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Research Highlight

Investigation of the global methane budget over 1980-2017 using GFDL-AM4.1

January 10, 2020 – Changes in atmospheric methane abundance have implications for both chemistry and climate, as methane is both a strong greenhouse gas and an important precursor for tropospheric ozone. The global network of methane surface observations over the past 3-4 decades indicates that methane went through a period of rapid growth from the 1980s to 1990s, nearly stabilized from 1999 to 2006, and then renewed its rapid growth.

Research Highlight

Impacts of Extratropical Weather Perturbations on Tropical Cyclone Activity: Idealized Sensitivity Experiments with a Regional Atmospheric Model

January 7, 2020 – Recent observational studies suggested that Atlantic hurricane activity is strongly affected by weather processes outside of the tropics, but modeling studies reported divergent findings regarding the importance of such an impact. Using a regional atmospheric model with imposed boundary conditions, the authors conducted idealized experiments to explore whether and how extratropical weather perturbations affect Atlantic hurricane activity.


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GFDL Scientist Recognized with International Prize for Model Development

Baoqiang Xiang

December 23, 2019 – GFDL scientist Baoqiang Xiang has been awarded the International Prize for Model Development from the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). Dr. Xiang is being recognized for his skill in developing multiple modeling systems, and in particular for leading the development of GFDL’s next generation coupled atmosphere-ocean models for prediction on the challenging seasonal-to-subseasonal timescale.

Research Highlight

Structure and Performance of GFDL’s CM4.0 Climate Model

November 6, 2019 – This paper describes the GFDL’s latest multi-purpose atmosphere-ocean coupled climate model, CM4.0. It consists of GFDL’s newest atmosphere and land models at about 100 km horizontal resolution, and ocean and sea ice models at roughly 25 km horizontal resolution. A handful of standard experiments have been conducted with CM4.0 for participation in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6), an archive of climate model results utilized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the climate research community more generally.


Six GFDL Scientists Among World’s Most Influential Scholars

December 19, 2019 – Six GFDL scientists were recognized on the Web of Science Group’s 2019 list of “Highly Cited Researchers“. This index identifies the most influential scientists, who are authors of the papers that were most frequently cited by their peers over the last decade.


Leo Donner Named 2019 AAAS Fellow

Leo Donner

November 26, 2019 – Leo Donner, Physical Scientist in GFDL’s Atmospheric Physics division, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, based on their distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Dr. Donner was elected as an AAAS Fellow for advancing understanding of atmospheric convection and its treatment in Earth System Models, and service to the climate science community.

Research Highlight

On the Mechanisms of the Active 2018 Tropical Cyclone Season in the North Pacific

Super typhoon Yutu

November 4, 2019 – The 2018 tropical cyclone (TC) season in the North Pacific was very active, with 39 tropical storms including 8 typhoons/hurricanes. Unlike the typical limitations in skill of seasonal predictions made before April initial forecasts, the active 2018 TC season was successfully predicted by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory Forecast-oriented Low Ocean Resolution (FLOR) global coupled model 3–5 months in advance (i.e., successful predictions from 1 February 2018).


Why are big storms bringing so much more rain? Warming, yes, but also winds

Cars in a flooded street

October 31, 2019 – For three hurricane seasons in a row, storms with record-breaking rainfall have caused catastrophic flooding in the southern United States: Harvey in 2017, Florence in 2018 and Imelda in 2019.

A new analysis by Princeton researchers explains why this trend is likely to continue with global warming. Both the higher moisture content of warmer air and storms’ increasing wind speeds conspire to produce wetter storms, the researchers reported in a study published on October 18 in the Nature Partner Journal Climate and Atmospheric Science.


New engine is driving NOAA’s flagship weather forecast model

June 12, 2019 – As NOAA launches a major upgrade in its flagship weather forecast model this week, an important part is the Global Forecast System’s new dynamical core. The story of how scientists developed the dynamical core or engine of the model is a view into how scientific invention works.