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Dr. Ming Cai

Dynamic Meteorology
Phone: (850) 645-1551
Office: LOV306A

8/25/13: The physical nature of the oscillation mechanism and restoring force for Rossby waves is uncovered and the apparent “discrepancy” between work and group velocity for Rossby waves is reconciled in two recent publications led by Professor Ming Cai.

Follow this link to view the articles.


Dr. Ming Cai's research goal is to enhance our understanding on how the climate system as a whole operates from intra-seasonal to decadal/centennial or longer time scales with a focus on the roles of oceanic and atmospheric circulations. The oceanic and atmospheric circulations in response to the spatial and temporal inhomogeneity of the diabatic heating/cooling, are the integral components of the earth climate system. The circulation systems are directly responsible not only for carrying the external energy acquired by the earth system from one region to other regions, but also for altering the spatial and temporal distribution/variability of the physical materials that involve in the energy exchange with the space (e.g., water vapor, Ozone, ice/snow cover, greenhouse gases through hydrological and biogeochemical processes). As a result, the circulation component of the climate system contributes indispensably to the climate mean state and its sensitivity/variability/change at both regional and global scales.

Dr. Cai devotes his research on the dynamics of climate variability and climate change, and their predictions. His Ph.D thesis research was on the local barotropic/baroclinic instability theory and local energetics with an application on the storm track dynamics. In 1990s, his research activities primarily were on the scale interaction of low- and high- frequency eddies. Since then, He has gradually expanded the research area from the mid-latitude tropospheric dynamics to the dynamics and physics of the global climate system. Since joining the FSU in the fall of 2003, Dr. Ming Cai has been focusing his research in the areas of (i) Dynamics of global mass circulation and its variability as well as its association with climate change and implication for climate prediction, (ii) The roles of stratosphere-troposphere coupling in the coupling between low-high latitude circulations, (iii) Dynamical amplification of climate sensitivity over the polar region and over land, and (iv) Assessment of climate change sensitivity to land type/land use changes.

Selected Publications (since 2003)

  • Cai, M., and Bohua Huang, 2012: A New Look at the Physics of Rossby Waves: A Mechanical-Coriolis Oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci. 69, DOI:10.1175/JAS-D-12-094.1.
  • Li, Q., R-C Ren, M. Cai, and G.X. Wu, 2012: Attribution of the recent summer warming in Indian Ocean Basin to the decadal change in the seasonal timing of El Niño decay phase. Geophys. Res. Lett. 10, 347-352. DOI:10.1029/2012GL052150.
  • Cai, M., and K-K Tung, 2012: Robustness of Dynamical Feedbacks from Radiative Forcing: 2% Solar versus 2xCO2 Experiments in an Idealized GCM. J. Atmos. Sci. 69, 2256-2271. DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-0117.1.
  • Deng, Y., T-W Park, and M. Cai, 2012: Process-Based Decomposition of the Global Surface Temperature Response to El Niño in Boreal Winter. J. Atmos. Sci. 69, 2256-2271. DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-0117.1.
  • Ren, R-C, M. Cai, C. Xiang, and G-X. Wu, 2011: Observational evidence of the delayed response of stratospheric polar vortex variability to ENSO SST anomalies. Clim Dyn. DOI 10.1007/s00382-011-1137-7.
  • Taylor, P. C, R. G. Ellingson, and M. Cai, 2011: Seasonal Variation of Climate Feedbacks in the NCAR CCSM3.0. J. Climate 24, 3433-3444. DOI 10.1175/2011JCLI3862.1
  • Taylor, P. C, R. G. Ellingson, and M. Cai, 2011: Geographical Distribution of Climate Feedbacks in the NCAR CCSM3.0. J. Climate 24, 2737-2753. DOI 10.1175/2010JCLI3788.1.
  • Cai, M., and J-H Lu, 2010: Quantifying Contributions to Polar Warming Amplification in a Coupled General Circulation Model. Climate Dynamics DOI 10.1007/s00382-009-0673-x.
  • 12. Cai, M., Chul-Su Shin, H. M. ven den Dool, Wanqiu. Wang, S. Saha, A. Kumar, 2009: The role of long-term trend in seasonal predictions: Implication of global warming in the NCEP CFS.Wea. and Forecasting 10, 347-352, DOI:10.1175/2009WAF2222231.1
  • Lu, J-H, and M. Cai, 2009: Seasonality of Polar Warming Amplification in Climate Simulations. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L16704, doi:10.1029/2009GL040133
  • Lu, J-H, and M. Cai, 2009: Stabilization of atmospheric boundary layer and the muted hydrological cycle response to global warming. J. Hydrometero. 10, 347-352. DOI: 10.1175/2008JHM1058.1
  • Cai, M., and J-H Lu, 2009: A new framework for isolating individual feedback processes in coupled general circulation climate models. Part II: Method demostrations and comparisons Climate Dynamics doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0424-4
  • Lu, J-H, and M. Cai, 2009: A new framework for isolating individual feedback processes in coupled general circulation climate models. Part I: Formulation. Climate Dynamics doi: 10.1007/s00382-008-0425-3
  • L17. Ren, R-C, G-X Wu, M. Cai, and, J-J Yu, 2009: Winter Season Stratospheric Circulation in the SAMIL/LASG General Circulation Model.Adv. Atmos. Sci. 26, 451–464.
  • Ren, R-C and and M. Cai, 2008: Meridional and downward propagation of atmospheric circulation anomalies. Part II: Southern Hemisphere cold season variability. J. Atmos. Sci. 65, 2343-2359
  • Nuñez, M. N., H. H. Ciapessoni, A. Rolla, E. Kalnay, and M. Cai, 2008: Impact of land-use and precipitation changes on surface temperature trends in Argentina. J. Geophys. Res. 113, D06111, doi:10.1029/2007JD008638
  • Yang, S-C, E. Kalnay, and M. Cai, M. Rienecker, 2008: Bred vectors and forecast errors in the NASA coupled general circulation model. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136 1305-1326
  • Lim, Y-K, M. Cai, E. Kalnay, L-M Zhou, 2008: Impact of vegetation types on surface climate change. J. Applied Meteor. and Clim., 47, 411-424
  • Ren, R-C, and M. Cai, 2007: Meridional and vertical out-of-phase relationships of temperature anomalies associated with the NAM variability. Geophys. Res. Lett.,34 L07704, doi:10.1029/2006GL028729.
  • Cai, M., and R-C Ren, 2007: Meridional and downward propagation of atmospheric circulation anomalies. Part I: Northern Hemisphere cold season variability. J. Atmos. Sci., 641880-1901.
  • Cai, M., and J-H Lu, 2007: Dynamical greenhouse-plus feedback and polar warming amplification. Part II: Meridional and vertical asymmetries of the global warming. Climate Dynamics DOI : 10.1007/s00382-007-0238-9.
  • R-C Ren and M. Cai, 2006: Polar vortex oscillation viewed in an isentropic potential vorticity coordinate. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 23, 884-900.
  • Cai, M., S. Yang, H. M. van den Dool, and V. Kousky, 2006: Dynamical implications of the orientation of atmospheric eddies: A local energetics perspective. Tellus A , 58, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2006.00213.
  • Cai, M., and R-C Ren, 2006: 40-70 day meridional propagation of global circulation anomalies. Geophys. Res. Lett.,33, L06818, doi: 10.1029/2005GL025024.
  • S-C, Yang, M. Cai, E. Kalnay, M. Rienecker, G. Yuan, and Z. Toth, 2006: ENSO bred vectors in coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models. J. Climate, 19, 1422-1436.
  • E. Kalnay, M. Cai. H. Li, C. J. Tobin, 2006: Estimation of the impact of land-use changes and urbanization on climate trends east of the Rockies. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres,111, D06106, doi: 10.1029/2005JD006555.
  • Cai, M., 2006: Dynamical greenhouse-plus feedback and polar warming amplification. Part I: A dry radiative-transportive climate model. Climate Dynamics. DOI 10.1007/s00382-005-0104-6
  • Lim, Y-K, M. Cai, E. Kalnay, and L-M. Zhou, 2005: Observational evidences of sensitivity of climate changes to land types and urbanization. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32, L22712, doi:10.1029/2005GL024267.
  • Cai, M., 2005: Dynamical amplification of polar warming. Geophys. Res. Lett. 32,L22710, doi:10.1029/2005GL024481.
  • Cai, M, and E. Kalnay 2005: Can reanalysis have anthropogenic climate trends without model forcing? J. Climate, 18, 1844-1849.
  • Cai, M, 2004: Local Instability Dynamics of Storm Tracks. Observation, Theory, and Modeling of the Atmospheric Variability. 3-38. Eds. Zhu et. al., World Scientific Publishing.
  • Peña, M, M. Cai, E. Kalnay, 2004: The Lifespan of Subseasonal Coupled Anomalies. J. Climate, 17, 1597-1604.
  • Cai and Kalnay 2004: Response to the comments by Vose et al. and Trenberth. Nature, 427, 214-214, doi:10.1038/427214a.
  • Kalnay, E. and M. Cai, 2003: Impact of urbanization and land use on climate change. Nature,423, 528-531.
  • Pena, M., E. Kalnay, and M. Cai, 2003: Statistics of Coupled Ocean and Atmosphere Intraseasonal Anomalies in Reanalysis and AMIP data. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 10, 245-251.
  • Corazza, M., E. Kalnay, D. J. Patil, R. Morss, I. Szunyogh, B. R. Hunt, E. Ott, and M. Cai, 2003: Use of the breeding technique to estimate the structure of the analysis “errors of the day”. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 10, 233-243.
  • Cai, M., 2003: Potential Vorticity Intrusion Index and Climate Variability of Surface Temperature. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1119, doi:10.1029/2002GL015926, 19.1-19.4.
  • Cai, M., 2003: Formation of the Cold Tongue and ENSO in the Equatorial Pacific Basin. J. Climate, 16, 144-155.
  • Cai, M., E. Kalnay, Z. Toth, 2003: Bred Vectors of the Zebiak-Cane Model and Their Application to ENSO Predictions. J. Climate, 16, 40-56.
Cai M. Dynamical amplification of polar warming. Geophysical Research Letters. 2005;32(22).