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My research focuses on understanding seasonal-to-decadal climate variability and predictability through simulations and initialized forecasts conducted with earth system models. 

Dynamics and multiyear predictability of ENSO duration

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events cause episodic warming (El Niño) and cooling (La Niña) of the tropical Pacific and affect global weather patterns via atmospheric teleconnections. ENSO events that last multiple years can prolong and exacerbate their climate impacts. My past research examined the dynamics, predictability, and prediction skill of the duration of ENSO events based on diagnostic analyses, perfect model prediction, and hindcasts of past events.

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El Niño events that develop early in the calendar year tend to terminate after the first peak, while those develop later usually last for a second year. La Niña events preceded by strong El Niño events tend to last two years. (Figure adapted from Wu et al. 2019).

Decadal climate variability of the Pacific Ocean has significant impacts on global hydroclimate, marine ecosystems, and the rate of global warming. Unfortunately, current decadal prediction skill in the Pacific Ocean remains remarkably low, leading to significant uncertainties in predicting near-term global climate. I have been investigating the factors and processes that govern the decadal prediction skill and predictability in the Pacific, including volcanic forcing and oceanic mechanisms.

Collaborative Research:

Response of tropical hydroclimate during abrupt climate change

Pacific decadal predictability

Paleoclimate data show patterns of global temperature and hydroclimate changes during intervals when the North Atlantic cools, particularly during the most recent Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS1; 17-15 ka). We combine ~200 paleoclimate data records and 15 model simulations to investigate oceanic and atmospheric processes responsible for the tropical rainfall changes during the HS1. 

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