Associate Professor, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor Flanner’s research ambitions lie in understanding large-scale energy transport in Earth’s climate system, with particular focus on the roles of the cryosphere (including seasonal snow cover, glaciers, and sea-ice) and atmospheric aerosols. To approach these topics, his research group applies and develops computationally demanding models of Earth’s global climate system. The team also analyzes large datasets generated by climate models and satellite measurements, spanning numerous dimensions of space, time, spectrum, and state. Flanner’s group strives to improve climate models by developing numerically efficient algorithms for microphysical processes that occur on scales too small to represent explicitly in global climate models, such as crystal growth in snowpack and interaction of sunlight with aerosols and ice crystals. The group also informs climate mitigation discussions by applying climate models to estimate the perturbations to Earth’s radiation field caused by emissions of short-lived pollutants from different regions and sectors.