AS Atmospheric Sciences
The 2015 Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award is awarded to Richard Davy for innovative contributions to improving the understanding of the role of the planetary boundary layer in the climate of the Earth and of other planets.
Richard Davy focused his research on the role of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) in climate. He faced substantial difficulties related to complexity of the PBL processes as well as to limited ability to simulate those small-scale processes in climate models. Standing on his previous research of the PBL role in Martian climate, Davy proved the hypothesis that thin, stably stratified PBLs, which were previously underappreciated and hence poorly modeled, play a key role in the formation of cold climates due to their asymmetric respond on the positive and negative heat flux perturbations in the forcing. This finding helped explain the amplification of the climate variability and trends in the regions and seasons dominated with stably stratified PBLs such as the polar amplification of the climate change, the changes in the diurnal and seasonal temperature range, and the large variability in the high-latitude climates. Moreover, it predicts amplification of the climate variability in the areas dominated by the atmospheric subsidence, an effect that has been independently confirmed with the observational data analysis. These outstanding results are reflected in a number of peer-reviewed publications in high-profile scientific journals.