GFDL senior scientist Isaac Held will present the 2016 Jacob Bjerknes Lecture on December 13th at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual fall meeting in San Francisco. The Bjerknes Lecture, one of the two most distinguished named lectures of the Atmospheric Sciences Section of AGU, is awarded annually to a prominent scientist. The lecture is named in honor of meteorologist Jacob Bjerknes, who is credited with determining the link between El Niño and the Southern Oscillation.
Dr. Held’s lecture at AGU is titled “Climate Models and Tropical Cyclones: A Hierarchy of Idealized Models of Tropical Cyclogenesis.” Starting with a global atmospheric model that captures many aspects of the climatology of tropical cyclones, a hierarchy of models will be described in which the boundary conditions and geometry of this global model are simplified, in an attempt to shed some light on fundamental questions regarding tropical cyclogenesis.
Dr. Held’s research interests include atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics, climate dynamics, and climate change. His work aims to advance our understanding of such basic aspects of the atmospheric circulation as the pole-to-equator temperature gradient, the climatic distribution of surface easterlies and westerlies, and the location and strength of the jet stream. He has explored problems such as how changes in the water vapor distribution in the atmosphere, as climate warms, produce a positive feedback on this warming; factors that control how the poleward energy transport is partitioned between the atmosphere and the ocean; the distinctions between transient and equilibrium responses to perturbations in the Earth’s energy balance; and the response of tropical cyclone activity to warming.
Dr. Held is a Lecturer (with rank of Professor) in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences graduate program at Princeton University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the AGU and the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and has received numerous distinctions throughout his career, including the Rossby Medal from AMS. Dr. Held has served on advisory boards for the National Academy of Sciences, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and for Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.