Special Seminar: Exoplanet Climates in 3D Challenges & Opportunities
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Speaker: Professor Nathan Mayne, University of Exeter, UK
Topic: Exoplanet Climates in 3D Challenges & Opportunities
Host: Anjali Piette
Abstract: Planetary climates are tricky requiring a range of model complexities to understand, interpret and predict observations. Simple models aid our understanding of the key mechanisms but can provide seemingly robust inferences which are actually dependent on the physical ingredients or assumptions (e.g., 1D versus 3D), whereas higher complexity models are more resource intensive and dependent on a larger number of input parameters. Our progress in understanding the Earth's climate, and that of its neighbouring solar system planets, a relatively small number of well observed cases, is helping us accelerate our understanding of the vast (overwhelming?) diversity of exoplanets. In turn, studies of exoplanets are benefitting the understanding of our own changing climate. One lesson from Earth climate research is clear, a range of approaches and perspectives is vital to make progress.
In this talk I will detail the research undertaken by our team at the University of Exeter employing, predominantly, 3D climate models across a range of complexities to try to unravel the interactions between chemistry, radiative transfer, dynamics and biology in planetary climates. I will focus on simulations of gas giant exoplanets, including clouds and chemical kinetics, compared to observations from JWST, and simulations of terrestrial planets, connecting the Early Earth with potentially habitable candidates. Additionally, I will briefly describe the knowledge transfer with Earth climate research through a co-development framework with the UK Met Office. Finally, I will mention the context of our work within the recent exoplanet Model Intercomparison Projects of the CUISINES framework.