PhD Climate Physics and Chemistry, MIT
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, MIT
Tim Cronin is a climate scientist interested in the interactions between clouds, sea ice, and severe storms in a warmer Arctic.
Tim earned a BA in physics from Swarthmore College in 2006, and received a PhD in climate physics and chemistry from MIT in June 2014. His dissertation research used simple column models of the atmosphere, interacting with a land surface, to explore a collection of problems in climate science. One of the papers he published developed a theory for the sensitivity of near-surface temperatures to changes in land surface properties, which is relevant for understanding how anthropogenic land use and land cover change may have resulted in past and future climate change. Tim has also worked on trying to understand why it rains preferentially over islands in the tropics, and whether geologic changes around Indonesia have implications for climate changes over the past 3-5 million years. During the 2011-2012 academic year, he was a Martin Society Fellow for Sustainability, and his work has also been funded by the NSF.
As an Environmental Fellow, Tim worked with Eli Tziperman of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences on the interaction between clouds and sea ice in the Arctic, in climates that are warmer than present. His project had application to warmer climates of the distant past, as well as climates of the future. Tim also explored the potential for the formation of hurricane-like storms over a warmer Arctic ocean that has lost much of its sea ice; such storms would be highly relevant to the impacts of climate change on both human and natural systems in the future Arctic.
Eli Tziperman, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences