Ziwei Wang studies the current state and future projections of convective extreme events. The scientific question can be rephrased in a more straight-forward way: How much and why would mid-latitudes thunderstorms change, and what are the associated social impact?
His work focus on understanding how Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) -- a powerful metric for thunderstorms on both synoptic and climatological scales -- would change with a combination of observation, climate models, and simple theories. He evaluates the reliability of the convection-resolving model (CRM) in capturing the observed CAPE distribution as a basis to confidently interpret the high-res model output. He then takes a set of CRM simulations of current and future climate to explore the magnitude of CAPE change in the mid-latitudes. He shows how this climatological shift of CAPE could be understood with a simple dependence of CAPE on surface thermodynamics conditions and a relatively consistent upper-level shift.