I study how radiation, chemistry, and dynamics interact to determine the structure and variability of the atmosphere. In particular, I study the stratospheric circulation, which influences the thermodynamic state of the stratosphere and the distribution of trace constituents such as ozone and water vapor. The stratospheric circulation is driven by atmospheric waves originating in the troposphere, yet these tropospheric waves are not independent of the stratospheric state.
My current work focuses on understanding a wind pattern in the tropical stratosphere known as the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Using idealized models and reanalyses, we are investigating what processes prevent the QBO from propagating into the troposphere. These results have increased our appreciation for how the QBO exchanges momentum with the rest of the atmosphere, and how simple details in the idealized models of the QBO (e.g. boundary conditions and the formulation of the wave forcing) influence the QBO sensitivity to dynamical perturbations.