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Dr Tra Dinh

PhD Atmospheric Science – University of Washington

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Research | Current

My research is in atmospheric science. I study atmospheric processes that span a multitude of spatial and temporal scales, from the microphysics of clouds, the dynamics of atmospheric gravity waves, to the global circulation, energy and moisture budgets. I use theory and numerical tools, in combination with observations, to study how the multi-scale interactions of atmospheric processes underline the basic structure of the atmosphere and how these interactions will contribute to future climate change.

I have been involved extensively in the implementation and development of both Cloud-Resolving Models (CRMs) and General Circulation Models (GCMs). These numerical models are used to study the physics of the atmosphere, as well as for weather forecasts and climate predictions.

Teaching | Current

We have a strong and diverse geophysics program at the University of Auckland. The following courses are offered towards a geophysics degree (* indicates the courses I am teaching):

  1. PHYSICS 120*, EARTHSCI 103
  2. PHYSICS 201*, GEOPHYSICS 213*
  3. GEOPHYSICS 310, 311*, 361, PHYSICS 332
  4. GEOPHYSICS 711, 712*, 713, 761, 762

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising or co-supervising two Honours students, one Masters student, and two PhD students. My students and I are working on a variety of research topics, including:

  • Antarctic sea ice variability
  • Climate change over New Zealand
  • Clouds over the Southern Ocean
  • Atmospheric radiative energy budget and global hydrological cycle
  • Cirrus clouds and water vapour in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere


  • Expert Advisory Board of the George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment, New Zealand, from 2017

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, USA, 2012–2014

Areas of expertise

  • Cloud microphysics
  • Climate dynamics
  • Atmospheric radiation
  • Hydrological cycle
  • Numerical modelling for geophysics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Dinh, T., & Fueglistaler, S. (2019). On the causal relationship between the Moist Diabatic Circulation and Cloud Rapid Adjustment to increasing CO₂. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems10.1029/2019MS001853
  • Dinh, T. (2018). Frequently asked questions about climate change and the IPCC special report. Related URL.
  • Dinh, T., & Fueglistaler, S. (2017). Mechanism of fast atmospheric energetic equilibration following radiative forcing by CO₂. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 9 (7), 2468-2482. 10.1002/2017MS001116
  • Dinh, T., Podglajen, A., Hertzog, A., Legras, B., & Plougonven, R. (2016). Effect of gravity wave temperature fluctuations on homogeneous ice nucleation in the tropical tropopause layer. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16 (1), 35-46. 10.5194/acp-16-35-2016
  • Dinh, T., Fueglistaler, S., Durran, D., & Ackerman, T. (2014). Cirrus and water vapour transport in the tropical tropopause layer — Part 2: Roles of ice nucleation and sedimentation, cloud dynamics, and moisture conditions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14 (22), 12225-12236. 10.5194/acp-14-12225-2014
  • Dinh, T., & Fueglistaler, S. (2014). Microphysical, radiative, and dynamical impacts of thin cirrus clouds on humidity in the tropical tropopause layer and lower stratosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (19), 6949-6955. 10.1002/2014GL061289
  • Dinh, T., & Fueglistaler, S. (2014). Cirrus, transport, and mixing in the tropical upper troposphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71 (4), 1339-1352. 10.1175/JAS-D-13-0147.1
  • Dinh, T., Durran, D. R., & Ackerman, T. (2012). Cirrus and water vapor transport in the tropical tropopause layer — Part 1: A specific case modeling study. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12 (20), 9799-9815. 10.5194/acp-12-9799-2012


Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 7, Room 705
New Zealand

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