Climate System Dynamics

The Earth's climate system involves interactions between the atmosphere, land, ocean, and cryosphere. Scientists in ESS aim to characterize and model the fundamental dynamics of the climate system in order to predict its response to anthropogenic forcing and to provide possible mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Research Groups
Global Teleconnections and Climate Modeling Group
Faculty
Gudrun Magnusdottir

Examines how remote conditions affect local extremes in temperature and precipitation using observations, specifically designed model experiments and analysis of coordinated large ensembles of historical and projected climate simulations

El Niño Research Group
Faculty
Jin-Yi Yu

Interannual-to-interdecadal climate variability resulting from atmosphere-ocean interactions. We develop atmospheric and coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (GCMs) and design numerical experiments with the GCMs for climate studies

Ice Sheet Modeling Group
Faculty
Mathieu Morlighem

Combines modeling techniques and remote sensing to improve our understanding of ice dynamics and how they affect the climate system.

Primeau Group
Faculty
François Primeau

The ocean's role in the climate of the Earth

Computational Clouds and Climate Lab
Faculty
Michael Pritchard

Uses high-resolution and multi-scale atmospheric models to study interactions between cloud physics, large-scale dynamics, and the regional water cycle. Exploits high-performance computing and machine learning for turbulent process emulation and neural-network assisted dynamical inquiry

Randerson Group
Faculty
Jim Randerson

Global change in terrestrial ecosystems

Ice Remote Sensing Group
Faculty
Eric Rignot

Uses satellite remote sensing techniques (imaging radar, laser altimetry, radio echo sounding), airborne geophysical surveys (icebridge), field surveys (radar, GPS, bathymetry, CTD), and numerical modeling

Sea Level and Gravimetry
Faculty
Isabella Velicogna

Employs advanced multi-sensor geophysical techniques, including satellite time-variable gravity (GRACE), to study the mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets and glaciers worldwide

Microphysics, Radiation, and Data Science
Faculty
Charlie Zender

Improves realism of physical processes (albedo, emissivity, snow, firn, aerosols) for climate prediction, and develops high performance data analysis software

Terrestrial Paleoclimate and Geochemistry Group
Faculty
Kathleen Johnson

Reconstruct past climate (paleoclimate) over the past several glacial-interglacial cycles at seasonal to millennial resolution and to compare these records with other paleoclimate data and model output

Climate and Extreme Events Risk Group
Faculty
Jane Baldwin

Studies how atmosphere and ocean dynamics influence regional climate and climate extremes, with an eye to climate change and policy applications

Faculty & Researchers
Gudrun Magnusdottir
Professor of Earth System Science
gudrun@uci.edu
Jin-Yi Yu
Professor of Earth System Science
jyyu@uci.edu
Mathieu Morlighem
Associate Professor of Earth System Science
mathieu.morlighem@uci.edu
François Primeau
Professor of Earth System Science
fprimeau@uci.edu
Michael Pritchard
Associate Professor of Earth System Science
mspritch@uci.edu
Jim Randerson
Professor of Earth System Science
jranders@uci.edu
Eric Rignot
Professor of Earth System Science
erignot@uci.edu
Isbella Velicogna
Professor of Earth System Science
isabella@uci.edu
Charlie Zender
Professor of Earth System Science
zender@uci.edu
Kathleen Johnson
Associate Professor of Earth System Science
kathleen.johnson@uci.edu
Jane Baldwin
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science
jane.baldwin@uci.edu

News

AGU announces Section Awardees and Named Lecturers, including ESS Professor Charlie Zender
Earth system scientists at UCI studied air trapped in compacted layers of Antarctic ice and snow to come up with some answers and a few new questions about the amount of molecular hydrogen in our…
Fires are burning in the West. The Caldor Fire in Lake Tahoe is making what you breathe more smoke than air, forcing thousands to evacuate. Find out what some scientists from the UCI Department of…

The Department of Earth System Science acknowledges our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples, who still hold strong cultural, spiritual and physical ties to this region.