The University of Arizona

Joellen L. Russell | Global Change

Joellen L. Russell

Joellen Russell uses the GFDL global climate model and observational records to study the impact of climate change on interannual variability in the carbon cycle on a variety of timescales. Her research focuses on quantifying the impact of changes in the physical climate system on the fluxes between reservoirs of carbon. One example is her recent work on the shift in the Westerly Winds, which have moved poleward and increased over the last 30 years in both hemispheres, possibly as the first and most ferocious of the impacts of global warming. In the ocean, Dr. Russell has demonstrated that the shift of the Westerly Winds over the Southern Ocean around Antarctica is changing the creation and destruction of the water masses critical to the global ocean uptake of carbon dioxide and heat. On land, she has shown that the primary impact of this shift in the Northern Hemisphere Westerly Winds on atmospheric carbon dioxide is expressed as an increase in net production of Northern Hemisphere terrestrial vegetation. Quantifying these changes in the global carbon cycle is critical to projections of future climate.