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Brian Crow



+49 421 218-65448



GEO 5420

Brian Crow

PhD Project

"Modelling Greenland Ice Sheet Collapse in MIS-11, MIS-5, and the Future"


For approximately the last 800,000 years, Earth has undergone a sequence of gradual glaciation (the buildup of thick masses of ice across primarily Northern Hemisphere land areas) and deglaciation with a cycle on the order of 100,000 years. This cycle is driven in large part by variations in the Earth's orbital configuration, with changes in axial tilt, the eccentricity of the orbit, and precession of the equinoxes playing the primary roles. However, there are also some internal climate system factors that affect both the timing and intensity of interglacial periods.

Using the CESM climate model, we will strive to reproduce climate conditions during the MIS-11 interglacial (~425,000 to ~390,000 years ago) and MIS-5 interglacial (~130,000 to ~115,000 years ago). These climate conditions will then be used to force a model of the Greenland ice sheet to better constrain its melt rate, spatial extent, etc. during these periods. These climate states will be scruntinized for climate system factors that may have played a role in controlling the rate and extent of ice sheet melt, thus providing some points of comparison to the present and anticipated future climate. The climate and ice sheet models will then be used to make improved future projections of Greenland melt, thereby contributing to better estimates of global sea level rise.


Beginning with a childhood fascination with everyday weather, I have long been interested in atmospheric sciences and the climate system. My educational journey began with a bachelor's in meteorology, during which time I participated in several research projects examining mesoscale and synoptic scale atmospheric phenomena. I then moved on to large-scale climate dynamics for my master's thesis, examining the roughly periodic nature of atmospheric wave growth and propagation on a hemispheric scale. Finally, after a stint as a consulting meteorologist, I found myself compelled to return to climate science so that I may build the knowledge and skills necessary for a career tackling one of humanity's greatest challenges: climate change.


Oct. 2019-present (anticipated late 2022) PhD Universität Bremen Bremen, Deutschland
Jan. 2014-Aug. 2016 Master's Degree Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO, United States
Aug. 2010-Dec. 2013 Bachelor's Degree University of Missouri Columbia, MO, United States


Publications and Presentations

Thompson, D. W. J. , B. R. Crow, and E. A. Barnes, 2017: Intraseasonal periodicity in the Southern Hemisphere circulation on regional spatial scales. J. Atmos. Sci. 74, 865-877.


Title Coauthors Conference Location Date
Implications of the Observed 25-Day Periodicity in the Extratropical Circulation for Weather and Climate D. W. J. Thompson 96th Annual American Meteorological Society New Orleans, LA, USA 13 Jan 2016
Observational Analysis and Numerical Simulations of a Case of Rotating Lake-Effect Snow over Lake Tahoe (Poster) N. F. Laird and N. D. Metz 94th Annual American Meteorological Society Atlanta, GA, USA 2 Feb 2014
Forecast Assessment of Two Challenging Lake-Effect Snow Events in the Eastern Great Lakes Region (Poster) N. F. Laird 2012 Annual National Weather Association Meeting Madison, WI, USA 7 Oct 2012
The Historic Cold Wave of Nov. 11, 1911 in Missouri: Using a Modern Cold Frontal Passage to Draw Parallels to a Historic Event (Poster; 2nd author) E. Kutta, P. S. Market, J. Power, K. Crandall, N. I. Fox, and P. Guinan 2011 Annual National Weather Association Meeting Birmingham, AL, USA 16 Oct 2011