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Mathematics and weather and climate research
Date:1/9/2013

p>A huge traveling wave in the atmosphere called the MaddenJulian Oscillation (MJO), pronounced "mojo," floats over the tropics and governs both short- and long-term weather patterns. The MJO extends hundreds of miles, travels 10-15 miles per hour, and takes 12 months to complete its cycle. The MJO tends to be more active a year before an El Nino event, and it tends to be less active during El Nino. The MJO has a major influence on monsoons in the tropics, and a somewhat lesser impact on rainfall in North America primarily on the winter rains in the western U.S.

Despite its importance, the MJO is not predicted by current weather models. Understanding the MJO presents a challenge to atmospheric modeling, but promises new insights into the complex system that is our weather.

Samuel Stechmann, mathematics professor at the University of Wisconsin, will describe a new model of the MJO at a lecture on Thursday, January 10. The talk, titled "The skeleton of the Madden-Julian oscillation: a nonlinear oscillator model," will describe joint research with Andrew Majda of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. The work will appear in the journal Nonlinearity.

Was Hurricane Sandy an extreme weather event or due to a changing climate?

Important climate issues, such as sea level rise, snow-cap cover estimates, glacier dynamics, greenhouse gas estimates, global temperature, and whether we are experiencing a weather event (an unusually hot summer) or a climate phenomenon (global rise in temperature), depend on the establishment of an unambiguous trend. Researchers at the University of Arizona, Juan M. Restrepo, Darin Comeau, Shankar Venkataramani, and Hermann Flaschka, address the shortcomings or inapplicability of conventional statistical methods to capture a trend in these and other geoscience problems.

On Friday, January 11, Juan M. Restrepo, group leader of the Uncertainty Quantification Group and the facult
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Contact: Brian Conrey
conrey@aimath.org
650-307-2736
American Institute of Mathematics
Source:Eurekalert

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