Fellows

David Romps

Current Position: 

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science, UC Berkeley
Ziff Environmental Fellow: 2006-2008

Faculty Host: 

David Romps is a string theorist with a deeper interest in global climate change. He will focus his attention on “a study of moist convection in a warming world.” In four years at Yale, David earned a B.S. in mathematics and both a B.S. and M.S. in physics. He graduated in 1999 and joined the Physics Department at Harvard, which awarded him a Ph.D in 2005. He has spent the last year working on climate change in the Arctic and energy technology and policy issues as a joint postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center and the Harvard Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

David has been a teaching fellow and resident tutor in physics at Harvard and was an adjunct professor of physics at Suffolk University in Massachusetts in 2004. While teaching at Harvard, he developed LaTeX2Tri, a software program that allows blind students to read papers in physics and mathematics; this work was published in the Proceedings of the 20th Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities. As the lead researcher in Harvard's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Project in 2001, David assembled recommendations that led to the use of environmentally-friendly biodiesel in all of Harvard's trucks and buses. His work on string theory has been published in Physical Review. His book on physical geology, Processes that Shape the Earth, is in press at Chelsea House.

As an Environmental Fellow, he will work with Assistant Professor Zhiming Kuang in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He will build analytical and numerical models of moist convection over the tropical oceans, which will help to illuminate the relationship between warming temperatures and hurricanes. David explains: “Moist convection is the rising of warm, moist ar that creates clouds and precipitation. Although simple in principle, moist convection still poses many unsolved riddles. As a result of poorly understood feedbacks between moist convective processes and global temperature, estimates of the magnitude of global warming remain as uncertain today as they were over 25 years ago. Another large uncertainty is the future response of hurricanes to global warming. Hurricane behavior may change dramatically over the coming decades, but a better understanding of moist convection will be required before this change can be quantified.”

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