Researcher Feature – Melissa Gervais, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

Researcher Feature – Melissa Gervais, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science


(music) My name is Melissa Gervais. I am an Assistant Professor
in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science. I am also a co-hire at the
Institute for Cyber Science here at Penn State. I began my position last
September so I have been here for about a year and a half. I work a lot on problems
related to climate and climate change. In particular, I am really
interested in how the ocean and the atmosphere and the
sea ice and the atmosphere interact and how those future
changes in those systems can change patterns of
atmospheric circulation. So how does that influence daily weather. My current personal research
kind of stemmed from a paper I wrote in my PhD where I
was looking at generally at patterns of atmospheric
circulation and we noticed that there was a change,
or a trend, in circulation patterns over Europe that
we thought might be related to the development of this
region that is not warming as much as the rest of the
global sea surface temperatures. Using machine learning,
we can do this kind of synoptic typing but on a
larger scale and so we can actually do this for a large ensemble of climate model simulations. And so I think this is really
important moving forward because it will allow us to
communicate to the public it’s not only that you are
going to have this x degree of increase, you are also
going to see patterns like this become more common and
patterns like this become less common so how can you
adapt for those different types of regimes. One of the things that I think
is going to become really important is how do we
adapt to climate change and part of that question is what
is actually going to happen. The future of my field is
going to be to continue to have these base fundamental
understanding of the science and of the processes but
with the guise of wanting in the future to have a
better understanding of what is going to happen
so that people can make more informed decisions about
their adaptation strategies and their mitigation strategies. (music)

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