Contact Saroja Polavarapu, Ph.D.:

Phone & Address


Adjunct professor, Dept. of physics, University of Toronto (2001-present)


CMOS President's prize 2005 for paper "Data assimilation with the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model", with co-authors, published in Atmosphere-Ocean 43, 77-100, 2005 as well as for leadership and insight in the developing field of middle atmosphere data assimilation

Nancy B. Cutler citation of excellence (Environment Canada) June 2008.

Ph.D. Atmospheric Physics, Univ. of Toronto, 1990


Saroja Polavarapu, Ph.D.

Research Scientist - Data assimilation expert for carbon flux estimation

CURRENT S&T / RESEARCH - Contributing to improved knowledge and information on the carbon cycle and the carbon budget.

  • Improving aspects of methodology for combining observations and model forecasts to produce a global estimate of the atmospheric state. This estimate is used for launching numerical weather forecasts, or for climate or process studies
  • Improving global atmospheric state estimates of CO2 and CO2 fluxes between the atmosphere and Earth surface
  • Assessing the impact of the stratosphere on tropospheric weather forecasts on the 10-day to seasonal range


Reviewing editor of Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (2010-present), assistant editor of Monthly Weather Review (2005), and the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences (2002-6).

Leader of the data assimilation working group (2004-2011) for Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC), a program of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) ; ex-officio SPARC representative to the Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE) (2010-2011). Elected member of ICMA (International Council of the Middle Atmosphere). ICMA is one of 10 councils of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science (IAMAS).

Supervised Ph.D. thesis of Dr. Lisa Neef (2002-7); Ph.D. thesis committee member of McGill U student Thomas Milewski; Taught courses in data assimilation at University of Toronto in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

Recent speaking invitations at major international conferences: WCRP 4th Reanalysis conference (Washington DC, 2012), WMO executive Council meeting on Polar Observations Research and Services (Ottawa, 2009), MOCA-09 IAMAS sessions M01 (middle atmosphere) and J21 (Data Assimilation), (Montreal, 2009), WCRP-THORPEX workshop on ensemble and variational data assimilation methods (Buenos Aires, 2008), SPARC General Assembly (Bologna, 2008).


Charron, Martin, Saroja Polavarapu, Mark Buehner, P.A. Vaillancourt, Cecilien Charrette, Michel Roch, Josee Morneau, Louis Garand, Josep M. Aparicio, Stephen MacPherson, Simon Pellerin, Judy St-James and Sylvain Heillete,  2012: The Stratospheric Extension of the Canadian Global Deterministic Medium-Range Weather Forecasting System and Its Impact on Tropospheric Forecasts. Mon. Wea. Rev., 140, 1924–1944

McLandress, Charles, Theodore G. Shepherd, Saroja Polavarapu, Stephen R. Beagley, 2012: Is Missing Orographic Gravity Wave Drag near 60°S the Cause of the Stratospheric Zonal Wind Biases in Chemistry–Climate Models?. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 802–818. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-11-0159.1

Ren, S., S. Polavarapu, S. R. Beagley, Y. Nezlin, and Y. J. Rochon, 2011: The impact of gravity wave drag on mesospheric analyses of the 2006 stratospheric major warming, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D19116, doi:10.1029/2011JD015943.

Brunet, G., M.Shapiro, B.Hoskins, M.Moncrieff, R.Dole, G. N. Kiladis, B.Kirtman, A.Lorenc, B.Mills, R.Morss, S.Polavarapu, D.Rogers, J.Schaake, and J.Shukla, 2010. Collaboration of the Weather and Climate Communities to Advance Sub-Seasonal to Seasonal Prediction.  Bull. Amer. Met. Soc91: 1397-1406. 

Ren, S., S. Polavarapu and T. G. Shepherd, 2008. Vertical propagation of information in a middle atmosphere data assimilation system. Geophys. Res. Let., 35, L06804, doi:10.1029/2007GL032699.

Polavarapu, S, T.G. Shepherd, Y. Rochon and S. Ren. 2005. Some challenges of middle atmosphere data assimilation. Quart. J. Royal Met. Soc. 131(613):3513-3527.

Expertise Categories associated with this S&T Expert:

     Climate Modelling
          Carbon budget
Weather & Meteorology
     Atmospheric Modelling
          Environmental prediction
          Atmospheric circulation