MIT EAPS Directory

R. Alan Plumb

Professor Emeritus

Alan Plumb is an expert in atmospheric dynamics, with specific interest in the stratosphere, the global distribution of trace gases, and large-scale tropospheric dynamics. His seminal research accomplishments include: many fundamental contributions to our understanding of wave-mean flow interaction in the atmosphere, including basic theoretical results of broad relevance as well as application to atmospheric phenomena such as the quasi-biennial oscillation; explanation of the roles of eddies and mean circulations in tracer transport; development of rigorous theoretical frameworks for interpreting tracer-tracer diagrams and "age of air" diagnostics derived from observations and numerical models of the stratosphere; technical and conceptual advances in our understanding of transport barriers, including the polar vortex edge and "tropical pipe"; and theory of the tropospheric Hadley circulations and monsoons, including elegant expositions of the role of angular momentum.

Plumb joined the MIT faculty in 1988, chairing EAPS' Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate from 2003 to 2008.

Publications

A. Sheshadri and R.A. Plumb (2016), Sensitivity of the surface responses of an idealized AGCM to the timing of imposed ozone depletion-like polar stratospheric cooling, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/2016GL067964

Awards

Jule G. Charney Award, American Meteorological Society (2013) | Fellow, American Meteorological Society (2002) | Fellow, American Geophysical Union (2002) | Haurwitz Lecturer, American Meteorological Society (2001) | Fellow, Royal Society of London (1998)

Contact Information

t: 617 253 6281

e: plumb@mit.edu

Office

54-1812

Education

Ph.D., Astronomy, University of Manchester, 1972
B.S., Physics (I Honors), University of Manchester, 1969