Research Lab


Baldwin Group


The Baldwin Group studies climate dynamics and extreme event risk.

Research Area: Human Systems, Physical Climate


Johnson Research Group


The Johnson Research Group's primary research goal is to 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. Specifically, the lab utilizes geochemical variations preserved in natural calcium carbonate archives such as speleothems (cave deposits) to construct well-dated records of past precipitation, temperature, vegetation, and/or atmospheric circulation in the tropical Indo-Pacific, the Asian monsoon region, and California.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Magnusdottir Modeling Lab


The Magnusdottir Modeling Lab focuses on atmospheric and climate dynamics. Gudrun Magnusdottir and her team use observations, as well as a hierarchy of numerical models, to study dynamical processes in the atmosphere and climate variability. The lab investigates feedback mechanisms influencing the unprecedented high-latitude trends in several climate variables over recent decades, tropical-extratropical and troposphere-stratosphere dynamical interactions, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) -- its variability on different timescales and what controls it in the climate system.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Morlighem Research Group


The Morlighem Research Group focuses on better understanding and explaining ongoing changes in the Cryosphere, or the frozen parts of the Earth, using numerical modeling. Mathieu Morlighem and his team are interested in understanding the interactions of ice and climate by combining state-of-the-art numerical modeling with remote sensing and in situ data. In particular, they are interested in determining how the ice sheet, ice caps and mountain glaciers will respond to climate change in the coming century. The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) is their primary tool to address these questions.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Primeau Research Group


The Primeau Research Group is interested in the ocean's role in the climate of the Earth. The ocean plays a determining role in the variability of the climate system on inter-annual to millennial timescales. The lab uses global observations and a hierarchy of ocean models together with advanced computational and mathematical techniques to study the ocean. Francois Primeau and his team’s current research is directed in three broad areas: 1) the surface-to-surface transport and ventilation of ocean water masses; 2) inter-annual to decadal variability of the ocean's wind-driven circulation; and 3) global ocean biogeochemical cycles.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Physical Climate


Pritchard Lab


The Pritchard Lab's expertise is in next generation climate simulation, focusing on the physics of cloud-related processes in the virtual atmosphere. Mike Pritchard and his team apply a range of traditional and experimental new approaches to study the global atmosphere in a virtual laboratory. These include conventional global climate models and experimental approaches such as "superparameterized" prototype global models.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Randerson Research Group


The Randerson Research Group seeks to improve our understanding of global change in terrestrial ecosystems. They use remote sensing data, atmospheric trace gas observations, field measurements, and models in new ways to study feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and climate.

Research Area: Biogeochemical Cycles, Physical Climate


Rignot Research Group


The primary interest of the Rignot Research Group is to understand the interactions of ice and climate, in particular to determine how the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland will respond to climate change in the coming century and how they will affect global sea level. Glaciology mixes a variety of scientific and engineering disciplines. Eric Rignot and his team combine satellite remote sensing techniques (imaging radar, laser altimetry, radio echo sounding) airborne geophysical surveys, field surveys (GPR, GPS) and numerical modeling (ice sheet motion and ocean circulation near glaciers). In May 2013, the Rignot Research Group recieved a NASA award for "Ice Velocity Mapping of the Antarctic Ice Sheet," a five-year project funded that will extend funding at UC Irvine for ten years to map ice motion in Antarctica and deliver the products to the science community.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Velicogna Research Group


The focus of the Velicogna Research Group is to study the cryospheric components of the water cycle and their response to climate forcing. In particular, Isabella Velicogna and her team study the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, their contribution to sea level rise and the evolution of the Arctic water cycle in response to climate change.

Research Area: Physical Climate


Yu Modeling Lab


Research Topics Include: Two Types of El Nino: Central-Pacific El Nino and Eastern-Pacific El Nino; A New Global Parallel and Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere GCM; ENSO Simulation, Dynamics, and Prediction; ENSO-Monsoon Interactions; Indian Ocean Zonal Mode; Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO); Tropical Instability Waves (TIW); Tropical-Extratropical Interactions; Cloud-Radiation Feedback; Jetstream and Stormtrack Vacillation; Regional Climate Variations

Research Area: Physical Climate


Zender Research Group


The Zender Research Group studies the microphysics of trace gas, aerosol, and surface interactions with Earth's radiative, thermodynamic, and chemical processes. Charles Zender and his team develop and refine the representation of these processes to improve climate prediction. Model simulations, combined with lab, field, and satellite data, help them predict and attribute features of climate and climate change. Current research includes mineral dust and carbonaceous aerosols, snow lifecycle and albedo, aerosol impacts on ocean biogeochemistry, wind-driven surface energy/mass exchange, climate-disease links, and super-dooper-big-scale data analysis. The team's aerosol, radiative transfer, and data processing models are freely available and are used by geoscientists world-wide.

Research Area: Atmospheric Chemistry, Physical Climate