Wu, an associate professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is investigating how the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice will impact North American weather extremes.
Climate change is warming the Arctic twice as fast as the rest of the planet and causing sea ice to disappear at a rate of 13.2 percent each decade. This is worrisome for many reasons. Among them is growing scientific evidence that vanishing sea ice can increase the frequency of extreme weather events at lower latitudes by disrupting the jet stream, which controls and creates our weather. But further study is needed to determine to the link between extreme weather and sea ice loss, and how North American weather may be affected.
Wu’s goal as a Fellow is to clear up some of this uncertainty using observational methods and running state-of-the-art atmospheric general circulation model experiments. Her research will contribute to improved predictability of high-impact extreme weather events including heat waves, cold spells, droughts, floods, and wind gusts. The results will also be helpful to the planning and management of agriculture, transportation, and energy production practices.