convective cells, intraseasonal oscillations and monsoons to their responses to global climate change.

Hagos earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences in 2008 from Cornell University, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of University of Miami before joining PNNL in 2009.

For more, see the PNNL research highlight, "Tall Clouds from Tiny Raindrops Grow."

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