Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Elizabeth Maroon

Elizabeth Maroon will work with Jennifer Kay, Kristopher Karnauskas, and others at CIRES to study how the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) interacts with the atmosphere to set the pace of global warming. Much of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gases is absorbed by the ocean, which slows the rate of surface warming. As a result, the ocean plays an important role in setting how fast the surface warms. To improve our climate projections, we must have a full understanding of how the atmosphere and ocean interact to influence the rate of ocean heat uptake. The AMOC is a key component of the ocean circulation. While climate models show that the AMOC slows with greenhouse warming, how the AMOC influences ocean heat uptake is not well understood. Elizabeth will study how the AMOC’s strength, heat transport, and circulation vary in coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models. Because the AMOC can influence both tropical and extratropical climate through its heat transport, the interaction of regional atmospheric climate feedbacks with the AMOC will also be examined. Elizabeth completed her PhD at the University of Washington and is excited to join the research community at CIRES, especially because it was an undergraduate internship with CIRES scientists that started her career.