Prof. Penner’s research is adding the impacts of contrail formation within a global climate model. This involves following the physics from scales that treat aerosols (sub-micron sizes) to contrails (hundreds of meters) to climate (hundreds of kilometers). Computational aspects involve how to efficiently treat interactions across these scales.
Brian Arbic is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, with an appointment in the Department of Climate and Space Sciences Engineering and affiliations with Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics, Applied Physics, and the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. Arbic is a physical oceanographer primarily interested in the dynamics and energy budgets of oceanic mesoscale eddies (the oceanic equivalent of atmospheric weather systems), the large-scale oceanic general circulation, and tides. He has also studied paleotides, tsunamis, and the decadal variability of subsurface ocean temperatures and salinities. His primary tools are numerical models of the ocean. Arbic uses both realistic models, such as the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) being used as a U.S. Navy ocean forecast model, and idealized models. He frequently compares the outputs of such models to oceanic observations, taken with a variety of instruments. Comparison of models and observations helps us to improve models and ideas about how the ocean works. His research has often been interdisciplinary, involving collaborations with scientists outside of my discipline, such as glaciologists, geodynamicists, and marine geophysicists.
Prof. Drake has played a leading role in the development of two related fields of inquiry — High-Energy-Density Physics (HEDP) and High-Energy-Density Laboratory Astrophysics (HEDLA). This has grown from his scientific work, encompassing experiment, theory, and simulation in several topical areas. His work at Michigan, since 1996, has emphasized hydrodynamics and radiation hydrodynamics with an emphasis on connections to supernovae and other applications to astrophysics.
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.