Juan Lora, Yale
Faculty Host: Ross Parnell-Turner
Abstract: Saturn’s moon Titan hosts a massive nitrogen atmosphere with a vigorous circulation, and sustains an exotic but recognizable hydrologic cycle in which methane is the primary condensible. With the goal of understanding essential observed features of Titan’s climate system, I will discuss a general circulation model that accurately simulates the middle and lower atmosphere. I will demonstrate how I use data-model comparisons to gain fundamental insights into Titan’s seasonal circulation, distinct climate zones, and global hydrologic cycle. I will also examine the possibility that the climate system supports Milankovitch cycles with a mechanism that links Titan’s weather to its paleoclimate. Finally, I will show that several features of Titan’s surface may be related to the climate and its long-term evolution, and outline ongoing and future work for further constraining this fascinating surface–atmosphere coupled system.