CCR Staff: Jeff Kiehl, Section Head & Senior Scientist
- Lessons from Earth's Past (.pdf)
- Earth's Energy Budget (.pdf)
- Climate Sensitivity in the CCSM4 (.pdf)
Personal Research Interests
Earth's Changing Hydrological Cycle
Water is one of societies most important resources. As Earth warms due to increasing greenhouse gases, the processes that determine the space and time properties of moisture transport, clouds, precipitation, and evaporation will change. In collaboration with Christine Shields (NCAR), I am exploring how these various properties depend on the amount of warming from increased greenhouse gases. I am using the Community Earth System Model (CESM) simulations at different horizontal resolutions to explore changes in the hydrological cycle that may occur in the future. I am particularly interested in what physical processes contribute the most to the projected changes. This work is supported by the Department of Energy.
Communicating Climate Change
It is extremely important for scientists to effectively communicate their science to society. Polls have indicated that the public would like more information on climate science. For the most part, scientists are most familiar with communicating with each other. Over the past ten years I have explored different ways of communicating climate science to various sectors of society. Based on my studies, I have given a wide array of presentations to provide tools for scientists to better communicate their work to various sectors of society. These tools are based on lessons learned from personal experience and from communication research. In particular, I am exploring how metaphor, image and narrative can be used to connect people to climate change issues.
Psychology and Climate Science
I am also very interested in exploring the interconnections between climate change and psychological processes, which is a field that has gained more attention within the psychological community. There are numerous conscious and unconscious processes that regulate how we take in information, especially information that can be activate strong affective reactions. These processes may act as barriers to assimilating information around climate change. I am intrigued by these barriers that may prevent people from connecting to the importance of our warming planet. I feel that a number of these barriers are linked to deep psychological defenses. I hold two degrees in psychology and am using this knowledge to explore this intriguing issue.
UCAR Climate Council
I am currently the chairman of the UCAR Climate Council. The charter of the UCAR Climate Council is to bring together individuals within NCAR/UCAR who are working on various aspects of climate, which includes basic science research, education, communications, policy and applications. The council meets regularly to discuss and discover connections among these various aspects of climate. The council is currently working on a project on building tutorials on climate models: what are they, how do they work, and how are they used.