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Juliana Dias
CIRES Visiting Fellow
2010-2011Juliana Dias

Ph.D., New York University


Project: Interactions between moisture and large-scale atmospheric circulation

To new CIRES Visiting Fellow Juliana Dias, the climate system is almost like a living organism. She studies the ways rain and tropical climate affect each other, describing them as having behavior and a life cycle. Rain can be tempestuous, episodic, steady, even fickle, characteristics also applicable to climate.

Deciphering causes and effects of this relationship is no easy task, and with a changing climate, it’s not getting any easier. Dias’ work aims to help lift the rainfall curtain, using data from satellites, simulations, and her knowledge of fluid dynamics to improve global climate models that currently struggle to illustrate the antics of rain-climate variability. The goal is to describe the origins, structure and relationships of the wave patterns that influence rain and climate in the tropics. Doing so could lead to better predictions of tropical weather and climate.

Focusing on the tropics makes sense for Dias, who looked to those skies when growing up. And even though she left balmy South America for graduate school in the Big Apple, home was never far behind. “I guess being from Brazil, tropical dynamics was a natural choice of interest,” says Diaz.

Coming to Boulder is definitely a change from the “gigantic-chaotic-crowded city” she comes from, but given her pastimes, she’ll have no trouble fitting in. On weekends you might find her scaling the Flatirons, or heading to Ouray to get in some ice climbing. “I’ve already bought many guide books for climbing areas near Boulder,” she says.

Now if only there were a good Portuguese bakery in town, Dias would have the perfect mix of science, adventure, and a little slice of home.

Sponsor: Randall Dole
Theme: Climate System Variability