Adam Sobel's Publications

(And manuscripts in review, press, etc., with links to collaborators)


Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Warming Planet, and the Extreme Weather of the Past and Future, Harper Wave, 2014. (Popular science)

Recent op-eds

CNN, "What we didn't learn from Superstorm Sandy." Oct. 26, 2013. by Adam Sobel.
CNN, "How deadly storms claim a bigger toll." Nov. 10, 2013. by Adam Sobel.
Los Angeles Times, "Monitoring a climate epidemic." Nov. 15, 2013. By Adam Sobel and Naomi Oreskes.
CNN, "Record cold doesn't disprove global warming." Jan. 7, 2014. by Adam Sobel.
CNN, "Is China climate deal the best we can get?" Nov. 18, 2014. by Adam Sobel.
Salon, "Forget the 'polar vortex' backlash: How I learned to love an overused media buzzword." Nov. 22, 2014. by Adam Sobel.

Peer-reviewed journal articles


(incl. in review or press)
  • Walsh and many coauthors (incl. Sobel), 2015: Hurricanes and climate: the U.S. CLIVAR working group on hurricanes. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., in press. PDF file.
  • Anber, Wang, and Sobel, 2015: Effect of surface fluxes versus radiative cooling on tropical deep convection. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, submitted. PDF file.
  • Lee, Tippett, Camargo, and Sobel, 2015: Probabilistic prediction of tropical cyclone intensity from a multiple-linear regression model. Monthly Weather Review, submitted. PDF file.
  • Wang, Sobel, Zhang, Sun, Yue, and Zhou, 2014: Cloud-permitting simulation of the October and November MJO events observed during CINDY/DYNAMO field campaign: Comparison with observations and budgets of moisture and moist static energy. Journal of Climate, in press. PDF file.
  • Allen, Tippett, and Sobel, 2015: Associating monthly hail occurrence and large scale environment for the continental United States. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, submitted. PDF file.
  • Shaevitz, Camargo, Sobel, and coauthors, 2014: Characteristics of tropical cyclones in high-resolution models in the present climate. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, DOI: 10.1002/2014MS000372. PDF file.
  • Rochetin, Lintner, Findell, Sobel, and Gentine, 2014: Radiative-convective equilibrium over a land surface. Journal of Climate, 23, 8611-8629. PDF file.
  • Sobel, Wang, and Kim, 2014: Moist static energy budget of the MJO during DYNAMO. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71, 4276-4291. PDF file.
  • Wang, Camargo, Sobel and Polvani 2014: Impact of the tropopause temperature on the intensity of tropical cyclones --- an idealized study using a mesoscale model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71, 4333-4348. PDF file.
  • Anber, Wang, and Sobel, 2014: Response of atmospheric convection to vertical wind shear: cloud resolving simulations with parameterized large-scale circulation. Part I: Specified radiative cooling. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71, 2976-2993. PDF file.
  • Benedict, Maloney, Sobel, and Frierson, 2014: Gross moist stability and MJO simulation skill in three full-physics GCMs. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71, 3327-3349. PDF file.
  • Camargo, Tippett, Sobel, Vecchi, and Zhao, 2014: Testing the performance of tropical cyclone genesis indices in future climates using the HIRAM model. Journal of Climate, 27, 9171-9196. PDF file.
  • Tippett, Sobel, Camargo, and Allen, 2014: An empirical relation between U.S. tornado activity and monthly environmental parameters. Journal of Climate, 27, 2983-2999. PDF file.
  • Dwyer, Biasutti, and Sobel 2014: The effect of greenhouse-gas-induced changes in SST on the seasonality of tropical precipitation. Journal of Climate, 27, 4544-4565. PDF file.
  • Zhu, Wheeler, Sobel, and Hudson, 2014: Seamless precipitation prediction skill in the tropics and extratropics from a global model. Monthly Weather Review, 142, 1556-1569. PDF file
  • Kim, Kug, and Sobel, 2014: Propagating vs. non-propagating Madden-Julian oscillation events, Journal of Climate, 27, 111-125. PDF file.


  • Barnes, Polvani, and Sobel, 2013: Model projections of atmospheric steering of Sandy-like superstorms. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.1308732110.
  • Emanuel and Sobel 2013: Response of tropical sea surface temperature, precipitation, and tropical cyclone-related variables to changes in global and local forcing. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 5, 1-12. DOI: 10.1002/jame.20032. PDF file.
  • Hall and Sobel, 2013: The impact angle of hurricane Sandy's New Jersey landfall. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/grl.50395. PDF file.
  • Auffhammer, Hsiang, Schlenker, and Sobel 2013: Using weather data and climate model output in economic analyses of climate change. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, doi: 10.1093/reep/ret016. PDF file
  • Wang, Sobel, and Kuang 2013: Cloud-resolving simulation of TOGA COARE using parameterized large-scale dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50510. PDF file. Summary article, editor's highlight.
  • Tandon, Gerber, Sobel, and Polvani, 2013: Understanding Hadley cell expansion vs. contraction: Insights from simplified models and implications for recent observations. Journal of Climate, 26, 4304-4321. PDF file.
  • Sobel and Maloney, 2013: Moisture modes and the eastward propagation of the MJO. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 70, 187-192. PDF file.
  • Lintner, Gentine, Findell, D'Andrea, Sobel, and Salvucci, 2013: An idealized prototype for large-scale land-atmosphere coupling. Journal of Climate, 26, 2379-2389. PDF file.
  • Benedict, Maloney, Sobel, Frierson, and Donner, 2013: Tropical intraseasonal variability in version 3 of the GFDL atmosphere model. Journal of Climate, 26, 426-449. PDF file.


  • Sobel and Kim, 2012: The MJO-Kelvin wave transition. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L20808, doi:10.1029/2012GL053380. PDF file.
  • Lintner, Bellon, Sobel, Kim, and Neelin, 2012: Implementation of the Quasi-equilibrium Tropical Circulation Model 2 (QTCM2): Global simulations and convection sensitivity to free tropospheric moisture. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 4, M12002. doi:10.1029/2012MS000174. PDF file.
  • Field, Risi, Schmidt, Worden, Voulgarakis, LeGrande, Sobel, and Healy, 2012: A Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer HDO/H2O retrieval simulator for climate models. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12, 10485-10504. PDF file.
  • Sobel 2012: Tropical weather (link goes to online article). Nature Education Knowledge, 3(10):2.
  • Dwyer, Biasutti, and Sobel 2012: Projected changes in the seasonal cycle of surface temperature. Journal of Climate, 25, 6359-6374. PDF file.
  • Tippett, Sobel, and Camargo 2012: Association of U.S. tornado occurrence with monthly environmental parameters. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L02801, doi:10.1029/2011GL050368. PDF file.
  • Wang and Sobel 2012: Impact of imposed drying on deep convection in a cloud-resolving model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, D2, doi:10.1029/2011JD016847. PDF file.
  • Kim, Sobel, Del Genio, Chen, Camargo , Yao, Kelley, and Nazarenko, 2012: The tropical subseasonal variability simulated in the NASA GISS general circulation model. Journal of Climate, 25, 4641-4659. PDF file.
  • Zhou, Sobel, and Murtugudde, 2012: Kinetic energy budget for the Madden-Julian Oscillation in a multi-scale framework. Journal of Climate, 25, 5386-5403. PDF file.
  • Zhu and Sobel, 2012: Comparison of a single column model in weak temperature gradient mode to its parent AGCM. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138, 1025-1034. PDF file.
  • Sobel and Maloney, 2012: An idealized semi-empirical framework for modeling the Madden-Julian oscillation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 69, 1691-1705. PDF file.
  • Biasutti, Burleyson, Yuter, and Sobel, 2012: Very high resolution rainfall patterns measured by TRMM precipitation radar: Seasonal and diurnal cycles. Climate Dynamics, 39, 239-258. PDF file.
  • Biasutti, Sobel, Camargo, and Creyts, 2012: Projected changes in the physical climate of the Gulf coast and Caribbean. Climatic Change, 112, 819-845. PDF file.


  • Kim, Sobel, and Kang, 2011: A mechanism denial study on the Madden-Julian oscillation. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 3, M12007, DOI:10.1029/2011MS000081. PDF file.
  • Wang and Sobel 2011: Response of convection to relative sea surface temperature: cloud-resolving simulations in two and three dimensions. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D11119, doi:10.1029/2010JD015347. PDF file
  • Kim, Sobel, Maloney, Frierson, and Kang, 2011: A systematic relationship between intraseasonal variability and mean state bias in AGCM simulations. Journal of Climate, 24, 5506-5520. PDF file.
  • Sobel, Burleyson, and Yuter 2011: Rain on small tropical islands . Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D08102, doi:10.1029/2010JD014695. PDF file. There is also the PDF file for the Correction published 2013, and the Supplemental figures for the correction.
  • Tippett, Camargo and Sobel 2011: A Poisson regression index for tropical cyclone genesis and the role of large-scale vorticity in genesis. Journal of Climate, 24, 2335-2357. PDF file.
  • Sobel and Camargo 2011: Projected future changes in tropical summer climate. Journal of Climate, 24, 473-487. PDF file.
  • Ramsay and Sobel 2011: The effects of relative and absolute sea surface temperature on tropical cyclone potential intensity using a single column model. Journal of Climate, 24, 183-193. PDF file.


  • Camargo and Sobel 2010: Revisiting the influence of the quasi-biennial oscillation on tropical cyclone activity Journal of Climate, 23, 5810-5825. PDF file.
  • Bellon and Sobel 2010: Multiple equilibria of the Hadley circulation in an intermediate-complexity axisymmetric model Journal of Climate, 23, 1760-1778. PDF file.
  • Maloney, Sobel, and Hannah 2010: Intraseasonal variability in an aquaplanet general circulation model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 2, doi:10.3894/JAMES.2010.2.5.
  • Krouse and Sobel 2010: An observational study of multiple tropical cyclone events in the western north Pacific. Tellus, 62A, 256-265. PDF file
  • Wright, Sobel, and Galewsky, 2010: Diagnosis of zonal mean relative humidity changes in a warmer climate. Journal of Climate, 23, 4556-4570. PDF file.
  • Sobel, Maloney, Bellon and Frierson, 2010: Surface fluxes and tropical intraseasonal variability: a reassessment. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 2, doi:10.3894/JAMES.2010.2.2.
  • Sessions, Sugaya, Raymond, and Sobel, 2010: Multiple equilibria in a cloud-resolving model . Journal of Geophysical Research, 115,D12110, doi:10.1029/2009JD013376. PDF file of main text; supplement (also PDF).


  • Biasutti and Sobel, 2009: Delayed Sahel rainfall and global seasonal cycle in a warmer climate Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2009GL041303. PDF file.
  • Sobel and Schneider 2009: Single-layer axisymmetric model for a Hadley circulation with parameterized eddy momentum forcing. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 1, doi:10.3894/JAMES.2009.1.10.
  • Raymond, Sessions, Sobel, and Fuchs, 2009: The mechanics of gross moist stability Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 1, doi:10.3894/JAMES.2009.1.9.
  • Wright, Sobel, and Schmidt 2009: The influence of condensate evaporation on water vapor and its stable isotopes in a GCM Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L12804, doi:10.1029/2009GL038091. PDF file.
  • Camargo, Wheeler, and Sobel 2009: Diagnosis of the MJO modulation of tropical cyclogenesis using an empirical index Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 66, 3061-3074. PDF file.
  • Biasutti, Sobel, and Camargo 2009: The role of the Sahara low in Sahel rainfall variability and change in the CMIP3 models. Journal of Climate, 22, 5755-5771. PDF file.
  • Sobel and Bellon 2009: The effect of imposed drying on parameterized deep convection, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 66, 2085-2096. PDF file.


  • Sobel, Maloney, Bellon and Frierson, 2008: The role of surface fluxes in tropical intraseasonal oscillations. Nature Geoscience, 1, 653-657.
  • Bellon, Sobel, and Vialard 2008: Ocean-atmosphere coupling in the monsoon intraseasonal oscillation: a simple model study. Journal of Climate, 21, 5254-5270. PDF file
  • Holder, Yuter, Sobel, and Aiyyer 2008: The mesoscale characteristics of tropical oceanic precipitation during Kelvin and mixed Rossby-gravity wave events. Monthly Weather Review, 136, 3446-3464. PDF file
  • Bellon and Sobel 2008b: Instability of the axisymmetric monsoon flow and intraseasonal oscillation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D07109, doi:10.1029/2007JD008968. PDF file
  • Biasutti, Held, Sobel, and Giannini 2008: SST forcings and Sahel rainfall variability in simulations of the 20th and 21st centuries. Journal of Climate, 21, 3471-3486. PDF file
  • Krouse, Sobel, and Polvani 2008: On the wavelength of the Rossby waves radiated by tropical cyclones. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 65, 644-654. PDF file.
  • Bellon and Sobel 2008a: Poleward-propagating intraseasonal monsoon disturbances in an intermediate-complexity axisymmetric model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 65, 470-489. PDF file
  • Giannini, Biasutti, Held, and Sobel 2008: A global perspective on African climate. Climatic Change, DOI 10.1007/s10584-008-9396-y. PDF file


  • Sobel, Bellon and Bacmeister 2007: Multiple equilibria in a single-column model of the tropical atmosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L22804, doi:10.1029/2007GL031320. PDF file.
  • Wing, Sobel, and Camargo 2007: The relationship between the potential and actual intensities of tropical cyclones on interannual time scales. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L08810, doi:10.1029/2006GL028581. PDF file
  • Camargo, Sobel, Barnston, and Emanuel 2007: Tropical cyclone genesis potential index in climate models. Tellus, 59A, 428-443. PDF file
  • Camargo, Emanuel, and Sobel 2007: Use of a genesis potential index to diagnose ENSO effects on tropical cyclone genesis. Journal of Climate, 20, 4819-4834. PDF file
  • Herceg, Sobel, and Sun 2007: Regional modeling of decadal rainfall variability over the Sahel. Climate Dynamics, 29, 89-99. PDF file
  • Maloney and Sobel 2007: Idealized hot spot experiments with a general circulation model. Journal of Climate, 20, 908-925. PDF file


  • Swann, Sobel, Yuter, and Kiladis 2006: Observed radar reflectivity in convectively coupled Kelvin and mixed Rossby-gravity waves. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, doi:10.1029/2006LG025979. PDF file
  • Galewsky, Stark, Dadson, Wu, Sobel, and Horng 2006: Tropical cyclone triggering of sediment discharge in Taiwan. Journal of Geophysical Research (Earth Surface), 111, F03014, doi:10.1029/2005JF000428. PDF file
  • Sobel and Neelin 2006: The boundary layer contribution to intertropical convergence zones in the quasi-equilibrium tropical circulation model framework. Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, 20, 323-350. Pdf file
  • Burns, Sobel, and Polvani 2006: Asymptotic solutions of the moist axisymmetric Hadley circulation in a model with two vertical modes. Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, 20, 443-467. PDF file
  • Zhou and Sobel 2006: Nonlinear shallow water solutions using the weak temperature gradient approximation. Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, 20, 469-484. PDF file
  • Biasutti, Sobel, and Kushnir 2006: GCM precipitation biases in the tropical Atlantic. Journal of Climate, 19, 935-958. PDF file
  • Herceg, Sobel, Sun, and Zebiak 2006: The big brother experiment and seasonal predictability in the NCEP Regional Spectral Model. Climate Dynamics, 27, 69-82. PDF file


  • Sobel and Camargo 2005: Influence of western north Pacific tropical cyclones on their large-scale environment. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62, 3396-3407. PDF file
  • Camargo and Sobel 2005: Western north Pacific tropical cyclone intensity and ENSO. Journal of Climate, 18, 2996-3006. PDF file
  • Galewsky and Sobel 2005: Moist dynamics and orographic precipitation in Northern California during the New Year's flood of 1997. Monthly Weather Review, 133, 1594-1612. PDF file
  • Galewsky, Sobel, and Held 2005: Diagnosis of subtropical humidity dynamics using tracers of last saturation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62, 3353-3367. PDF file
  • Gu, Adler, and Sobel 2005: The eastern Pacific ITCZ during the boreal spring. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 62, 1157-1174. PDF file


  • Maloney and Sobel 2004: Surface fluxes and ocean coupling in the tropical intraseasonal oscillation. Journal of Climate, 17, 4368-4386. PDF file
  • Shaevitz and Sobel 2004: Implementing the weak temperature gradient approximation with full vertical structure. Monthly Weather Review, 132, 662-669. PDF file
  • Camargo and Sobel 2004: Formation of tropical storms in an atmospheric general circulation model. Tellus, 56A, 56-67. PDF file
  • Sobel, Yuter, Bretherton, and Kiladis 2004: Large-scale meteorology and deep convection during TRMM KWAJEX. Monthly Weather Review, 132, 422-444. PDF file


  • Sobel and Gildor 2003: A simple time-dependent model of SST hot spots. Journal of Climate, 16, 3978-3992. PDF file
  • Gildor, Sobel, Cane , and Sambrotto 2003: A role for ocean biota in tropical intraseasonal atmospheric variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 30(9), 1460, doi:10.1029/2002GL016759. PDF file corrigendum
  • Sobel 2003: On the coexistence of an evaporation minimum and precipitation maximum in the warm pool. Journal of Climate, 16, 1003-1009. PDF file
  • Bretherton and Sobel 2003: The Gill model and the weak temperature gradient approximation . Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 60, 451-460. PDF file
  • Sobel and Bretherton 2003: Large-scale waves interacting with deep convection in idealized mesoscale model simulations. Tellus, 55A, 45-60. PDF file


  • Sobel 2002: Water vapor as an active scalar in tropical atmospheric dynamics Chaos, 12, 451-459. PDF file
  • Bretherton and Sobel 2002: A simple model of a convectively-coupled Walker circulation using the weak temperature gradient approximation. Journal of Climate, 15, 2907-2920. PDF file
  • Chiang and Sobel 2002: Tropical tropospheric temperature variations caused by ENSO and their influence on the remote tropical climate. Journal of Climate, 15, 2616-2631. PDF file
  • Sobel, Held, and Bretherton 2002: The ENSO signal in tropical tropospheric temperature Journal of Climate, 15, 2702-2706. PDF file
  • Polvani and Sobel 2002: The Hadley circulation and the weak temperature gradient approximation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 59, 1744-1752. PDF file


  • Sobel, Nilsson and Polvani 2001: The weak temperature gradient approximation and balanced tropical moisture waves. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 58, 3650-3665. PDF file


  • Sobel and Bretherton 2000: Modeling tropical precipitation in a single column. Journal of Climate, 13, 4378-4392. PDF file
    Correction to Sobel and Bretherton 2000 (there's a wrong equation, doesn't affect the results but makes it confusing to read one section).
  • Sobel and Maloney 2000: Effect of ENSO and the MJO on western north Pacific tropical cyclones. Geophysical Research Letters, 27, 1739-1742. PDF file
  • Sobel and Flierl 2000: Cross-channel advective-diffusive transport by a monochromatic traveling wave. Physics of Fluids, 12, 1377-1381. PDF file
  • Sobel and Horinouchi 2000: On the dynamics of easterly waves, monsoon depressions, and tropical depression type disturbances. Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan, 78, 167-173. PDF file
  • Gettelman and Sobel 2000: Direct diagnoses of stratosphere-troposphere exchange. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 57, 3-16. PDF file

    Before 2000

  • Sobel and Bretherton 1999: Development of synoptic-scale disturbances over the summertime tropical northwest Pacific. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 56, 3106-3127. PDF file
  • Sobel 1999: Diffusion vs. nonlocal models of stratospheric mixing, in theory and practice. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 56, 2571-2584. PDF file
  • Sobel and Plumb 1999: Quantitative diagnostics of mixing in a shallow-water model of the stratosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 56, 2811-2829. PDF file
  • Sobel, Plumb and Waugh 1997: Methods of computing transport across the polar vortex edge. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 54, 2241-2260. PDF file
  • Goody and Sobel 1996: A graduate radiation course based upon numerical methods. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77, 2919-2924.PDF file

    Book chapters

  • Sobel 2010: R. Alan Plumb: A brief biographical sketch, and personal tribute. The Stratosphere: Dynamics, Transport, and Chemistry, AGU, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., 190, L. M. Polvani, D. W. Waugh, A. H. Sobel, Eds. (Not peer reviewed, though the rest of the book is.) PDF file
  • Sobel 2010: Going to extremes. Climate Change: Picturing the Science, G. Schmidt and J. Wolfe, Eds., Norton. (Popular science, not peer reviewed.)
  • Camargo, Sobel, Barnston, and Klotzbach 2010: The influence of natural climate variability, and seasonal forecasts of tropical cyclone activity. Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones, 2nd edition, J. C. L. Chan and J. D. Kepert, Eds., World Scientific, 325-360.
  • Sobel 2007: Simple models of ensemble-averaged precipitation and surface wind, given the SST. The Global Circulation of the Atmosphere, T. Schneider and A. H. Sobel, Eds., Princeton University Press. PDF file
  • Sobel, Bretherton, Gildor, and Peters 2004: Convection, cloud-radiative feedbacks and thermodynamic ocean coupling in simple models of the Walker circulation. Earth's Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, C. Wang S.-P. Xie, and J. A. Carton, Eds., American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph 147, 393-405. PDF file (Book available from AGU)

    Edited Books

  • Polvani, Waugh, and Sobel, Eds., 2010: The Stratosphere: Dynamics, Transport, and Chemistry, AGU, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., 190, 220pp.
  • Schneider and Sobel, Eds., 2007: The Global Circulation of the Atmosphere, Princeton University Press, 400pp.

    Meeting summaries

  • Biasutti, Giannini, Sobel, Held, and Chiang 2007: Sahel climate change. EOS, 88, (29), 295. PDF file
  • Camargo and Sobel 2007: Workshop on tropical cyclones and climate. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88, 389-391. PDF file
  • Schneider and Sobel 2006: Global circulation of the atmosphere (2004). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87, 807-809. PDF file


  • Sobel 2010: Raised bar for rain. Nature Geoscience, 3, 821-822. ("News & Views", not peer reviewed.)

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