October 22, 2021

The Award-Winning Team Forecasting ‘Storm King’ Impact

by Sara Siddiqui in Article

The DTI-funded trio of researchers using AI to model the movements of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO, the Storm King of Earth’s tropics) has been recognized with two CAREER awards (of fewer than 400 awarded each year) and an honorary doctorate from one of the oldest universities in the world for their work – all within the past six months.

DTI P.I. and faculty scientist Da Yang of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), also a UC Davis assistant professor of atmospheric science, received the CAREER Award grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in July for atmospheric modeling to help understand the impacts of a changing climate.

DTI co-P.I. and Rice University fluid dynamicist Pedram Hassanzadeh also received an NSF CAREER Award, in April, to better understand the physics behind atmospheric blocking, as occurred in the ‘Great Freeze’ in Texas earlier this year, as well as in Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

In June, the Université de Lausanne recognized Bin Yu, UC Berkeley professor and DTI co-P.I. as “one of the most influential researchers of her time” and awarded her with an honorary doctorate. Founded in 1537, the Université de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, is one of the world’s oldest universities in continuous operation.

The three received an AI for Energy and Climate Security Award in June to develop machine-learning models to forecast the MJO, a month-long, planetary-scale rainfall pattern over the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans that produces winds and precipitation with global impact. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science recently featured Yang’s forecast modeling and its predicted impact on the Pacific Northwest.

Read the DOE highlight here.