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Joel Tenenbaum

Research Professor of Meteorology and Scientific Computing

Professor Emeritus of Physics and Scientific Computing

I have been a Research Professor of Meteorology and Scientific Computing since 2009. Prior to that I came up through the ranks to become Professor of Scientific Computing and Physics. Six of us were the founding Natural Science faculty in the fall of 1971.

More About Me

My teaching has ranged widely from our earliest efforts in General Education (the “Clusters”) to Physics, Mathematics, and Environmental Sciences courses. I taught an early course on Climate Change in the mid-1990’s and again from 2007-2012. Some of my seniors have gone on to positions in Computing, Environmental Sciences, Atmospheric Research, and a nameless federal agency. During 1978-1980 I was the Acting Dean of Natural Sciences (now titled Director of Natural and Social Sciences). Since 2005 I have also functioned as the campus meteorologist on a pro bono basis.

Upon arriving at Purchase, my research changed from experimental high energy physics to various aspects of weather and climate. From 1975-2009 this research was supported by multiple NASA grants for research and NSF grants for equipment. During 1987 we held SUNY’s (not SUNY Purchase’s) first license for connections to the then nascent Internet.

Starting in the late 1980’s I began to examine why weather forecasts and analyses did such a poor job on depicting polar and subtropical jet streams. I proposed trying to collect meteorological information from long-haul aircraft flight data recorders, an idea that others had proposed in a more limited way. The resulting Global Aircraft Data Set (GADS) experiment was extensively supported by NASA for the next 22 years and continued until the Covid-induced drop in international aviation in 2020 limited it.

The research involves collaboration with the United Kingdom Meteorology Office (UKMO, the Met Office) and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The GADS archive was subsequently taken over by the UKMO. During 2022 our research results were published (open access) as “Aircraft observations and reanalysis depictions of trends in the North Atlantic winter jet stream wind speeds and turbulence.” J. Tenenbaum, P.D. Williams, D. Turp, P. Buchanan, R. Coulson, P.G. Gill, R.W. Lunnon, M.G. Oztunali, J. Rankin and L. Rukhovets. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 148, (2022), 2927– 2941.

More details about my research can be found in my CV.