Jacob (Jack) Scheff

Hydroclimate change, climate dynamics over land, atmospheric circulation

Assistant Professor, Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

email: jscheff (atsymbol) uncc (period) edu

office: McEniry 237

NSF AGS Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (2015-2017)

Christine Mirzayan Fellow, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Academy of Sciences (2017)

PhD (2014), Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle

Click here for full CV (updated May 2017)

Current research questions:

How will the entire terrestrial water cycle (precipitation, evapotranspiration, stream and groundwater discharge, plant water stress, vertically resolved soil moisture, surface-layer humidity) respond to greenhouse warming? Why do some of these variables respond very differently from others in model simulations of warming? What role(s) do the direct CO2 effects on vegetation play?

How and why have global hydroclimate patterns varied with past greenhouse warming and cooling of Earth? How can we test theories of future hydroclimate change with knowledge of past responses? Conversely, how can these theories be brought to the past to aid in geologic interpretation?

Why have surface winds been slowing at most land-based stations over the last half century, with consequences for evapotranspiration and photosynthesis? Is the idea of windy glacials and calm interglacials relevant? Is deep-tropospheric polar amplification stronger than assumed, especially given recent cloud-feedback studies and paleo evidence of extreme polar amplification?

Is there a place for climate-driven water heuristics like Budyko ratios and Palmer indices in thinking about greenhouse warming? Or must we rely on kitchen-sink models? Can more general theories of climate-dependent terrestrial water stress be developed?

What sets the land-ocean precipitation contrast in the tropics? Can the fundamental differences between land and ocean tropical circulations be reproduced with idealized lower boundary conditions, or are fully interactive land and ocean components required? How can such simple models give insight into greenhouse responses of tropical land precipitation?

What is the simplest model of the climate system that can obtain spatial patterns of response from spatial patterns of forcing and feedback? Can such a framework narrow the range of climate sensitivity?

Submitted manuscripts:

Lemordant, L., A. Swann, B. Cook, J. Scheff, and P. Gentine: Vegetation physiology controls continental water cycle responses to climate change. Nature Comms., submitted.

Published/in press:

Smerdon, J. E., and Co-authors, 2017: Comparing proxy and model estimates of hydroclimate variability and change over the Common Era. Clim. Past, in press.

Scheff, J., R. Seager, H. Liu, and S. Coats, 2017: Are glacials dry? Consequences for paleoclimatology and for greenhouse warming. J. Climate, 30, 6593-6609, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0854.1. (supplementary tables S1-S10)

Voigt, A., M. Biasutti, J. Scheff, J. Bader, S. Bordoni, F. Codron, R. D. Dixon, J. Jonas, S. M. Kang, N. Klingaman, R. Leung, J. Lu, B. Mapes, E. A. Maroon, S. McDermid, J.-Y. Park, R. Roehrig, B. E. J. Rose, G. L. Russell, J. Seo, T. Toniazzo, H.-H. Wei, M. Yoshimori, and L. R. V. Zeppetello, 2016: The Tropical Rain belts with an Annual Cycle and a Continent Model Intercomparison Project: TRACMIP. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 8, 1868-1891, doi:10.1002/2016MS000748.

Maroon, E. A., D. M. W. Frierson, S. M. Kang, and J. Scheff, 2016: The precipitation response to an idealized subtropical continent. J. Climate, 29, 4543-4564, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0616.1.

Scheff, J., and D. M. W. Frierson, 2015: Terrestrial aridity and its response to greenhouse warming across CMIP5 climate models. J. Climate, 28, 5583-5600, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00480.1.

Scheff, J., and D. M. W. Frierson, 2014: Scaling potential evapotranspiration with greenhouse warming. J. Climate, 27, 1539-1558, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00233.1.

Scheff, J., and D. Frierson, 2012: Robust future precipitation declines in CMIP5 largely reflect the poleward expansion of model subtropical dry zones. Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L18704, doi:10.1029/2012GL052910. (supplementary figure S1) (supplementary figure S2)

Scheff, J., and D. M. W. Frierson, 2012: Twenty-first-century multimodel subtropical precipitation declines are mostly midlatitude shifts. J. Climate, 25, 4330-4347, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00393.1.

Graduate theses:

Scheff, J., 2014: Understanding the responses of precipitation, evaporative demand, and terrestrial water availability to planetary temperature in climate models. PhD dissertation, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, 199 pp.

Scheff, J., 2011: CMIP3 21st century robust subtropical precipitation declines are mostly mid-latitude shifts. M.S. thesis, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, 66 pp.