OCCRI Researchers

Title: Assistant Professor
Name: Karen Shell
Institution: Oregon State University
Department: COAS – Atmospheric Science

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA Ph. D. September 2004 Dissertation title: A new type of idealized global climate model and its application to dust-climate interactions Advisor: Richard Somerville Climate Sciences Curricular Group
Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA, 1996 B.S. Physics, 1996 Graduated with Honors in Physics Graduated with High Distinction

Research Theme: My goal is to gain an improved understanding of various feedbacks within the earth’s climate system. These feedbacks shape how temperatures, precipitation, and winds respond to changes in the energy budget of the planet. The tool I use is climate modeling. Because there is only one realization of the actual climate (i.e. there is only one earth), climate models are useful in allowing us to study different scenarios and climate configurations in a very controlled setting. Of course, we have to be very careful when interpreting model results, since they do not correspond exactly to the actual climate. This is why using a variety of models can help us determine which system behaviors are robust responses we might expect to see in reality and which are highly sensitive to the specific configuration of the climate model.

Research Fields:

Modeling Climate

Professional Activities:

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Member Representative for OSU

Co-convener and oral/poster session co-chair, “Recent Advances in Climate Modeling,” at 2006 AGU Fall meeting

Oregon Climate Change Research Institute Science Advisory Board 2009-present

GEO-COAS Itegration Academic programs development group 2010-present

Earth System Science undergraduate curriculum committee 2010-present

Selected Publications:

Shell, Karen M., Jeffrey T. Kiehl, and Christine A. Shields, 2008: Using the radiative kernel technique to calculate climate feedbacks in NCAR’s Community Atmospheric Model, J. Clim., 21, 2269-2282.

Shell, Karen M., and Richard C. J. Somerville, 2006: Sensitivity of climate forcing and response to dust optical properties in an idealized model, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D03206, doi: 10.1029/2006JD007198.

Shell, Karen M., and Richard C. J. Somerville, 2006: Direct radiative effect of mineral dust and volcanic aerosols in a simple aerosol climate model, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D03205,doi:10.1029/2006JD007197.

Sanderson, Benjamin M., Karen M. Shell, and William Ingram, 2009: Climate feedbacks determined using radiative kernels in a multi-thousand member ensemble of AOGCMs, Clim. Dyn., 10.1007/s00382-009-0661-1.

Soden, Brian J., Isaac M. Held, Robert Colman, Karen M. Shell, Jeffrey T. Kiehl, Christine A. Shields, 2008: Quantifying Climate Feedbacks using Radiative Kernels, J. Clim., 21, 3504-3520.