Climate Impacts Group internship: Analyzing coastal winds and climatology
According to Olivier Borely, his spring internship at JISAO was an "awesome experience." From April to June 2010, he worked under the supervision of Nathan Mantua, the co-director of JISAO's Climate Impacts Group, on the analysis of the United States west coastal upwelling winds and climatology.
There were several aims to this project, the first was to test the quality of the 20th Century Reanalysis, a new dataset provided by NOAA which gives 6-hour daily estimates of basic meteorological variables such as temperature, wind, and pressure, spanning the whole 20th century. Those data are reconstructed using only surface observations of synoptic pressure, monthly sea surface temperature, and sea ice distribution.
The second objective was to test a hypothesis made by Andrew Bakun in 1990. He assumed that, due to global warming, the land would warm faster than the ocean, inducing a stronger temperature gradient between ocean and land causing stronger alongshore-winds and driving an intensification of upwelling.
"Olivier has been working fast and hard," says Mantua. "This internship is a requirement of my home university in France, the Ecole Polytechnique," explains Olivier. "It provides students with the experience of doing research work. Even if I don't plan to have an academic career, I've had the opportunity to conduct hands-on research."
"JISAO is a real melting pot of scientists," Olivier says. "There are a lot of helpful people here with various areas of expertise. It is the perfect place to conduct environmental research, a topic that needs a wide range of interdisciplinary skills. I am especially thankful towards my coworkers, James Johnstone and Guillaume Mauger, for their help which has been invaluable for my research project."
Olivier has returned to France with a better understanding of major ecological issues. In France he will spend the next year working as an engineer in a leading recycling company and should remain close to the environmental fields in his future career.