Atmospheric Radiation and Physical Climatology
Office: Burnside Hall 814
Tel.: (514) 398-8217
Fax.: (514) 398-6115
huang [at] meteo.mcgill.ca (E-Mail)
We are interested in understanding Earth climate and its variations from a radiation perspective.
Radiation energy plays a central role in driving climate variations. When the climate system adjusts to a perturbation, for instance, induced by anthropogenic CO2, the global mean surface temperature changes in proportion to the net radiation flux at the top of the atmosphere that is initially induced, with a factor conventionally termed climate sensitivity. Thereby, the climatic impact of a geophysical variable (e.g., CO2 as a forcing or water vapor as a feedback to the initial perturbation) can be measured by their impact on the radiation energy budget.
We use satellite observations, global climate models and radiative transfer models to gain fundamental understanding of the physical factors that govern the energy budget of the climate system. Current research topics include:
- Theoretical investigation of the dependence of the radiation energy budget on such geophysical variables as water vapor, temperature and cloud properties [Huang, Ramaswamy and Soden, 2007; Huang and Ramaswamy, 2007].
- Understanding the variations of the atmospheric infrared radiation spectra as measured by satellite and using spectral measurements as a tool to understand climate variations [Huang and Ramaswamy, 2008], diagnose climate models [Huang et al., 2007], and monitor climate change [Huang and Ramaswamy, 2009].
- Measuring climate forcing and feedbacks from satellite observations to constrain the uncertainty in climate sensitivity [Huang et al., 2010; Huang, Leroy and Anderson, 2010].
- Improving model ensemble-based climate prediction by incorporating observational data [Huang, Leroy and Goody, 2011].