Department of Energy fixed atmospheric measurement site on Graciosa Island (Azores)

current PROJECTS

My current international research is focused on rain and rivers in the Maritime Continent (Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea). I have shown how atmospheric signals (ENSO/MJOs/cold surges) layer to produce extreme rainfall in the mountains and freshen the coastal ocean (Pullen et al., 2015). The demonstrated ability of a coupled air-sea model to represent complex precipitation events heralds the potential to warn populations in mountainous areas most at risk for flooding, and mitigate associated flood risks. 

We will be incorporating hydrology and improved land surface treatment to produce coupled air-sea-hydrology predictions for the Years of the Maritime Continent (2017-2019). Research topics being addressed include the impact of freshwater-induced ocean barrier layers and fine-scale SST patterns on atmospheric intra-seasonal oscillations in the region.

(funded by Office of Naval Research)


My current national research is focused on the integration of models for weather, hydrology, and the coastal ocean for the NY/NJ region (e.g., Firas et al., 2016). Our approach seamlessly addresses the compound flooding associated with coastal storm surge and inland rainfall-induced flooding.  We deploy our urban-scale models to investigate issues at the energy/water nexus, infrastructure vulnerability and transport and dispersion applications.

(various funding sources) 


What should nonpartisan, effective nuclear risk communication look like in the 21st century? How can we apply the lessons learned from the Cold War Civil Defense programs and those gained from the strengths of present-day Emergency Management programs and high-fidelity simulation efforts? What models of information transmission, and ultimately cultural change, should be embraced to convey the threat of nuclear weapons? What new tools, institutions (public and private), and approaches can be leveraged to radically change the discourse on nuclear weapons and create a new paradigm of civic engagement?  We seek to leverage insights from Civil Protection and an in- depth examination of the current state of nuclear security preparedness to develop novel and effective communication strategies and tools. 

(funded by Carnegie Corporation)


We are implementing fully coupled high-resolution urban atmosphere/ocean/hydrology models using containerization of open source codes on advanced cloud/edge computing platforms. With new Ph.D. student Mansur al-Jisan we are pursuing application areas in complex coastal urban zones.

(industry collaboration)


Recent Activities


26-27 September 2017

Oceanic Observatory of Madeira
Funchal, MADEIRA

Rui Caldeira (Oceanic Observatory of Madeira), Julie Pullen (Stevens Institute of Technology), David Gochis (NCAR), Nadia Pinardi & Giorgia Verri (Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change), Sue Chen & Teddy Holt (Naval Research Laboratory)


Workshop on Earth System Processes in the North Atlantic 

2-7 July 2017

University of the Azores (UAc),
Terceira Island, AZORES

(more info: workshop agenda & overview)

I gave an invited workshop lecture, visited the Dept. of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) fixed site on Graciosa Island, and met with colleagues at the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries (DOP) facilities on Faial Island through a Portuguese-American Development Foundation (FLAD)  FLAD-UAc Mobility Fund “Crossing the Atlantic” travel grant.


Fulbright U.S. Scholar Fellowship (Philippines)

Stevens Fulbright Researcher Deciphers Extreme Weather, Aids Homeland Security (more info: article)


Earth System Prediction

"Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts"

I was a member of the National Academy's Committee on Developing a U.S. Research Agenda to Advance Subseasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Forecasting (more info: report)

"The committee recommends that the nation should develop and maintain a system for projecting the consequences of any unusual forcing events—in particular over S2S timescales—in order to aid emergency response and disaster planning. This system should be mobilizable within 1week (giving time to ascertain the details of the forcing and select the appropriate set of predicted quantities) and return preliminary results for timescales from the near-term to seasonal and out to a 1-year forecast horizon by the end of a second week. The quality of the system components should be established before any such event via documentation of hypothetical test cases in the peer-reviewed literature. For timescales longer than 1 year, there is time to mobilize the broader scientific community to expand the recommended on-demand prediction system and develop new capabilities tailored to the specifics of the major event in question. This system should be initialized using the same data sets and systems as the operational S2S prediction, and have configurations that include a full range of physical and chemical atmospheric, oceanic, cryosphere, and ecosystem processes, draw- ing upon capabilities from the nation’s operational and research weather and climate forecasting systems. Other scientific disciplines should be engaged to prepare components for this system that may be appropriate for such events as volcanic eruptions, meteor impacts, a limited nuclear war, oil or other chemical spills in large water bodies, atmospheric or oceanic releases of radioactivity, or releases of biologically or radiatively active gases and aerosols. Although this system will draw upon the expertise of the nation’s research community, it will need to be considered an operational system, with the same robustness and reliability as is expected from other operational forecast systems. The development of this new capability for projecting the consequences of unusual forcing events will leverage many existing research activities or efforts to develop longer-term Earth system projection capabilities, but it will still constitute a substantial new effort by the nation."