Kevin Hamilton




Retired Professor, International Pacific Research Center

see also my IPRC web page

for my CV



Hawaii From Space



Interesting weather in Hawaii - an animation of IR images during a frontal passage December 4-6, 2007


Interesting weather on Mars! - a NASA animation of Mars Spirit Rover images showing several dust devils racing across the surface. Images were taken on July 13, 2005. Real elapsed time in seconds is shown in the lower left corner



QBO Vizualization - Monthly-mean zonal-mean zonal wind observations from UKMO analyses November 1991-June 1998





Research Interests

Observations and modelling of the global-scale circulation of the atmosphere

Climate modelling and climate change

Meteorology and chemistry of the stratosphere and mesosphere

Atmospheric and oceanic waves and tides

Dynamics of planetary atmospheres



Vortex Visualization

Here is an attempt to visualize the polar vortex as simulated in the GFDL SKYHI General Circulation Model. What is shown is an instantaneous picture of a surface that surrounds the air with low nitrous oxide concentration (in this case low relative to the mean value at each horizontal level). What you see is a Northern Hemisphere projection with the vertical scale marked in potential temperature. The vertical extent shown is from about 10 km to 45 km. The main vase-like sheath outlines the polar vortex, while the ribbons wrapping around the vortex represent air that has recently eroded from the vortex. (for more details)


Typhoon Simulation

click here to see the strongest Pacific typhoon simulated in an extremely fine resolution global climate model

For more details see Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 2874 (1997).


Report on a 1996 Workshop on Gravity Waves and Gravity Wave Parameterization

(to access report)

Report on a 2004 Workshop on Gravity Waves and Gravity Wave Parameterization

(to access report)

Report on a 2011 Workshop on Gravity Waves and Gravity Wave Parameterization

(to access report)



My History of the Early Days of Upper Atmospheric Meteorology

(for complete text)



"Summer" School on the Physics of the Equatorial Atmosphere, Trieste, Italy, held in September and October 2001.

(for more information)

(for a formal group photo of lecturers and students)



Here is my Japanese colleague Wataru Ohfuchi during a visit he made to IPRC in 2005.

Wataru and I edited a book on high resolution numerical simulation (for more information)

Here is a view of near-instantaneous precipitation from a high-resolution global model. This is a photo taken while an animation produced in collaboration with the Bishop Museum in Honolulu is projected onto a large sphere in their "Science on the Sphere" exhibit hall.



Over the last decade I have participated in Hawaii Public Radio shows featuring discussions of environmental issues and research efforts relevant to Hawaii.

October 2006 MP3 audio file

August 2007 MP3 audio file

December 2009 Details

and in a local Web TV show about climate research "Bringing Climate Change Home"



(click here for my CV with a complete list of publications, 1979-present)

Publications (1995-present)


- 1995 -


K. Hamilton, R.J. Wilson, J.D. Mahlman & L.J. Umscheid. Climatology of the SKYHI Troposphere-Stratosphere-Mesosphere General Circulation Model, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 52, 5-43. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Interannual Variability in the Northern Hemisphere Winter Middle Atmosphere in Control and Perturbed Experiments with the SKYHI General Circulation Model, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 52, 44-66. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Aspects of Mesospheric Simulation in a Comprehensive General Circulation Model. AGU Geophysical Monographs 87, 255-264. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Comment on "Global QBO in Circulation and Ozone. Part I: Reexamination of Observational Evidence" Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 52, 1834-1838. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Comprehensive Modelling of Vertically-Propagating Waves: Opportunities for Comparisons with Observations. Proceedings of the Workshop on Middle Atmospheric Wind Observations (Publication of the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Paris), 4.3-4.15. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Comprehensive Modelling of the Middle Atmospheric Climate: Some Recent Results. Climate Dynamics, 11, 223-241. (abstract)

K. Hamilton & R.A. Vincent. High-Resolution Radiosonde Data Offer New Prospects for Research. Eos, 76, 497-507. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Do Historical "Zero Depth" Hydrographic Data Contain Useful Information on Climate Trends? Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Bulletin, 23, #6, 6-8. (abstract)


- 1996 -


R.J. Wilson & K. Hamilton. Comprehensive Model Simulation of Thermal Tides in the Martian Atmosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 53, 1290-1326. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Tides. Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather (Oxford University Press), 761-764.

K. Hamilton. Comprehensive Meteorological Modelling of the Middle Atmosphere: A Tutorial Review. Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, 58, 1591-1628. (abstract)


- 1997 -


K. Hamilton. The Role of Parameterized Drag in a Troposphere Stratosphere Mesosphere General Circulation Model. Gravity Wave Processes - Their Parameterization in Global Climate Models. (Springer-Verlag). 337-350. (abstract)

P.W. Jones, K. Hamilton & R.J. Wilson. A Very High-Resolution General Circulation Model Simulation of the Global Circulation in Austral Winter. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 54, 1107-1116. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Observation of an Ultra-Slow Large-Scale Wave Near the Tropical Tropopause. Journal of Geophysical Research , 102, 13457-13464. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Meteorological Measurements on Ozonesonde Ascents: A Valuable Resource for Stratospheric Climatology. SPARC Newsletter #9, 28.

K. Hamilton. Progress Towards Gravity Wave Parameterization for Gobal Climate Models. World Meteorological Organization Technical Document #814. 275-278.

J.M. Forbes, M.E. Hagan, X. Zhang & K. Hamilton. Upper Atmosphere Tidal Oscillations Due to Latent Heat Release in the Tropical Troposphere. Annales Geophysicae. 15, 1165-1175. (abstract)

K. Hamilton & R. Hemler. Appearance of a Super-Typhoon in a Global Climate Model Simulation. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 2874-2876


- 1998 -


K. Hamilton. Effects of An Imposed Quasi-biennial Oscillation in a Comprehensive Troposphere-Stratosphere-Mesosphere General Circulation Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 55, 2393-2418. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Observations of Tropical Stratospheric Winds Before World War II. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 79, 1367-1371. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Dynamics of the Tropical Middle Atmosphere: A Tutorial Review. Atmosphere-Ocean, 36, 319-354. (abstract) (resume en Francais) or (for complete text)


- 1999 -


K. Hamilton. Dynamical Coupling of the Lower and Middle Atmosphere: Historical Background to Current Research. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 61, 73-84. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. The Gravity Wave Parameterization Problem for Global Simulation Models. SPARC Newsletter #12, 7-14. (for complete text)

J.N. Koshyk, K. Hamilton & J.D. Mahlman. Simulation of the Mesoscale Spectral Regime in the GFDL SKYHI General Circulation Model. Geophysical Research Letters, 26, 843-846. (abstract) (for complete text)

K. Hamilton. Convective Excitation of Gravity Waves Experiment - CEGWE. Mesoscale Processes in the Stratosphere. European Commission Air Pollution Research Report #69, 93-98.

K. Hamilton, R.J. Wilson & R. Hemler Middle Atmosphere Simulated with High Vertical and Horizontal Resolution Versions of a GCM: Improvement in the Cold Pole Bias and Generation of a QBO-Like Oscillation in the Tropics. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 56, 3829-3846. (abstract)

J.N. Koshyk, B.A. Boville, K. Hamilton, E. Manzini & K. Shibata. The Kinetic Energy Spectrum of Horizontal Motions in Middle Atmosphere Models. Journal of Geophysical Research, 104, 27177-27190. (abstract)

L. Bruhwiler & K. Hamilton. A Numerical Simulation of the Ozone QBO in a Comprehensive General Circulation Model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 104, 30525-30558. (abstract)


- 2000 -


S. Pawson, K. Kodera, K. Hamilton, T. Shepherd, S. Beagley, B. Boville, J. Farrara, T. Fairlie, A. Kitoh, W. Lahoz, U. Langematz, E. Manzini, D. Rind, A. Scaife, K. Shibata, P. Simon, R. Swinbank, L. Takacs, R. Wilson, J. Al-Saadi, M. Amodei, M. Chiba, L. Coy, J. de Grandpre, R. Eckman, M. Fiorino, W. Grose, H. Koeide, J. Koshyk, D. Li, J. Lerner, J. Mahlman, N. McFarlane, C. Mechoso, A. Molod, A. O'Neil, R. Pierce, W. Randel, R. Rood & F. Wu. The GCM-Reality Intercomparison for SPARC: Scientific Issues and Initial Results. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 81, 781-796.

K. Hamilton and S.-M. Fan. Effects of the Stratospheric QBO on Long-Lived Greenhouse Gases in the Troposphere. Journal of Geophysical Research 105, 20581-20587. (abstract)

K. Hamilton. Free and Forced Interannual Variability of the Circulation in the Northern Hemisphere Middle Atmosphere. AGU Geophysical Monographs 123, 227-239. (abstract)

K. Hamilton and R.A. Vincent. Experiment to Examine Gravity Waves in the Middle Atmosphere. Eos 81, 517.


- 2001 -


J.N. Koshyk and K. Hamilton. The Horizontal Kinetic Energy Spectrum and Spectral Budget Simulated by a High-Resolution Troposphere-Stratosphere-Mesosphere GCM. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 58, 329-348. (abstract)

M. Baldwin, L. Gray, T. Dunkerton, K. Hamilton, P. Haynes, W. Randel, J. Holton, M. Alexander, I Hirota, T. Horinouchi, D. Jones, J. Kinnersley, C. Marquardt, K. Sato and M. Takahashi. The Quasi-biennial Oscillation. Reviews of Geophysics 39, 179-229.

K. Hamilton. Gravity Wave Effects and Their Parameterization in Global Models. Proceedings of the American Meteorological Society 13th Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, 145-149.

K. Hamilton, R.J. Wilson and R.H. Hemler. Spontaneous Stratospheric QBO-Like Oscillations Simulated by the GFDL SKYHI General Circulation Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 58, 3271-3292.

K. Hamilton. The Quasi-biennial Oscillation. Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change, Volume 1 (M. MacCraken and J. Perry eds.), (John Wiley and Sons Publishers), pp. 611-613.


- 2002 -


K. Hamilton, V. Balaji and R.S. Hemler. Gravity Waves Generated by Isolated Tropical Convection Simulated in a Cloud-Resolving Model. Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Bulletin, 30, 40-44.

M. Bittner, D. Offermann, H.-H. Graf, M. Donner and K. Hamilton. An 18-year Time Series of OH Rotational Temperatures and Middle Atmosphere Decadal Variations. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 64, 1147-1166.

K. Hamilton. Middle Atmosphere Semiannual Oscillation. Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (Academic Press), 1336-1341.

K. Hamilton and W.W. Hsieh. Representation of the QBO in the Tropical Stratospheric Wind by Nonlinear Principal Component Analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research 107, D15, ACL3-1-10. (for a pdf version)

K. Hamilton. A Note on the Quasi-Decadal Modulation of the Stratospheric QBO Period. Journal of Climate 15, 2562-2565.

G. Stenchikov, A. Robock, V. Ramaswamy, M. Schwarzkopf, K. Hamilton and S. Ramachandran. Arctic Oscillation Response to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo Eruption: Effects of Volcanic Aerosols and Ozone Depletion. Journal of Geophysical Research 107, D24, 4803-4818.


- 2003 -


K. Hamilton. The Darwin Area Wave Experiment (DAWEX). SPARC Newsletter 20, 19-20. (full text)

K. Hamilton and W. Zhu. Large Perturbations to Terrestrial Climate Models and a Simulated Runaway Greenhouse Effect. Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Bulletin 31, 6-10.

K. Hamilton. Introduction to the Dynamics of the Tropical Stratosphere. The Physics of the Equatorial Atmosphere (L. Gray and K. Hamilton, eds.). Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, 1-87.

W. Hsieh and K. Hamilton. Nonlinear Singular Spectrum Analysis of the Tropical Stratospheric Wind. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 129, 2367-2382.

T. Horinouchi, S. Pawson, K. Shibata, U. Langematz, E. Manzini, M. Giorgetta, F. Sassi, R Wilson, K. Hamilton, J. de Grandre, and A. Scaife. Tropical Cumulus Convection and Upward Propagating Waves in Middle Atmosphere GCMs. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 60, 2765-2782.

D. Offermann, M. Donner, P. Knieling, K. Hamilton, A. Menzel, B. Naujokat and P. Winkler. Indications of long-term changes in middle atmosphere transports. Advances in Space Research, 32, 1675-1684.


- 2004 -


K. Hamilton, A. Hertzog, F. Vial, and G. Stenchikov. Longitudinal Variation of the Stratospheric Quasi-biennial Oscillation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 61, 383-402.

G. Stenchikov, K. Hamilton, A. Robock, V. Ramaswamy and M.D. Schwarzkopf. Arctic Oscillation Response to the 1991 Pinatubo Eruption in the SKYHI GCM with a Realistic Quasi-biennial Oscillation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, doi:10.1029/2003JD003699.

K. Hamilton, R. Vincent and P. May. The DAWEX Field Campaign to Study Gravity Wave Generation and Propagation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109,D20S01, doi:10.1029/2003JD004393.

W. Randel, P. Udelhofen, E. Fleming, M. Geller, M. Gelman, K. Hamilton, D. Karoly, D. Ortland, S. Pawson, R. Swinbank, F. Wu, M. Baldwin, M.-L. Chanin, P. Keckhut, K. Labitzke, E. Remsberg, A. Simmons, D. Wu. The SPARC Intercomparison of Middle Atmosphere Climatologies. Journal of Climate, 17, 986-1003.

K. Hamilton. Volcanos and the Weather. The Journal of High School Science, 3, 8-14. (for a pdf version)


- 2005 -


G. Boer, K. Hamilton and W. Zhu. Climate Sensitivity and Climate Change Under Strong Forcing. Climate Dynamics 24, 685-700.


- 2006 -


M. Stowasser, K. Hamilton and G. Boer. Local and Global Climate Feedbacks in Models with Differing Climate Sensitivities. Journal of Climate, 19, 193-209.

G. Stenchikov, K. Hamilton, R. Stouffer, B. Santer, A. Robock, V. Ramaswamy and H. Graf. Arctic Oscillation Response to Volcanic Eruptions in the IPCC AR4 Climate Models. Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, D07107, doi:10.1029/2005JD006286.

K. Hamilton and W. Ohfuchi. High-Resolution Simulations of Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation. Eos, 87, 176. (for a pdf version)

Y. Takahashi, K. Hamilton and W. Ohfuchi. Explicit Global Simulation of the Mesoscale Spectrum of Atmospheric Motions. Geophysical Research Letters , 33, L12812, doi:10.1029/2006GL026429.

M. Stowasser and K. Hamilton. Relationships Between Cloud Radiative Forcing and Local Meteorological Variables Compared in Observations and Several Global Climate Models. Journal of Climate, 19, 4344-4359.

T. Zhou, M. Geller and K. Hamilton. The Roles of the Hadley Circulation and Downward Control in Tropical Upwelling. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 63, 2740-2757.

K. Hamilton. High-resolution Global Modeling of the Atmospheric Circulation. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 23, 842-856.


- 2007 -


G. Boer, M. Stowasser and K. Hamilton. Inferring Climate Sensitivity from Volcanic Events. Climate Dynamics, 28, 481-502.

Y. Wang, L. Zhou and K. Hamilton. Effect of Convective Entrainment/Detrainment on Simulation of Tropical Precipitation Diurnal Cycle. Monthly Weather Review, 135, 567-585.

H. Annamalai, K. Hamilton and K. Sperber. South Asian Summer Monsoon and Relationship with ENSO in the IPCC AR4 Simulations. Journal of Climate, 20, 1071-1092.

M. Stowasser, Y. Wang and K. Hamilton. Tropical Cyclone Changes in the Western North Pacific in a Global Warming Scenario. Journal of Climate, 20, 2378-2396.


- 2008 -


K. Hamilton. Numerical Resolution and Modeling of the Global Atmospheric Circulation: A Review of Our Current Understanding and Outstanding Issues. High Resolution Numerical Modelling of the Atmosphere and Ocean. Springer Publishing. pp. 8-27. doi10.1007/978-0387-49791-4_1 for a pdf file

M. Geller, T. Zhou and K. Hamilton. Morphology of Tropical Upwelling in the Lower Stratosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 65, 2360-2374.

K. Hamilton, S. Ryan and W. Ohfuchi Topographic Effects on the Solar Semidiurnal Surface Tide Simulated in a Very Fine Resolution General Circulation Model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D17114, doi:10.1029/2008JD010115.

G. Boer and K. Hamilton. QBO Influence on Extratropical Predictive Skill. Climate Dynamics, 31, 987-1000, doi10.1007/s00382-008-0379-5.

K. Hamilton, Y. Takahashi and W. Ohfuchi. The Mesoscale Spectrum of Atmospheric Motions Investigated in a Very Fine Resolution Global General Circulation Model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D18110, doi:10.1029/2008JD009785.


- 2009 -


B. Lu, L. Pandolfo and K. Hamilton. Nonlinear Representation of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 66, 1886-1904.


- 2010 -


J. Yu, Y. Wang and K. Hamilton. Response of Tropical Cyclone Potential Intensity to a Global Warming Scenario in the IPCC AR4 CGCMs. Journal of Climate, 23, 1354-1373.

A. Lauer, K. Hamilton, Y. Wang, V. Phillips and R. Bennartz. The Impact of Global Warming on Marine Boundary Layer Clouds over the Eastern Pacific - A Regional Model Study. Journal of Climate, 23, 5844-5863.


- 2011 -


Y. Kawatani, K. Hamilton and S. Watanabe. The Quasi-biennial Oscillation in a Double CO2 Climate. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 68, 265-283.

K. Hamilton. Tides. Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather Second Edition (Oxford University Press), 3, 168-171.

C. Zhang, Y. Wang, and K. Hamilton. Improved Representation of Boundary Layer Clouds over the Southeast Pacific in WRF-ARW Using a Modified Tiedtke Cumulus Parameterization Scheme. Monthly Weather Review, 139, 3489-3513.


- 2012 -


Y. Kawatani, K. Hamilton and A. Noda. The Effects of CO2 Concentration and Sea Surface Temperature Changes on the Quasi-biennial Oscillation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 69, 1734-1749.

K. Hamilton. Sereno Bishop, Rollo Russell, Bishop's Ring and the Discovery of the "Krakatoa Easterlies". Atmosphere-Ocean, 50, 169-176. for a pdf file

C. Zhang, Y. Wang, A. Lauer, K. Hamilton and F. Xie. Cloud Base and Top Heights in the Hawaiian Region Determined with Satellite and Ground-Based Measurements. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, doi:10.1029/2012GL052355.

A. Lauer, R. Bennartz, K. Hamilton and Y. Wang. Modeling the Response of Marine Boundary Layer Clouds to Global Warming: The Impact of Subgrid Scale Precipitation Formation. Journal of Climate, 25, 6610-6626.

C. Zhang, Y. Wang, A. Lauer and K. Hamilton. Configuration and Evaluation of the WRF Model for the Study of Hawaiian Regional Climate. Monthly Weather Review, 140, 3259-3277.


- 2013 -


Y. Kawatani and K. Hamilton. Weakened Stratospheric Quasibiennial Oscillation Due to Increased Tropical Mean Upwelling. Nature, 497,478-481.

A. Gettleman, K. Hamilton, G. Morris, F. Hasebe, and H. Selkirk. US-Japan Workshop on the Tropical Tropopause Layer: State of the Current Science and Future Observational Needs. SPARC Newsletter, 40, 37-47.

A. Lauer and K. Hamilton. Simulating Clouds with Global Climate Models: A Comparison of CMIP5 Results with CMIP3 and Satellite Data. Journal of Climate, 26, 3823-3845.

K. Hamilton. Unique Japan-US-Hawaii Partnership Leads the Study of Asia-Pacific Climate. Ocean Policy Research Foundation Newsletter, 317. to access article in English - for Japanese version

A. Lauer, C. Zhang, O. Elison Timm, Y. Wang and K. Hamilton.. Downscaling of Climate Change in the Hawaii Region Using CMIP5 Results: On the Choice of the Forcing Fields. Journal of Climate, 26, 10006-10030.


- 2014 -


Y. Kawatani, J. Lee and K. Hamilton. Interannual Variations of Stratospheric Water Vapor in MLS Observations and Climate Model Simulations. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71, 4072-4085.


- 2015 -


K. Hamilton. Semiannual Oscillation. Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Sciences, 2nd edition (Elsevier), 4, 26-29.

K. Hamilton. Some Thoughts on review Articles. Japan Geoscience Union Progress in Earth and Planetary Science Editors Blog, June 24, 2015

J. Anstey, K. Hamilton, S. Osprey, N. Butchart and L. Gray. Report on the First QBO Modeling and Reanalysis Workshop. SPARC Newsletter, 45, 19-25.


- 2016 -


C. Zhang, Y. Wang, K. Hamilton and A. Lauer. Dynamical Downscaling of the Climate for the Hawaiian Islands. Part I: Present Day. Journal of Climate, 29, 3027-3048.


- in press -


Y. Kawatani, K. Hamilton, K. Miyazaki, M. Fujiwara and RJ. Anstey. Representation of the Tropical Stratospheric Zonal Wind in Global Atmospheric Reanalyses. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, .




Some Relevant Links

International Commission on the Middle Atmosphere

SPARC Radiosonde Climatology Project

International Centre for Theoretical Physics

ETCE - Effects of Tropical Convection Experiment White Paper