Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Geophysics

Earth and Planetary Science Professor William Boos Presents A Special BASC Seminar

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Earth and Planetary Science Professor William Boos presented a special BASC seminar on the "Mechanisms and trends of extreme rainfall in Earth’s most populous regions" to staff, faculty, and students of the Earth and Planetary Science and Geography departments in November.

Speaking to a packed house, Professor Boos was well received and entertained numerous challenging questions from the faculty and students.

The department looks forward to having more of its faculty participate in these unique and informative joint seminars.

Professor Boos Abstract:

A large community of scientists has made progress in understanding the physical mechanisms that produce extreme precipitation events and in characterizing how these events might change in the next century.  However, much less attention has been devoted to precipitation extremes over tropical continents, which are home to many of the largest and most vulnerable human populations.  Events in 2017 illustrated this point:  while much media and scientific attention focused on the Atlantic hurricanes striking the U.S., in South Asia about 1,300 people died from floods.  In this talk I review what we know about the atmospheric dynamics that produce extreme rainfall in South Asia.  I focus particularly on monsoon depressions—atmospheric vortices that appear to propagate upstream against the mean wind and that amplify by physical mechanisms that are still poorly understood.  I discuss projections for how the distribution of these vortices may change in the coming century, and how this may alter the associated human exposure to extreme rainfall.