On getting climate model projections in the hand of managers.
In the past several decades, climate scientists have developed robust models that simulate past climate conditions and provide meaningful projections for the future. In the past several years, researchers have developed downscaled climate projections that provide the kind of local guidance resource managers have been demanding. And now all those managers are making climate-informed decisions.
Earlier this year, I wrote an ECCF blog about a fall semester undergraduate class at the University of Oklahoma (OU) that taught students about climate science, the impacts of climate change, and that gave them a look behind the scenes of the climate negotiations at the Paris COP21 meeting last December. Well, I’m happy to report that this fall this class is back — and it’s gotten even better.
Climate negotiations, like last December in Paris, are complex, complicated, and not always fruitful. Last year, an innovative class for undergraduates at the University of Oklahoma gave students hands-on experience of how climate policy is made. This fall the class will go online for everyone around the world to participate. Here is my interview with the instructor and students of this class to summarize their experience with context to the recent Conference of the Parties (COP21) negotiations.
I’m finally back from a marathon of travel! For those of you who follow my posts on ECCF, the last post in December, was a first timers perspective of the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.
Most folks know that I’m not usually a huge fan of big meetings. They have great energy, but there’s so much going on that you can’t see or do everything you want to. So I have to admit that as a first time attendee to the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world, I had some mixed feelings about going.
Standing near the Nisqually glacier, listening to National Park Service geomorphologist Paul Kennard and geologist Scott Beason discuss the impacts of climate change on Mt. Rainier glaciers, I felt the effects of climate change in a deeply profound and different way. I had known glaciers were retreating, but hadn’t realized that this process had been underway since at least before the 1970s. Nor did I know just how much glaciers had suffered in the Pacific Northwest this past year from unusually warm temperatures.
Before doctoral students can embark on their research journey they have to pass a general exam, a one-week torture chamber to prove they know all about the methods and fields of science they will touch upon in their upcoming research. My research at the South Central Climate Science Center covers agriculture, climate modeling, statistics, GIS, and social science, so there’s lots to learn, and some of these fields don’t overlap a lot in their methods or language, to say the least.
On August 29, 2005, many watched as Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. The satellite imagery from that day shows us how strong Katrina was. A category 5 hurricane at its peak, Katrina was a category 3 hurricane at landfall. This hurricane currently stands as the third deadliest and most costly hurricane in U.S. history (more than 1,000 deaths and $108 billion in damage according to the National Hurricane Center). Ten years have passed since Katrina made landfall.