Dynamics and Kinematics of the Monsoon Anticyclones
The Asian monsoon is one of the most important weather and climate systems on Earth. During the summer, warm moist air from the tropical oceans moves onto the southern and eastern parts of the Asian continent. This leads to convective storms, which provide critical precipitation and water supplies for a region that is home to several billion people. A similar but weaker monsoon circulation exists over North America. Monsoon storms also transport water and human-produced pollutants to great altitudes. These pollutants can have major effects on the chemistry of the atmosphere, including the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects living things from harmful solar radiation. Using computer simulations and atmospheric observations, this research will investigate the physical processes responsible for the Asian and North American monsoons and how they transport pollutants from near the Earth''s surface throughout the atmosphere.The monsoons directly affect billions of people around the globe and have important indirect effects on the Earth''s climate and the composition of the atmosphere. Changes in the circulation and composition of the atmosphere have the potential to disrupt physical, economic, social, and political systems around the globe. By improving our understanding of the physical processes responsible for the monsoon circulations, this study will advance our understanding of the present climate and reduce uncertainties in predictions of future climate change. This will lead to better guidance for social and economic policymakers. In addition, this project will train graduate students for careers in science and related fields.