I work in the Oceanography group of the Climate and Global Dynamics Division of NCAR. My main research is on the representation of small scale features in the ocean and how they affect the atmosphere and climate. Examples of such features include fronts, eddies, and coastal upwelling. Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies and gradients associated with these features affect the thermodynamic and dynamic structure of the atmospheric boundary layer, and in some cases, the deeper troposphere. For these studies I utilize satellite data, in situ data where available, and nested regional climate modeling. Many current global climate models exhibit significant biases in properties such as sea surface temperature, especially in upwelling regions and western boundary currents. My current project is to nest the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) (Shchepetkin and McWilliams, 2005) within the global ocean model (Parallel Ocean Program - POP) of the Community Earth System Model (NCAR-CESM). It is hypothesized that the high resolution (1/10°, compared to 1° POP) of the ROMS within the limited domain, together with its physics packages suitable for dynamic regions of upwelling, filaments and eddies, will improve simulations in these bias regions.
Intraseasonal variability in the far-east Pacific: investigation of the role of air-sea coupling in a regional coupled model. Small, R. J., S.-P. Xie, E. Maloney, S. P. deSzoeke and T. Miyama, 2010. Clim. Dyn., Online First, doi: 10.1007/s00382-010-0786-2.
The response of the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Sea to a summer Mistral event: a coupled atmosphere-ocean approach. Small, R. J., S. Carniel, T. Campbell, J. Teixeira, and R. Allard, 2012. Ocean Modelling, doi: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2012.02.003.
Air-Sea interaction in the Ligurian Sea: assessment of a coupled ocean-atmosphere model using in-situ data from LASIE07. Small, R. J., T. Campbell, J. Teixeira, S. Carniel, T. A. Smith, J. Dykes, S. Chen and R. Allard, 2011. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 1785-1808, paper.
PhD from National Oceanography Centre (formerly Southampton Oceanography Centre), 2000
"The refraction, shoaling and structure of non-linear internal waves at a continental shelf margin", supervised by Professor Steve Thorpe
MSc (Distinction) in Meteorology, from Reading University, 1990
"Mid-Latitude Storm Tracks in the Northern Hemisphere", supervised by Professor Brian Hoskins
BSc (Hons) 2.1 in Mathematics, from Nottingham University, 1988