Indiana University Bloomington

Atmospheric Sciences

Big Red supercomputer at IU
1. The Big Red II supercomputer at IU.

Atmospheric Science at Indiana University is a dynamic program with exciting opportunities to undertake field, laboratory or modeling research. The program integrates research across scales, from boundary layer turbulence to mesoscale phenomena including deep moist convection to global circulation dynamics. Our faculty members actively conduct research in radiative forcing and climate change, tropical cyclone morphology using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, to global climate researching using state-of-the-art climate models, and satellite remote sensing and GPS occultation methods. We are active users of IU’s high-performance parallel computing facilities which include two new super computing machines: KARST and Big Red II, which ranks as one of the world's fastest 70 supercomputers (Figure 1).

Being the newest component of the Department of Geological Sciences, the Atmospheric Group is exploring interdisciplinary research directions linked to the paleoclimate research and global climate change studies being conducted by other members of the Geological Sciences faculty. The diverse, close-knit group of researchers enjoys a collective expertise in climate-atmosphere-surface interactions with the solid earth. The fact that high performance computing is essentially unlimited at Indiana University offers the Atmospheric Group competitive possibility to focus more on needs and opportunities in frontier understanding of the Earth climate system.

Earth from Apollo 17
2. Earth and its cloud regimes as seen from Apollo 17 .

Our climate research focuses on climate dynamics and change, with research studying past and projected changes in large scale circulations, such as the Hadley cell or global monsoon, which have profound impacts on hydroclimate on large scales (Figure 2). We are also actively studying changes in cloudiness that complicate projections of the global energy budget. These research areas benefit from paleoclimate research being conducted by other members of the Geological Sciences faculty.

Hurricane Isabel
3. Hurricane Isabel (2003) as seen from the International Space Station.

Our weather research involves the study of both tropical and midlatitude storm systems with the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF). Active topics include the character and structure of midlatitude cyclones in the eastern united states, and the physical mechanisms underlying the strengthening of tropical cyclones (Figure 3).


The Atmospheric Science Program also has instrumentation at a number of sites managed by the Integrated Program in the Environment including the Morgan-Monroe State Forest site that was established in 1997 under a grant from the Department of Energy. That site is home to a meteorological tower and provides access to a wide range of research projects and instrumentation (left image).

Fully funded graduate student positions are available at both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. level and funding is also available for undergraduate research. Visit the Atmospheric Sciences group page for further information.

If you want to learn more, please contact Paul Staten
Email: Phone: 812-856-5135

Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University
702 N. Walnut Grove Bloomington, IN 47405-1405 U.S.A.