Director’s Research Group

We aim to advance our fundamental understanding of the dynamical processes governing Earth’s large-scale climate patterns and their responses to various external forcings, including greenhouse gases, aerosols, ozone depletion and recovery, Antarctic ice-sheet meltwater, among others. Many of these influences, originating from extratropical regions, have a significant impact on the spatial pattern of tropical climate. Thus, our particular focus lies in establishing connections between the tropics and the extratropics. To gain a dynamical understanding of the extratropics-to-tropics teleconnection, we need a holistic perspective on the global climate system, as it entails delving into the intricate interactions among different components of the Earth system, including clouds, atmospheric circulation, and ocean dynamics. Our research group tackles this complex challenge by utilising a range of tools from conceptual models to Earth System Models and even storm-resolving coupled models. We adopt different tools to distinguish the mechanisms responsible for the rapid adjustments during the initial period and the slower quasi-equilibrated state responses.

In recent years, our research has been centered on unraveling the intricate mechanisms that govern the tropical climate patterns. We grapple with specific questions, such as the perplexing challenge faced by climate models in accurately simulating historical trends in sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific. Observations indicate a significant cooling trend in the eastern tropical Pacific over the past three decades, a trend that starkly contrasts with the warming trend simulated by the majority of climate models. We critically reflect on this observation-model discrepancy and strive to comprehend the relative contributions of various forcing components in determining the observed trend and to discern why models fail to replicate it. This involves investigating whether the models are deficient in representing essential forced responses or if there are crucial processes that are missing in models.

Group members and Publications

Phd Candidate
B 405
Scientific Programmer
B 308
  • Kang, S., Yu, Y., Deser, C., Zhang, X., Kang, I.-S., Lee, S.-S., Rodgers, K. & Ceppi, P. (2023). Global impacts of recent Southern Ocean cooling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120: e2300881120. doi:10.1073/pnas.2300881120 [publisher-version][supplementary-material]
  • Kang, S., Ceppi, P., Yu, Y. & Kang, I.-S. (2023). Recent global climate feedback controlled by Southern Ocean cooling. Nature Geoscience, 16, 775-780. doi:10.1038/s41561-023-01256-6 [publisher-version]
  • Stevens, B., Adami, S., Ali, T., Anzt, H., Aslan, Z., Attinger, S., B\"ack, J., Baehr, J., Bauer, P., Bernier, N., Bishop, B., Bockelmann, H., Bony, S., Bouchet, V., Brasseur, G., Bresch, D., Breyer, S., Brunet, G., Buttigieg, P., Cao, J., Castet, C., Cheng, Y., Dey Choudhury, A., Coen, D., Crewell, S., Dabholkar, A., Dai, Q., Doblas-Reyes, F., Durran, D., El Gaidi, A., Ewen, C., Exarchou, E., Eyring, V., Falkinhoff, F., Farrell, D., Forster, P., Frassoni, A., Frauen, C., Fuhrer, O., Gani, S., Gerber, E., Goldfarb, D., Grieger, J., Gruber, N., Hazeleger, W., Herken, R., Hewitt, C., Hoefler, T., Hsu, H.-H., Jacob, D., Jahn, A., Jakob, C., Jung, T., Kadow, C., Kang, I.-S., Kang, S., Kashinath, K., Kleinen-von Königslöw, K., Klocke, D., Kloenne, U., Klöwer, M., Kodama, C., Kollet, S., Kölling, T., Kontkanen, J., Kopp, S., Koran, M., Kulmala, M., Lappalainen, H., Latifi, F., Lawrence, B., Lee, J., Lejeun, Q., Lessig, C., Li, C., Lippert, T., Luterbacher, J., Manninen, P., Marotzke, J., Matsouoka, S., Merchant, C., Messmer, P., Michel, G., Michielsen, K., Miyakawa, T., Müller, J., Munir, R., Narayanasetti, S., Ndiaye, O., Nobre, C., Oberg, A., Oki, R., Özkan-Haller, T., Palmer, T., Posey, S., Prein, A., Primus, O., Pritchard, M., Pullen, J., Putrasahan, D., Quaas, J., Raghavan, K., Ramaswamy, V., Rapp, M., Rauser, F., Reichstein, M., Revi, A., Saluja, S., Satoh, M., Schemann, V., Schemm, S., Schnadt Poberaj, C., Schulthess, T., Senior, C., Shukla, J., Singh, M., Slingo, J., Sobel, A., Solman, S., Spitzer, J., Stammer, D., Stier, P., Stocker, T., Strock, S., Su, H., Taalas, P., Taylor, J., Tegtmeier, S., Teutsch, G., Tompkins, A., Ulbrich, U., Vidale, P.-L., Wu, C.-M., Xu, H., Zaki, N., Zanna, L., Zhou, T. & Ziemen, F. (submitted). Earth Virtualization Engines (EVE). Earth System Science Data, in open review. doi:10.5194/essd-2023-376
  • Xiang, B., Xie, S.-P., Kang, S. & Kramer, R. (2023). An emerging Asian aerosol dipole pattern reshapes the Asian summer monsoon and exacerbates northern hemisphere warming. npj Climate and Atmospheric Science: 77. doi:10.1038/s41612-023-00400-8 [publisher-version]


Sarah Kang, PhD

Phone: +49 (0)40 41173-437
sarah.kang@we dont want


More Content

Climate modeling at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

The climate model ICON is the central research tool at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M). ICON is developed to exploit the most advanced information technologies to provide the best possible representation of the climate system.


Mehr erfahren

Floating overpressure balloon in front of a snow-covered mountain panorama

Testing mechanisms of wave generation in the lower stratosphere using superpressure balloons

Dr. Laura Köhler and Dr. Claudia Stephan from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology together with their colleague Brian Green, Postdoc at Stanford…

Portrait Tiffany Shaw

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology welcomes Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel-awardee Prof. Tiffany Shaw

Professor Tiffany Shaw, who is a recipient of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and a globally…