Convection in Climate Models: Physical Drivers and Large-scale Impacts

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Prof. Anand Gnanadesikan

Johns Hopkins University

Tuesday February 18, 2020, 12 PM

ESSIC Conference Room 4102, 5825 University Research Ct, College Park, MD 20740


Oceanic convection represents an important means of connecting the deep ocean with the surface, and the resulting impacts can be felt on both physical climate and biogeochemical cycling. In talk, we’ll review work done in recent years at JHU. We’ll begin by looking at a model that produces very periodic deep convection in the Weddell Sea, discuss how this cycle is set up, and examine the impact of changing lateral mixing on its dynamics. We’ll continue by discussing other ways in which lateral mixing modulates deep convection and its impacts on the response to global warming both physically and biogeochemically. And finally, we’ll talk about how changes in oceanic shortwave absorption can change the sensitivity of convection to anthropogenic global warming.


Anand Gnanadesikan’s research centers around understanding processes that play important roles in the large-scale circulation of the ocean and its interaction with the atmosphere, biosphere and cryosphere. He does this using both numerical models and large-scale data synthesis. He received a Ph.D. from the MIT/Woods Hole Joint Program in Physical Oceanography in 1994, where he worked with Bob Weller on Langmuir circulation. From 1995-2011 he was based at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton, where he worked on a number of components of Earth System Models. In 2011 he moved to Johns Hopkins University where he is currently the chair of the Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

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Feb 18 2020