I am broadly interested in the behavior of the climate system at the global scale. My research is oriented toward fundamental questions such as: What factors control the global mean temperature and its equator-to-pole gradient? Why has Earth's climate been more variable during some periods of the deep geological past than others? Is the climate unique, or does the Earth system possess multiple equilibria? By studying the fundamental underlying rules governing the climate system, we build a deeper understanding of the past and future evolution of climate on Earth, and other planets as well.

Attempting to answer these questions inevitably involves studying the often-surprising interactions among different components of the climate system: atmosphere, ocean, ice, etc. I have broad training in both atmospheric science and oceanography, and I am particularly interested in coupled atmosphere-ocean climate dynamics over long time scales. I also have a special interest in polar climate and ocean-sea ice interaction.

My work typically takes a building blocks approach, trying to build understanding of the complex climate system through judicious simplication. I explore ideas using hierarchies of idealized atmosphere-ocean models, ranging from simple mathematical descriptions to complex coupled numerical calculations.

Some specific ongoing research interests and projects include:

  • Effects of ocean heat uptake on climate sensitivity and radiative feedback processes
  • Understanding the effects of ocean heat transport on surface temperature distributions
  • The dynamics of past warm climates
  • Multiple equilibria in the climate system
  • Ocean - sea ice interaction in cold climates
  • Oceanography of Snowball Earth
  • The observed vertical structure of heat fluxes into the Arctic
  • Effects of obliquity on exoplanet climate

My publications are here. My CV is available here.

Some of my collaborators and coauthors: