Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Dillon Amaya

The deep tropics (10 ̊S-10 ̊N) account for only 17% of the Earth’s surface; however, 32% of globally integrated annual rainfall falls here due to a narrow band of heavy precipitation called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). In addition, atmospheric teleconnections forced by tropical climate modes like the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can have far reaching impacts on the hydrology of extratropical latitudes. The presence of the ITCZ in conjunction with thermally driven atmospheric teleconnections suggests the deep tropics play an outsized role in modulating much of the planet’s regional rainfall. As a result, many studies have examined tropical climate variability and tropical teleconnections to higher latitudes. However, the climate community has recently identified important pathways by which extratropical variability can directly influence the ITCZ and tropical climate modes such as ENSO. My project will utilize Community Earth System Model (CESM) to develop novel modeling techniques to isolate the physical mechanisms that govern these extratropical-tropical connections in an effort to improve their predictability on seasonal to decadal timescales.