Dr Tra Dinh

PhD Atmospheric Science – University of Washington

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Senior Lecturer

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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • 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. https://www.thebigq.org/2018/11/12/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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