The Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis, under the direction of Dr. Ryan Fogt, is involved in many different research projects. Currently, 6 students are employed as student researchers – 2 graduate students and 4 undergraduate students. Our research projects range from better understanding the regional climatology, especially in terms of flooding, to large scale climate and weather patterns in Antarctica and the high southern latitudes.

If you are interested in conducting research on behalf of Scalia Lab, please contact Dr. Ryan Fogt. Paid research positions open regularly; volunteer research projects are always welcome.

Current research projects include:

The characteristic variability of the Amundsen / Bellingshausen Seas Low, and its connection to the Antarctic regional climate

Work on this project is funded for three years by the National Science Foundation. Our main goals include:

  1. understanding the relevant mechanisms that drive variations in the Amundsen – Bellingshausen Seas Low (ABSL), a semi-permanent pressure center off the coast of West Antarctica in the Southern Ocean. Attention is especially focused on the connection of the ABSL to synoptic scale variability;
  2. linking variations in the position and magnitude of the ABSL to large scale climate fluctuations, such as variations in the El Nino – Southern Oscillation, as well as to regional climate variations tied to the local oceanic circulation and sea ice conditions;
  3. ultimately connecting these variations to the marked climate changes across the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica.

The project combines both observations, atmospheric reanalyses, and climate model simulations. For the latter, both atmosphere-ocean climate models and chemistry climate models are considered, in order to best understand the relative roles of sea surface temperature and ozone depletion on the ABSL variations. If realistic simulations are noted, further analysis will be conducted to predict how the ABSL will evolve in the future, and how the Antarctic regional climate will respond to these variations.

The non-zonal aspects of the Southern Annular Mode

This is an ongoing research project of Dr. Fogt. In collaboration with Dr. Julie Jones of the Univ. Sheffield, the project seeks to understand the importance of zonal asymmetries in the Southern Annular Mode, the dominant mode of climate variability across the Southern Hemisphere. The research also seeks to pinpoint the mechanisms leading to the non-zonal aspects of the SAM, and how these have evolved over the last 100 years. In turn, regional climate signals strongly tied to the SAM across the Southern Hemisphere will be better understood.