Dr. R. Saravanan is Professor and Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University. He is a climate scientist with a background in physics and has been a lead researcher using computer models of the climate for more than thirty years. He built an open source simplified climate model from scratch and has worked with complex models that run on the world’s most powerful supercomputers. He received his Ph. D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University and his M. Sc. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge and subsequently worked at the National of Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He recently helped create the TED-Ed animated short, “Is the weather actually becoming more extreme?

Curriculum Vitae


Ramalingam Saravanan (usually shortened to R. Saravanan because Ramalingam is a patronym, i.e., father's name)


  • 1990 Ph. D. (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences), Princeton University

  • 1986 Master of Science (Physics), Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur)

Professional Experience

  • 2018-present, Head, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University

  • 2005-present, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University

  • 1993-2005, Scientist I,II,III, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado

  • 1990-1993, Postdoctoral Research Associate, UK Universities Global Atmospheric Modelling Programme, Dept. of Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, UK

Professional Service

  • Member, NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM) Scientific Steering Committee (2021-present)

  • Member, Steering Committee, International Laboratory for High-Resolution Earth System Prediction (iHESP), Texas A&M University (2019-present)

  • Member, Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Atlantic (PIRATA) Science Steering Committee (2010-2018)

  • Member, American Meteorological Society Committee on Climate Variability and Change (2014-2017)

  • Member, NRC Committee on the Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability (2009)

  • Co-organizer, TAMU Symposium on Climate, Statistics, and Satellites (2009)

  • Editor, Journal of Climate (2007-2010)

  • Co-chair, Program Committee for the 14th AMS Conference on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, San Antonio, Texas (2003)

  • Co-convener, NCAR/ASP Colloquium on the Dynamics of Decadal-to-Centennial Climate Variability (2000)

  • Member, American Meteorological Society Committee on Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics (2000-2003)

  • Member, NASA Seasonal-to-Interannual Predictability (NSIPP) Science Team (2000-2005)

  • Member, U.S. CLIVAR Pacific Sector Implementation Panel (1999-2000)


  • Texas A&M University, College of Geosciences Distinguished Research Award, 2015

Courses taught

  • ATMO 201: Introduction to Atmospheric Science

  • ATMO 321: Computer Applications in Atmospheric Science

  • ATMO 324: Physical and Regional Climatology

  • ATMO 459: Tropical Meteorology

  • ATMO 601: Fundamentals of Atmospheric Dynamics

  • ATMO 604: General Circulation and Climate

  • ATMO 611: Atmospheric Dynamics II

  • ATMO 632: Statistical Methods in Climate Research

  • GEOS 210: Climate Change


  • Saravanan, R., 2021: The Climate Demon: Past, Present, and Future of Climate Prediction, Cambridge University Press (to be published Nov. 2021)


Book Chapters

  • Saravanan, R., and P. Chang, 2018: Midlatitude Meso-scale Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction and Its Relevance to S2S Prediction. In: The Gap between Weather and Climate Forecasting: Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal Prediction, Elsevier, Andrew W. Robertson and Frederic Vitart, ed., doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-811714-9.00009-7

  • Saravanan, R., 2008: Seasonal-to-decadal prediction using climate models: successes and challenges. In: Large-Scale Disasters: Prediction, Control and Mitigation, Cambridge University Press, Mohamed Gad-El-Hak, ed., 318-328pp. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511535963.016

  • Saravanan, R. and P. Chang, 2004: Thermodynamic coupling and predictability of tropical sea surface temperature. In: Earth's Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, Geophysical Monograph 147, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. C. Wang, S-P. Xie, J.A. Carton, eds. 171-180pp.

Selected Papers

  • Verma, T., R. Saravanan, P. Chang, and S. Mahajan, 2019: Tropical Pacific ocean dynamical response to short-term sulfate aerosol forcing, Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0050.1

  • Yang, J., M. Jun, C. Schumacher, and R. Saravanan, 2019: Predictive statistical representations of observed and simulated rainfall using generalized linear models. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0527.1.

  • Patricola, C.M., R. Saravanan, P. Chang, 2018: The response of Atlantic tropical cyclones to suppression of African easterly waves, Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 471-479. doi:10.1002/2017GL076081

  • Patricola, C.M., P. Chang, R. Saravanan, 2016: Degree of simulated suppression of Atlantic tropical cyclones modulated by flavour of El Niño, Nature Geoscience, 9, 155-160. doi:10.1038/ngeo2624

  • Ma, X., P. Chang, R. Saravanan, R. Montuoro, J.-S. Hsieh, D. Wu, X. Lin, L. Wu, Z. Jing, 2015: Distant influence of Kuroshio eddies on North Pacific weather patterns? Scientific Reports, 5, 17785. doi:10.1038/srep17785

  • Wang, Y., R. Zhang, and R. Saravanan, 2014: Asian pollution climatically modulates mid-latitude cyclones following hierarchical modelling and observational analysis. Nature Communications, 5, 3098. doi:10.1038/ncomms4098

  • Balaguru, K., P. Chang, R. Saravanan, and L. R. Leung, 2012: Ocean barrier layers' effect on tropical cyclone intensification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 14343-14347, doi:10.1073/pnas.1201364109

  • Mahajan, S., R. Saravanan, and P. Chang, 2010: Free and Forced Variability of the Tropical Atlantic Ocean: Role of the Wind-Evaporation-Sea Surface Temperature (WES) Feedback. Journal of Climate, 23, 5958-5977.

  • Deser, C., A. Capotondi, R. Saravanan, and A. Phillips, 2006: Tropical Pacific and Atlantic climate variability in CCSM3. Journal of Climate, 19, 2451-2481.

  • Magnusdottir, G., C. Deser, and R. Saravanan, 2004: The effects of North Atlantic SST and sea-ice anomalies on the winter circulation in CCM3: Part I: Main features and storm-track characteristics of the response. Journal of Climate, 17, 857-876.

  • Giannini, A., R. Saravanan, and P. Chang, 2003: Oceanic forcing of Sahel rainfall on interannual to interdecadal time scales. Science, 302, 1027-1030, doi:10.1126/science.1089357

  • Saravanan, R., G. Danabasoglu, S. C. Doney, and J. C. McWilliams, 2000: Decadal variability and predictability in the midlatitude ocean–atmosphere system. Journal of Climate, 13, 1073–1097.

  • Polvani, L. M., and R. Saravanan, 2000: The three-dimensional structure of breaking Rossby waves in the polar wintertime stratosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 57, 3663–3685

  • Saravanan, R., 1998: Atmospheric low frequency variability and its relationship to midlatitude SST variability: Studies using the NCAR Climate System Model. Journal of Climate, 11, 1386–1404.

  • Saravanan, R., and J. C. McWilliams, 1998: Advective ocean–atmosphere interaction: an analytical stochastic model with implications for decadal variability. Journal of Climate, 11, 165–188.

  • Saravanan, R., and J. C. McWilliams, 1997: Stochasticity and spatial resonance in interdecadal climate fluctuations. Journal of Climate, 10, 2299–2320.

  • Saravanan, R., and J. C. McWilliams, 1995: Multiple equilibria, natural variability, and climate transitions in an idealized ocean–atmosphere model. Journal of Climate, 8, 2296–2323.

  • Saravanan, R., 1993: Equatorial superrotation and the maintenance of general circulation in two–level models. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 50, 1211–1227.

  • Saravanan, R., 1990: A multi–wave model of the quasi–biennial oscillation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 47, 2465–2474

  • Saravanan, R., J. K. Bhattacharjee, K. Banerjee, and O. Narayan, 1985: Chaos in a periodically–forced Lorenz system. Physical Review A31, 520–522.

A more complete list of publications is available in my ResearcherID profile or Google Scholar