Dr Jatin Kala
Bsc (Hons) (Murdoch University), PhD (Murdoch University)

Lecturer

About me

I am a climate scientist and my research focus is on how the land and the atmosphere interact with each other. I use state of the art land surface models coupled to atmospheric models to answer various scientific questions on this topic.

Teaching area

Units Coordinated:

  1. ENV242 – Atmospheric Science
  2. ENV684 – Earth Systems Science

Guest Lectures:

  1. ENV245 – Global and Regional Sustainability: “Climate Change, Cities and Energy”
  2. ENV102 – Introduction to Environmental Science: “On understanding Climate Change”
  3. ENV558 – Environmental Monitoring: “Air Quality Monitoring”

Research areas

Land surface modelling

Regional climate modeling

Boundary-Layer meteorology

Terrestrial water and Carbon cycles

Air pollution meteorology

Current projects

Regional climate modeling for the southwest of Western Australia

Global climate models typically have a horizontal resolution of approximately 100-200 km. This too coarse for informing decision-making at the farm scale, i.e., a resolution of 1-10 km. This project is making use of a state-of-the art regional climate model to dynamically downscale outputs from global climate models to provide usable current and future climate information for the southwest of Western Australia.

What are the impacts of land-cover change on weather and climate in the southwest of Western Australia?

The southwest of Western Australia is a region of extensive land-cover change with an estimated 13 million hectares of native vegetation cleared for Agricultural land-use since European settlement. The on-going project investigates the impacts of such an extensive change in land-use on the atmosphere using both models and observations.

How does vegetation respond to increasing levels of atmospheric CO2?

Vegetation uses CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and loose water-vapor to the atmosphere during this process. As the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, plants act to reduce their stomatal opening to minimize the amount of water-vapor lost per unit of Carbon gained. This has a net warming effect and it is therefore critical that this “optimal” stomatal behavior is accurately represented within climate models. This project is making use of the best available data to develop and test a more accurate stomatal conductance model used within the climate model used within Australian for weather forecasting and climate predictions.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

PhD students:

1. Julia Andrys (co-supervisor with Prof. Tom Lyons, on-going)

2. Karuru Wamahiu (co-supervisor with Prof. Tom Lyons, on-going)

Masters students:

1. Hayley Rolfe (co-supervisor with Prof. Tom Lyons, on-going)

Honors Students:

1. Alyce Sala Tenna (co-supervisor with Prof. Tom Lyons, on-going)

2. Carol Godwin (co-supervisor with Prof. Tom Lyons, on-going)

3. Rebecca Firfth (co-supervisor with Prof. Tom Lyons, on-going)

Publications

Journal publications

23. Andrys. J., J. Kala, T. J. Lyons (2016) Regional climate projections of mean and extreme climate for the southwest of Western Australia (1970–1999 compared to 2030–2059). Climate Dynamics, in press, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3169-5

22. Clarke, H., Pitman, A. J., Kala, J., Carouge, C., Haverd, V., and Evans, J. P. (2016) An investigation of future fuel load and fire weather in Australia. Climatic Change, 139, 591-605, doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1808-9

21. Ukkola, A. M., Pitman, A. J., Decker, M., De Kauwe, M. G., Abramowitz, G., Kala, J., and Wang, Y.-P. (2016) Modelling evapotranspiration during precipitation deficits: identifying critical processes in a land surface model, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20, 2403-2419, doi:10.5194/hess-20-2403-2016

20. Herold, N., J. Kala, L. V. Alexander (2016) The influence of soil moisture deficits on Australian heatwaves. Environmental Research Letters, 11, 064003, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/6/064003

19. Kala, J., M. G. De Kauwe, A. J. Pitman, R. Lorenz, B. E. Medlyn, Y. P. Wang, and S. E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick (2016) Impact of the representation of stomatal conductance on model projections of heatwave intensity. Scientific Reports, 6, 23418, doi:10.1038/srep23418

18. Ma, S., A. J. Pitman, R. Lorenz, J. Kala, J. Srbinovsky (2016) Earlier green-up amplifies spring warming over Europe. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 2011-2018, doi:10.1002/2016GL068062

17. Andrys, J., T. J. Lyons and J. Kala (2016) Evaluation of a WRF Ensemble using GCM Boundary Conditions to Quantify Mean and Extreme Climate for the Southwest of Western Australia (1970-1999). International Journal of Climatology, 36, 4406-4424, doi:10.1002/joc.4641

16. Kala, J., M. G. De Kauwe, A. J. Pitman, R. Lorenz, B. E. Medlyn, Y.-P Wang, Y.-S Lin, and G. Abramowitz (2015) Implementation of an optimal stomatal conductance scheme in the Australian Community Climate Earth Systems Simulator (ACCESS1.3b). Geoscientific Model Development., 8, 3877-3889, doi:10.5194/gmd-8-3877-2015

15. A L. Hirsch, A. J. Pitman, J. Kala, R. Lorenz, M. G. Donat. (2015) Modulation of land use change impacts on temperature extremes via land-atmosphere coupling over Australia. Earth Interactions., 19, 1-24, doi:10.1175/EI-D-15-0011.1

14. Kala, J., Evans, J. P., and Pitman, A. J. (2015) Influence of antecedent soil moisture conditions on the synoptic meteorology of the Black Saturday bushfire event in southeast Australia. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society., 141, 3118–3129, doi:10.1002/qj.2596

13. Kala, J., Andrys, J., Lyons, T. J., Foster, I. J., Evans, B. J. (2015) Sensitivity of WRF to driving data and physics options on a seasonal time-scale for the southwest of Western Australia. Climate Dynamics., 44, 633-659, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2160-2

12. Andrys, J., Lyons, T. J., and Kala, J. (2015) Multi-decadal Evaluation of WRF Downscaling Capabilities Over Western Australia in Simulating Rain- fall and Temperature Extremes. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 54, 370-394, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0212.1

11. De Kauwe, M. G., Kala, J., Lin, Y.-S., Pitman, A. J., Medlyn, B. E., Duursma, R. A., Abramowitz, G., Wang Y.-P., and Miralles D. G. (2015) A test of an optimal stomatal conductance scheme within the CABLE Land Surface Model. Geoscientific Model Development, 8, 431-452, doi: 10.5194/gmd-8-431-2015

10. Kala, J., Evans, J. P., Pitman, A. J., Schaaf, C. B., Decker, M., Carouge, C., Mocko, D., and Sun, Q. (2014) Implementation of a soil albedo scheme in the CABLEv1.4b land surface model and evaluation against MODIS estimates over Australia. Geoscientific Model Development, 8, 431-452, doi:10.5194/gmd-7-2121-2014

9. Hirsch A. L., Pitman, A. J., and Kala, J. (2014) The role of land cover change in modulating the soil moisture-temperature land-atmosphere coupling strength over Australia. Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 5883-5890, doi:10.1002/2014GL061179

8. Lorenz, R., Pitman, A. J., Donat, M. G., Hirsch, A. L., Kala, J., Kowalczyk, E. A., Law, R. M., and Srbinovsky, J. (2014) Representation of climate extreme indices in the ACCESS1.3b coupled atmosphere-land surface model. Geoscientific Model Development., 7, 545-567, doi:10.5194/gmd-7-545-2014

7. Kala, J., Decker, M., Exbrayat, J.-F., Pitman, A. J., Carouge, C., Evans, J. P., and Abramowitz, G., and Mocko, D. (2014) Influence of Leaf Area Index Prescriptions on Simulations of Heat, Moisture, and Carbon Fluxes. Journal of Hydrometeorology., 15, 489-503, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-13-063.1

6. Hirsch, A. L., Kala J., Pitman, A. J., Carouge, C., Evans, J. P., Haverd, V., Mocko, M. (2014) Impact of Land Surface Initialization Approach on Sub- seasonal Forecast Skill: A Regional Analysis in the Southern Hemisphere. Journal of Hydrometeorology., 15, 300-319, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-13-05.1

5. Kala, J., Lyons, T. J, Nair, U. S., and Wu. Y. (2012) Large-eddy simulations of surface influences on planetary boundary-layer development in South-West Western Australia. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138, 1465-1475, doi:10.1002/qj.1879

4. Nair, U.S., Y. Wu, J. Kala, T. J. Lyons, R.A. Pielke Sr., and J.M. Hacker. (2011) The role of land use change on the development and evolution of the West Coast trough, convective clouds, and precipitation in Southwest Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 116, D07103, doi:10.1029/2010JD014950. 


3. Kala, J., Lyons, T. J and and Nair, U. S. (2011) Numerical simulations of the impacts of land-cover change on cold-fronts in Southwest Western Australia. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 138, 121-138, doi:10.1007/s10546-010-9547- 3

2. Kala, J., Lyons, T. J., Abbs, D. J., and Nair, U. S. (2010) Numerical simulations of the impacts of land-cover change on a southern sea breeze in Southwest Western Australia. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 135, 485- 503., doi:10.1007/s10546-010-9486-z

1. Kala, J., Lyons, T. J. Foster, I. J., and Nair, U. S. (2009) Validation of a simple steady-state forecast of minimum nocturnal temperatures. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 48, 624-633, doi:10.1175/2008JAMC1956.1