Climate Science Lead, UCLA Center for Climate Science
Chad's research is primarily focused on reducing uncertainty in model-based projections of future climate change. Climate projections from global climate models exhibit a persistent spread, due to uncertainty in key physical processes. A useful strategy to reduce this spread is the so-called “emergent constraint” approach, where emergent relationships between parameters describing aspects of current and future climate are identified across a collection of global climate models. Observations are then used in conjunction with the model-derived emergent relationship to narrow uncertainty in future climate.
Much of Chad’s research efforts have concerned surface albedo feedbacks as they relate to the Earth’s rapidly changing cryosphere (snow and ice) (Thackeray and Hall, 2019; Thackeray et al., 2018, 2021). These are positive feedback cycles whereby the loss of snow and ice due to recent warming, reduces the albedo (reflectivity) of the Earth’s surface resulting in greater absorption of solar radiation at the surface, thus enhancing warming and further driving snow/ice melt. He is also interested in better understanding how precipitation will change in a warming world. This research explores the characteristics of a changing global hydrologic cycle (Thackeray et al. 2018) and reduces uncertainty in model projections of heavy rainfall occurrence across the globe (Thackeray et al. 2022).
Chad joined our group in September 2017 after obtaining a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo under the supervision of Dr. Chris Fletcher. His graduate research was conducted in close collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Canadian Snow and Sea Ice Evolution (CanSISE) Network.