Climate Science


Caroline Ummenhofer

Understanding past climate variability by synthesizing coupled climate models and paleoclimate records

Ummenhofer’s group focuses on ocean-atmosphere interactions, variability and change across different components of the climate system, and the resulting regional impacts. In particular, we aim to develop an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the ocean’s role in regional climate, with a focus on rainfall variability and droughts, across a range of spatial and temporal scales, from individual synoptic events to interannual, decadal variability and beyond. Research addresses both present-day climate conditions, past variability over the last millennium, as well as projected changes in a warming world.

Potential projects will address how variability in rainfall and temperature on land (e.g., in Canada, Southeast Asia, Australia) over previous centuries are influenced by ocean variability in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. Insights about the mechanisms behind these links gained from climate model output will be compared with paleo proxies, such as stalagmite or tree-ring records, to understand long-term changes in hydroclimate.

Caroline Ummenhofer's lab