Doctoral StudentDepartment of Earth
About Julia Kukulies
My research focuses on extreme precipitation and the evolution of storm systems in the Tibetan Plateau region. The plateau gives rise to many of the headwaters of Asia's largest river systems and is therefore an important region for freshwater resources. As many other mountain regions of the globe, it already experiences drastic hydroclimatic changes including permafrost degradation, glacier melt and changes in precipitation patterns. Atmospheric water vapour and uplift of air -the two most important preconditions for storm formation- are to large part controlled and provided by atmospheric large-scale circulation systems, namely the westerlies and the Indian summer monsoon. The overall purpose of my research is to draw more robust conclusions about how future changes in atmospheric large-scale circulation might alter precipitation dynamics and affect large storm systems and the whole water cycle in the region. In order to answer this question and to understand the role of convection for precipitation, the more specific aims are to identify 1. the spatial and temporal characteristics of organized convection (meso-scale convective systems) and 2. the underlying mechanisms for precipitation formation on different spatial and temporal scales.