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Prof. Seok-Woo Son

Seok-Woo Son

Canada Research Chair in Global Climate Change and Variability

Office: Burnside Hall 817
Tel.: (514) 398-1380
Fax: (514) 398-6115
seok-woo [dot] son [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail)

Research interests

I am an atmospheric and climate dynamicist with a primary interest in large-scale atmospheric circulations, global tropopause, troposphere-stratosphere coupling and exchange, and climate variability and changes. I have investigated (and will investigate) these topics by using simple atmospheric genernal circulation models (GCMs), and by analyzing output from comprehensive GCMs and global reanalysis data. Many of my studies are aimed better understanding climate systems in both the current and future atmosphere.

Current projects

• Effect of stratospheric ozone recovery on the Southern Hemisphere climate change: Antarctic ozone hole is expected to disappear in the first half of the 21st century as a result of the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The possible impact of this ozone recovery on the Southern Hemisphere climates is investigated by using a set of chemistry-climate model integrations and IPCC AR4 coupled model integrations.

• Stratosphere-troposphere coupling in high latitudes: Stratospheric perturbations (e.g. the annular mode) often propagate downward all the way to the surface. This downward propagation primarily occurs in the northern and southern hemisphere winter. However, the detailed dynamics remains unclear. We are examining the dynamical mechanism of downward propagation by using both idealized and comprehensive GCMs.

• Dynamics of the Northern Hemisphere storm tracks and blocking events: The storm tracks and blocking events in the Northern Hemisphere owe their existence to many factors such as topography, land-sea contrast, and diabatic heating. The relative importance of each factor and the related dynamics, however, are not well understood. These are examined by using both simple and comprehensive GCMs.

• Low-frequency variability and its impact on the regional climate: The large-scale atmospheric circulation is often indexed with low-frequency variability. Amongst them are the Pacific-North American teleconnection (PNA) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). They are closely related to weather and climate over North America, and have been widely used in regional climate studies. We are revisiting these indices to better understand their characteristics and their relationship to the climate change over North America.

Some recent publications

Son, S.-W., M. Ting, and L. M. Polvani, 2009: The effect of topography on storm track intensity in a relatively simple general circulation model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 66, 393-411.

Son, S.-W., L. M. Polvani, D. W. Waugh, H. Akiyoshi, R. Garcia, D. Kinnison, S. Pawson, E. Rozanov, T. G. Shepherd, and K. Shibata, 2008: The impact of stratospheric ozone recovery on the Southern Hemisphere westerly jet. Science, 320, 1486-1489.

Son, S.-W., S. Lee, and S. B. Feldstein, 2007: Intraseaonal variability of the zonal mean extratropical tropopause height. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 64, 608-620.

Son, S.-W., and S. Lee, 2006: Preferred modes of variability and their relationship with climate change. Journal of Climate, 19, 2063-2075.

Son, S.-W., and S. Lee, 2005: The response of westerly jets to thermal driving in a primitive equation model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62, 3741-3757.

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