About the project

The flux of momentum in the lowest levels of the atmosphere plays a critical role for both weather and climate, impacting extreme storms such as tropical cyclones and severe convection, as well as serving as a key physical process associated with radiatively-important shallow cumulus layers in trade-wind regimes. All of these phenomena have historically been challenging to simulate, with biases arising from required approximation of boundary layer processes.

With climate models being more frequently utilized at smaller grid spacings capable of resolving societally-relevant features with near-surface wind maxima and sharp momentum gradients, improving model treatment of these processes is critical for enhancing the understanding and predictability of the climate system on seasonal, annual, decadal, and centennial time scales.

Our Climate Process Team (CPT), jointly supported by NSF and NOAA, was created in order to better understand the importance of momentum flux in global models and subsequently improve its representation in order to advance the next generation of Earth system models. We do this by spanning a comprehensive hierarchy, ranging from observations to process-based modeling to complex global simulations.