Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Areas of Expertise
Hurricanes, atmospheric modeling, nonlinear dynamical systems, data assimilation, climate dynamics.
Chanh Kieu is an assistant professor of atmospheric science at IU Bloomington and a member of the Environmental Resilience Institute steering committee. He earned his Ph.D. in 2008 and his M.S. in 2005 from the University of Maryland, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science; and his B.S. in 2003 from Vietnam National University, College of Science, Hanoi.
[The following text appears on screen: What is your area of expertise?]
[Video: A man appears on screen with the following text: “Chanh Kieu, Assistant Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences”]
[Chanh speaks: “My name is Chanh Kieu. I’m an assistant professor from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences here at Indiana University in Bloomington. My area of expertise, broadly speaking, is modeling hurricane development and structure in different climate conditions. My research is to try to understand how hurricanes change in the future – how strong they’re going to be, how the lifecycle, more or less hurricane in the future, and how much of the impact they change in different climate conditions. And that kind of knowledge can help better forecast hurricane intensity and activities in the future. What I’m trying to do now is a different mechanism that can bring new insight into the future of hurricane activity. We found a couple of potential influence of that beyond the current understanding, and right now, we are using a mathematical tool and modeling tool trying to verify, and turn that into something that can be used for future climate projection.”]
[The following text appears on screen: How would you explain your research to the average person?]
[Chanh speaks: “Like many other species, hurricanes depend strongly on the environmental condition that they are embedded in. Our current understanding of hurricane are very extensive, and a certain thing we can say, for example, is warmer climate in the future lead to a stronger storm. There are many other questions that we don’t fully understand. We know it’s stronger, but how strong are they going to be, and how much of the rainfall, or the destruction they’re going to produce along the coastline? And those kind of questions we don’t fully understand at the moment, because we don’t fully understand many details of the hurricane. And my research is trying to quantify those details that eventually help better forecast hurricane intensity, and their movement, and their frequencies in future climate.”]
[The following text appears on screen: How is climate change affecting hurricanes?]
[Chanh speaks: “In the future climate, the temperatures get warmer, and the sea surface temperatures get warmer. But on the other hand, the atmosphere also changes. Let’s say it becomes more stable, and it prevents the development of clouds, and so they can offset each other, and we don’t know exactly how the hurricane activity is going to be in the future. And the most accepted conclusion that we all know for now is that in the future, it seems like we’re going to have a less number of overall hurricanes, but we’re going to have more strong Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. So we’re going to see less, but they are stronger. When I say in a future climate when you have a warmer temperature then the hurricane will become stronger. It’s not hypothesis; it’s not speculation. It’s a solid foundation from mathematical point of view and from the observational point of view.”]
[The following text appears on screen: Is there anything else people should know about this topic?]
[Chanh speaks: “Public people, usually, they laugh when they see a paper talking about a connection between hurricanes and climate. For example, last year, we had a couple times when a bunch of strong storms appeared, and people laugh. When every time they see, hey, strong hurricanes have climate connection, and barely do they know that deep inside it, actually behind it, there’s some solid mathematical foundation and knowledge that climate hurricane researchers, we know. Those kinds of statements are not a speculation. It has some scientific justification, and people learn about that, and they better prepare for their own future.”]
[The following text appears on screen: Why is IU’s Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge initiative important?]
[Chanh speaks: “For the last 40 years, we have a couple of hurricanes impacting Indiana, and last year, for example, the Tropical Storm Alberto. And in that sense, you will see more frequent extreme events in not only the weather events like flooding, or you see some tornadoes shifting from the north down to the south, but also just the consequences of the warmer temperature is shifting – also the agriculture, it changes the clean air we see. So we have a wind farm here in Indiana along 65. And in the future climate, let’s say, the wind speed changing, and those kinds of wind farms that need to take that into account, and agriculture, and health, and environmental issues, some particular diseases like tick diseases - they’re sensitive to the temperature. So if you have the temperature getting warmer in the future, then maybe the tick season will develop earlier or later. And Grand Challenges, it’s at the right time when they present a holistic concept of environment for Indiana, and a different climate, and the future climate, and we need to take that into account for policy makers, and the future, and the business, industry and communities, local people.”]
[Video: The IU logo appears on the screen, along with the following text: “Indiana University. Fulfilling the Promise. iu.edu”]