Dr John Allen

Dr John Allen, a graduate of the School of Earth Sciences, discusses his PhD research on severe thunderstorms in Australia.

Image of John Allen

I’m a post-doctoral researcher at Columbia University in New York, having completed my PhD on the impacts of climate change on severe thunderstorms in Australia. During my PhD studies, I developed a unique dataset on severe thunderstorms in Australia and investigated the environmental conditions favourable for their occurrence using observations and climate model simulations.

Until now, people haven’t really understood the likelihood of a severe thunderstorm in Australia and in a warmer world that changes quite a bit. My research proved that the conditions favourable to severe thunderstorms in Australia were remarkably similar to those in America, where more research has been carried out. In fact, conditions are similar worldwide.

If we know storm environments are similar worldwide, we can use modelling in places where there is no — or limited — data like South Africa, China and South America. We're looking to develop tornado climatology for places that don’t have one, such as Bangladesh where a tornado will kill 1000 people.

Quotes are taken from The Citizen’s MyPhd series. See the rest of the article here.

Find out more