Impacts and Variability of Atmospheric Rivers in Changing Climates

Prof. Juan Lora

Yale University

Monday May 6, 2024, 2 PM ET



Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are transient regions of strong moisture transport in Earth’s extratropical atmosphere that dominate poleward fluxes of moisture despite their relatively small areal footprints. ARs have been variously linked to extreme precipitation, flooding, polar ice melt, and other hazards. Yet, in part because they are only loosely defined, their role in global energy transport and relationship to surface temperatures has not been fully characterized. At the same time, the variability of ARs and their response to forced climate changes at various timescales, along with their accompanying impacts, remain incompletely understood beyond basic thermodynamic expectations. I will discuss recent progress in refining our understanding of the impacts and variability of ARs using simulations and observations of different climates, from past cold states to future warming, with a particular focus on placing ongoing changes in a broader context. I will also discuss some results from the AR Tracking Method Intercomparison Project (ARTMIP) that shed light on the sources of consensus and disagreement between objective definitions of ARs.



Juan Lora is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Yale University. His research spans planetary and climate sciences, with specific expertise in climate modeling, hydrologic cycles, and climate dynamics. His current particular areas of focus include investigations of the methane cycle of Saturn’s moon Titan,  atmospheric moisture transport and atmospheric rivers on Earth, and variability in planetary atmospheres. 




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May 06 2024


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


John Xun Yang