The representation of small scale atmospheric waves, known as gravity waves, has been identified as an important target for climate model improvement: the southern polar stratosphere’s cold pole bias needs to be corrected to allow accurate representations of downward influence.
Dr Murphy’s current research project, entitled ‘Gravity wave drag parameterization in climate models’ has taken his research interests back to where they began, in gravity waves. This has come after a number of years studying planetary waves and tides in the Antarctic middle atmosphere. Data for these studies have come mainly from ground-based radars, although techniques for combining these with satellite observations and reanalysis data have been an interest. This research project also brings him to the interface between models, observations and the parameterization of physical processes. Dr Murphy’s experience in gravity wave measurements, combined with a developing knowledge of the world of models, blends old and new concepts.
Dr Murphy contributes to the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre as a member of the Future Climate and Sea Level group within the Australian Antarctic Division’s ‘Antarctica and the Global System’ program.