About Jim Hurrell

About Jim Hurrell

Jim Hurrell, NCAR Director

James (Jim) Hurrell was named NCAR’s new director September 1, 2013.  Jim previously served as the Director of the NCAR Earth System Laboratory (NESL), as well as a Senior Scientist in NESL's Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD). Jim is the former Chief Scientist of Community Climate Projects in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division (CGD), the former Director of CGD, and the current Co-Chair of the World Climate Research Programme Project on Climate Variability and Predictability. Jim's research has centered on empirical and modeling studies and diagnostic analyses to better understand climate, climate variability and climate change. He has authored more than 85 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has given more than 130 professional invited and keynote talks. He is a Highly Cited Researcher (Thomson-ISI), a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS). Jim is the recipient of the AMS's prestigious Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award and currently serves on the AMS Council as well as numerous other national and international scientific committees.

Curriculum Vitae

To read Jim Hurrell's curriculum vitae, click here.

Science Highlights

Asrar, G. R., J. W. Hurrell and A. J. Busalacchi, 2013: The World Climate Research Program Strategy and Priorities: Next Decade. Climate Science for Serving Society: Research, Modeling and Prediction Priorities, G. R. Asrar, and J. W. Hurrell, Eds., Springer Netherlands, pp. 1-12. [Chapter 1] [Book Preview]

Danabasoglu, G., S. G. Yeager, Y. -O. Kwon, J. J. Tribbia, A. S. Phillips, and J. W. Hurrell, 2012. Variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in CCSM4. J. Climate, 25, 5153-5172, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00463.1

Abstract: Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) variability is documented in the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) preindustrial control simulation that uses nominal 1° horizontal resolution in all its components. AMOC shows a broad spectrum of low-frequency variability covering the 50–200-yr range, contrasting sharply with the multidecadal variability seen in the T85 × 1 resolution CCSM3 present-day control simulation. Furthermore, the amplitude of variability is much reduced in CCSM4 compared to that of CCSM3. Similarities as well as differences in AMOC variability mechanisms between CCSM3 and CCSM4 are discussed. As in CCSM3, the CCSM4 AMOC variability is primarily driven by the positive density anomalies at the Labrador Sea (LS) deep-water formation site, peaking 2 yr prior to an AMOC maximum. All processes, including parameterized mesoscale and submesoscale eddies, play a role in the creation of salinity anomalies that dominate these density anomalies. High Nordic Sea densities do not necessarily lead to increased overflow transports because the overflow physics is governed by source and interior region density differences. Increased overflow transports do not lead to a higher AMOC either but instead appear to be a precursor to lower AMOC transports through enhanced stratification in LS. This has important implications for decadal prediction studies. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is significantly correlated with the positive boundary layer depth and density anomalies prior to an AMOC maximum. This suggests a role for NAO through setting the surface flux anomalies in LS and affecting the subpolar gyre circulation strength.

Goddard, L., J.W. Hurrell, B.P. Kirtman, J. Murphy, T. Stockdale, and C. Vera, 2012: Two time scales for the price of one (Almost). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 93, 621–629, DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00220.1

(For access to Jim Hurrell’s's publications and other NCAR research, please visit the NCAR Library Open Sky web site. OpenSky is the open access institutional repository supporting UCAR, NCAR, and UCP, extending free and open access to our scholarship for the benefit of research and education.)