Ryan Patrick Abernathey

Assistant Professor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Columbia University / Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

Contact

205C Oceanography, 61 Route 9W–PO Box 1000, Palisades, NY 10964-8000
rpa@ldeo.columbia.edu
http://rabernat.github.io

Education

  • [Sept. 2006–Feb. 2012]Ph.D., Climate Physics and Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
    thesis: Mixing by Ocean Eddies, advisor: John Marshall

  • [Sept. 2000–May 2004]B.A., Physics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, USA
    thesis: Phase Dynamics and Synchronization of the Van der Pol Oscillator, advisor: Jeffrey Dunham

Appointments

  • [July 2013–present]Assistant Professor, Columbia University / Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, New York, New York, USA

  • [June 2012–July 2013]Postdoctoral Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, USA

  • [Feb. 2012–June 2012]Postdoctoral Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

  • [Sept. 2006–Feb. 2012]Graduate Research Assistant / Ph.D. Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Awards

  • [Feb. 2016] – Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences

  • [Feb. 2016] – NSF CAREER Award

  • [Apr. 2014] – NASA New Investigator Early Career Award

  • [June 2011] – Student Award Winner, AMS Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics

  • [Dec. 2010] – Outstanding Student Presentation, AGU Fall Meeting

Publications

In Preparation / Submitted

  1. Abernathey, R. P., and G. Haller, 2017: Transport by Coherent Lagrangian Vortices in the Eastern Pacific.
  2. Busecke, J., and R. P. Abernathey, 2017: Temporal variability of mesoscale surface diffusivities in the global ocean from altimetry.
  3. Uchida, T., R. P. Abernathey, and K. S. Smith, 2017: Seasonality in Ocean Mesoscale Turbulence in a High Resolution Climate Model.

Published / In Press

  1. Abernathey, R., J. Marshall, E. Shuckburgh, and M. Mazloff, 2010: Enhancement of Mesoscale Eddy Stirring at Steering Levels in the Southern Ocean. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 40, 170–185, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4201.1. PDFonline
  2. Abernathey, R., J. Marshall, and D. Ferreira, 2011: The Dependence of Southern Ocean Meridional Overturning on Wind Stress. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 41, 2261–2278, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-023.1. PDFonline
  3. Hill, C., D. Ferreira, J.-M. Campin, J. Marshall, R. Abernathey, and N. Barrier, 2012: Controlling Spurious Diapycnal Mixing in Eddy-Resolving Height-Coordinate Ocean Models: Insights from Virtual Deliberate Tracer Release Experiments. Ocean Modelling, 45-46, 14–26, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2011.12.001. PDFonline
  4. Abernathey, R., and J. C. Marshall, 2013: Global surface eddy diffusivities derived from satellite altimetry. J. Geophys. Res., 118, 901–916, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20066. PDFonline
  5. Abernathey, R., D. Ferreira, and A. Klocker, 2013: Diagnostics of isopycnal mixing in a circumpolar channel. Ocean Modelling, 72, 1–16, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2013.07.004. PDFonline
  6. Abernathey, R. P., and P. Cessi, 2014: Topographic Enhancement of Eddy Efficiency in Baroclinic Equilibration. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 2107–2126, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0014.1. PDFonline
  7. Klocker, A., and R. Abernathey, 2014: Global Patterns of Mesoscale Eddy Properties and Diffusivities. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44, 1030–1047, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0159.1. PDFonline
  8. Gnanadesikan, A., R. Abernathey, and M.-A. Pradal, 2014: Exploring the isopycnal mixing and helium-heat paradoxes in a suite of Earth System Models. Ocean Science Discussions, 11, 2533–2567, doi:10.5194/osd-11-2533-201. PDFonline
  9. Abernathey, R., and D. Ferreira, 2015: Southern Ocean isopycnal mixing and ventilation changes driven by winds. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 10,357–310,365, doi:10.1002/2015GL066238. PDFonline
  10. Solomon, A., L. M. Polvani, K. L. Smith, and R. Abernathey, 2015: The impact of ozone depleting substances on the circulation, temperature and salinity of the Southern Ocean: An attribution study with CESM1 (WACCM). Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 5547—5555, doi:10.1002/2015GL064744. PDFonline
  11. Gnanadesikan, A., M.-A. Pradal, and R. Abernathey, 2015: Isopycnal mixing by mesoscale eddies significantly impacts oceanic anthropogenic carbon uptake. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 4249–4255, doi:10.1002/2015GL064100. PDFonline
  12. Abernathey, R. P., and C. Wortham, 2015: Phase speed cross spectra of eddy heat fluxes in the Pacific. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 45, 1285–1301, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0160.1. PDFonline
  13. Wang, L., M. F. Jansen, and R. P. Abernathey, 2016: Eddy phase speeds in a two-layer model of quasigeostrophic baroclinic turbulence with applications to ocean observations. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 46, 1963–1985, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0192.1. PDFonline
  14. Newsom, E., C. Bitz, F. Bryan, R. P. Abernathey, and P. Gent, 2016: Southern Ocean Deep Circulation and Heat Uptake in a High-Resolution Climate Model. Journal of Climate, 29, 2597–2619, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0513.1. PDFonline
  15. Bishop, S. P., P. R. Gent, F. O. Bryan, A. F. Thompson, M. C. Long, and R. P. Abernathey, 2016: Southern Ocean Overturning Compensation in an Eddy-Resolving Climate Simulation. Journal of Climate, 46, 1575–1592, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0177.1. PDFonline
  16. Abernathey, R., I. Cerovečki, P. R. Holland, E. Newsom, M. Mazloff, and L. D. Talley, 2016: Southern Ocean Water Mass Transformation Driven by Sea Ice. Nature Geoscience, 9, 596–601, doi:10.1038/ngeo2749. PDFonline
  17. Groeskamp, S., R. P. Abernathey, and A. Klocker, 2016: Water Mass Transformation by Cabbeling and Thermobaricity. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2016GL070860. PDFonline
  18. Sinha, A., and R. Abernathey, 2016: Timescales of Southern Ocean Eddy Equilibration. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 46, 2785–2805, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0041.1. PDFonline
  19. Busecke, J., R. P. Abernathey, and A. L. Gordon, 2017: Lateral Eddy Mixing in the subtropical salinity maxima of the global Ocean. J. Phys. Oceanogr., doi:10.1175/JPO-D-16-0215.1. PDFonline

For collaborative projects, award amounts represent the Columbia portion only.

  • NSF OCE 13-57133 – $101,621 (1/1/14 - 12/31/16), PI
    Collaborative Research: The Upper Branch of the Southern Ocean Overturning in the Southern Ocean State Estimate: Water Mass Transformation and the 3-D Residual Circulation

  • NASA NNX14AI46G – $259,539 (5/6/14 - 5/5/17), PI
    Quantifying Suface Diapycnal Mixing by Mesoscale Eddies using Satellite Observations

  • NSF OCE 15-53593 – $762,946 (2/15/16 - 1/31/21), PI
    CAREER: Evolution of Ocean Mesoscale Turbulance in a Changing Climate

  • NASA NNX16AJ35G – $339,203 (5/1/16 - 4/30/20), Institutional PI
    Fluxes of heat, carbon and oxygen at SWOT scales

Teaching

  • Introduction to Physical Oceanography – Physical properties of seawater, ocean water masses and their distribution, sea-air interaction, ocean general circulation, mixing processes. (Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015)

  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics – Fundamental concepts in the dynamics of rotating stratified flows. Geostrophic and hydrostatic balances, potential vorticity, f and beta plane approximations, gravity and Rossby waves, geostrophic adjustment and quasigeostrophy, baroclinic and barotropic instabilities. (Spring 2014, Spring 2016)

  • Python for Scientific Computing – For the past two years, I have taught an informal introduction to python, designed to take a novice from zero to fully functional in about eight hours. Topics include core python language, IPython notebooks, numpy, matplotlib, Basemap, pandas, and xray. (September 2014, August 2015)

Software

  • xgcm – A python package for the analysis of ocean general circulation model output. Builds on the fantastic xray and dask projets to provide parallel, out-of-core scalability.

  • pyqg – A python quasigeostrophic model for turbulence simulations. Well documented and easy to use—ideal for students, but fast enough for real research.

  • floater – Python package for turning MITgcm model Lagrangian float output data into PyTables indexed HDF5 files.

  • MITgcmdata – Legacy package for working with MITgcm model output data. I am in the process of replacing this with xgcm.

Presentations

Invited

  • [Oct. 2016] – What are Ocean Eddies?, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

  • [Oct. 2016] – Southern Ocean Water Mass Transformation Driven by Sea Ice, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY

  • [Jan. 2016] – Southern Ocean Water Mass Transformation Driven by Sea Ice, Workshop on thermodynamic analysis for atmospheric and oceanic flows, NYU Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE

  • [Jan. 2016] – Southern Ocean Water Mass Transformation Driven by Sea Ice, Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling Webinar

  • [Sept. 2015] – Identifying Lagrangian Coherent Structures on a Basin Scale using MITgcm and PyTables, Workshop on the Future of Lagrangian Ocean Modeling, Imperial College, London, UK

  • [Feb. 2015] – The Upwelling Branch of the Southern Ocean Overturning Circulation, Southern Ocean Dynamics and Biogeochemistry Workshop, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

  • [Dec. 2014] – The Phase Speed Signature of Mesoscale Eddy Fluxes in the Pacific, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

  • [July 2014] – The Phase Speed Signature of Mesoscale Eddy Fluxes in the Pacific, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

  • [July 2014] – The Phase Speed Signature of Mesoscale Eddy Fluxes in the Pacific, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ

  • [May 2014] – Topographic Enhancement of Eddy Efficiency in Baroclinic Equilibration, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

  • [May 2014] – Topographic Enhancement of Eddy Efficiency in Baroclinic Equilibration, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

  • [Apr. 2014] – Topographic Enhancement of Eddy Efficiency in Baroclinic Equilibration, Courant Institute at New York University, New York, NY

  • [March 2014] – Topographic Enhancement of Eddy Efficiency in Baroclinic Equilibration, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI

  • [April 2013] – Mixing By Ocean Eddies, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

  • [March 2013] – Mixing By Ocean Eddies, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA

  • [Feb. 2013] – Equilibration of Circumpolar Currents with and without Topography, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

  • [Oct. 2012] – Mixing By Ocean Eddies, Physical Oceanography Dissertation Symposium, Lihue, Kaua’i, HI

  • [April 2012] – Mixing By Ocean Eddies, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY

  • [March 2012] – Mixing By Ocean Eddies, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Conference

  • [May 2016] – Lagrangian Coherent Structures and Eulerian Eddy Fluxes in the East Pacific, AmeriMech Symposium on Fluid Transport and Nonlinear Dynamics, WHOI, Woods Hole, MA

  • [May 2016] – Online Diagnostics of Water Mass Transformation in MITgcm, ECCO Production meeting, MIT, Cambridge, MA

  • [Oct. 2015] – Isopycnal Mixing and Ventillation Controlled by Winds, CLIVAR Workshop on Translating Process Understanding to Improve Climate Models, Princeton, NJ

  • [June 2015] – Phase Speed Spectra of Ocean Mesoscale Eddies, AMS Conference on Atmosphere Ocean Fluid Dynamics, Minneapolis, MN

  • [Dec. 2014] – Surface Water Mass Transformation by Mesoscale Eddy Stirring, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

  • [Feb. 2014] – Evaluating Theories for Mesoscale Eddy Diffusivity Using Satellite Observations, AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI

  • [June 2013] – Macroturbulent Equilibration of Circumpolar Currents with and without Topography, Ocean Turbulence Conference, Center for Nonlinear Science, Santa Fe, NM

  • [Feb. 2013] – Equilibration of Circumpolar Currents with and without Topography, Southern Ocean Workshop, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

  • [Dec. 2012] – Equilibration of Circumpolar Currents with and without Topography, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

  • [April 2012] – European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria

  • [Feb. 2012] – AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT

  • [June 2011] – AMS Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, Spokane, WA

  • [Oct. 2011] – Graduate Climate Conference, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

  • [Dec. 2010] – AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA

  • [Feb. 2010] – AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR

  • [June 2009] – AMS Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, Stowe, VT

Service

Community

  • Faculty Member, 2014 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer School, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

  • Session Convener, The Southern Ocean and Its Role in the Climate System; Observations and Modeling of Physical and Biogeochemical Processes, 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI

  • Member, American Geophysical Union

  • Member, European Geophysical Union

  • Member, American Meteorological Society

  • Reviewer for Journal of Physical Oceanography

  • Reviewer for Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans

  • Reviewer for Geophysical Research Letters

  • Reviewer for Ocean Modelling

  • Reviewer for Nature Communications

  • Reviewer for National Science Foundation

Univeristy

  • DEES Curriculum Committee (2016)

  • DEES Broad Search Committee (2016)

  • DEES Cryosphere Search Committee (2015)

  • Yeti High Performance Computing Executive Committe (2015-2016)

  • LDEO Real Time Earth Initiative Committee

  • Center for Climate and Life Board Member