RAL Seminar Series - Downscaling Future Climate Change Projections for Mesoamerica: Needs, Techniques, and Training

Speaker: Robert Oglesby, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Date: March 11, 2014

Time: 2pm

Place: FL 2 – Rm 1022


Mesoamerica is a region that is potentially at severe risk due to future climate change. Yet global climate models cannot properly resolve surface climate in the region, due to its complex topography and nearness to oceans. Precipitation, in particular, is poorly handled. To address this deficiency, a series of high-resolution (4-12 km) dynamical downscaling simulations of future climate change between now and 2060 have been made for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. We used the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model to downscale results from the NCAR CCSM4 CMIP5 RCP8.5 global simulation. We compare a control period (2006-2010) with 50 years into the future (2056-2060). More recently, we made a series of individualized simulations for Guatemala and for Bolivia. A key component is providing training via workshops to those local users charged with addressing climate change impacts for their countries. As such, this project is at the nexus of research, teaching, service, and outreach. In each case, with local participation, we make a series of state-of-the-art climate change downscaling simulations. These are then used by the participants for impact studies relevant to their own region and area of interest, and also serve as the basis for scientific publications. The goal is not just to provide climate change downscaling scenarios (the "fish") but instead instruct the local participants in how both to make and to use them to address their key issues and problems (the "teaching to fish"). This work has been funded by the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), in partnership with UCAR and, more recently as well, directly by the Ministry for the Environment in Bolivia and in Guatemala.

his seminar will be webcasted - Webcast link http://www.fin.ucar.edu/it/mms/fl-live.htm


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Calendar timing: 
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 2:00pm