Columbia Water Center Researchers to Present at AGU Annual Fall Conference

Columbia Water Center researchers will be among the hundreds of word-class scientists presenting at the American Geophysical Union’s annual fall conference. The conference will be held from December 15-19th, 2014.

CWC researchers will present on diverse water topics including the impacts of dam restoration, the likelihood of groundwater depletion in the United States, flood hazard assessments in New York and irrigation policy in India.

Here is a preview of some of posters and presentations CWC researchers will be giving:

“Spatiotemporal Structure of Tropical Moisture Exports and their Precursors associated with High Precipitation induced Floods over the Continental United States.” Mengqian Lu, and Upmanu Lall, Columbia University, New York, United States and Benjamin Jeannot, ENGEES school of engineering, France.

“Energy, water and phenology controls on the annual carbon and water cycles: Using remote sensing to understand climate variability.” Julia Green, Pierre Gentine, Columbia University; Joe Berry, Carnegie Institute; Jung-Eun Lee, Brown University; Jana Kolassa, Columbia University.

“America’s Water in a Global Context: An opportunity for a new sustainable design from a One Water Perspective.” Upmanu Lall, Columbia University.

“What Matters? The Peak, the Volume and the Duration of Floods and Their Coincidence Across the Globe.” Upmanu Lall, Columbia University.

“Evaluating the respective impact of Radiative Forcing and Fertilizationof Vegetation to CO2 Enriched Atmosphere During Heatwave in Western Europe.” Léo Lemordant, Pierre Gentine, Marc Stéfanon, Philippe Drobinski.

The full schedule of researcher presentation times is listed below:

Monday, December 15, 2014
08:20 AM – 08:40 AM
Moscone West

Local coupling (LoCo) vs. large-scale coupled (LsCo) land-atmosphere interactions in idealized experiments

Pierre Gentine1, Benjamin R Lintner2, Kirsten Lynn Findell3, Nicolas Rochetin4, Adam H Sobel1 and Usama M Anber1, (1)Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, (2)Rutgers, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, (3)NOAA, Princeton, NJ, United States, (4)Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY, United States

We will present two idealized experiments/methodologies to investigate local (LoCo) and large-scale (LsCo) coupling between the surface and the atmosphere: the continental Radiative-Convective Equilibrium (RCE) and the continental Weak Temperature Gradient (WTG) . . . We suggest that the WTG is a powerful tool to investigate the coupling between the surface and the atmosphere, which solves two major issues: the limited resolution of convection in GCMs and the lack of large-scale coupling in CRM. Later investigation will look at the effect of deforestation, water table and distance from the ocean. [Full abstract]



Monday, December 15, 2014
08:00 AM – 12:20 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

Improved Water and Energy Management Utilizing Seasonal to Interannual Hydroclimatic Forecasts

Sankarasubramanian Arumugam, NC State Univ-Civil & Env Engr, Raleigh, NC, United States and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

Seasonal to interannual climate forecasts provide valuable information for improving water and energy management. Given that the climatic attributes over these time periods are typically expressed as probabilistic information, we propose an adaptive water and energy management framework that uses probabilistic inflow forecasts to allocate water for uses with pre-specified reliabilities. To ensure that the system needs are not compromised due to forecast uncertainty, we propose uncertainty reduction using model combination and based on a probabilistic constraint in meeting the target storage. The talk will present findings from recent studies from various basins that include (a) role of multimodel combination in reducing the uncertainty in allocation (b) relevant system characteristics that improve the utility of forecasts, (c) significance of streamflow forecasts in promoting interbasin transfers and (d) scope for developing power demand forecasts utilizing temperature forecasts. Potential for developing seasonal nutrient forecasts using climate forecasts for supporting water quality trading will also be presented. Findings and synthesis from the panel discussion from the recently concluded AGU chapman conference on “Seaonal to Interannual Hydroclimatic Forecasts and Water Management” will also be summarized.

Streamflow forecasts on seasonal and interannual time scales for reservoir management

Andrew William Robertson, Columbia University of New York, International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, NY, United States, Mengqian Lu, Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

Seasonal climate forecasts are beginning to be complemented by improved forecasting capabilities at both sub-seasonal and interannual annual timescales, with the future prospect of seamless climate forecasts for water system operations. While seasonal predictability is often very limited by physical and modeling constraints, harnessing additional predictable components of the climate system may in some cases substantially increase their usable information content, and provide more flexible forecasts in terms of the kinds of management decisions that can be informed.

Here we present an example of combining season and year-ahead streamflow forecasts as input to a multi-use reservoir optimization model, applied to the Bhakra Dam in NW India. Bi-timescale forecasts are made with a seasonal periodic autoregressive (PAR) model with exogenous climate-forecast inputs, together with an annual PAR model fit to observed flows used as a baseline for year-ahead forecasts. Annual net revenue from irrigation and hydropower supplies are calculated with contracts optimized using the reservoir optimization model. With Bhakra Dam inflows deriving from both winter storms/snow melt and the summer monsoon, it is found that net annual revenue is maximized when new contracts are initiated in March and June. We explore various choices of PARX model seasonal predictors based on climate model output and data and show that, with the choice of a good start date, even forecasts with relatively low skill can have value.


Monday, December 15, 2014
11:56 AM – 12:08 PM
Moscone West

The Impact of Land Use Change and Carbon Fertilization on Land-Atmosphere Coupling

Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of elevated atmospheric carbon for vegetation growth, with implications for the associated fluxes of water and heat from the land surface. Additionally, land use and land cover conditions have been shown to impact regional climate through changes in surface flux partitioning. This study aims to build on such prior work by assessing the impact of both carbon fertilization of vegetation growth and historical land use change (LUC) on the coupling between the land surface and the atmosphere. Multiple metrics of land-atmosphere coupling strength are analyzed from simulations with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Earth System Model ESM2G . . . These simulations help to elucidate the potential impact of vegetation on the decadal and lower frequency evolution of climate, and how that impact might change in the future. [Full abstract]


Monday, December 15, 2014
01:40 PM – 06:00 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

The Water Crisis in Sao Paulo City: Drought and its Climate Connections

Carlos H Ribeiro Lima, UNB University of Brasilia, Asa Norte, Brazil and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

In 2014, Sao Paulo city had its largest water shortage in history. By the end of the first half of 2014, the Cantareira system of water reservoirs, which is responsible for supplying fresh water for about 9 million people in the city, dried to less than 10% of its active storage, leading to a critical situation and the need to pump water from its dead storage and allocate water from other smaller systems of reservoirs in order to meet the demand of the city and avoid a mandatory water rationing. Understanding and identifying the leading factors for such a water crisis is critical for the security of the city. Here, we investigate historical data of water levels and inflows into the Cantareira system and of the rainfall series over the contributing basin in order to estimate the contribution of climate factors to the variability of the water storage levels at the Cantareira system and shed some light on the main causes of the current water shortage . . . Analysis of meteorological droughts and climate teleconnections in the region as well as of opportunities and implications of inflow and rainfall forecasts for 2015 from different modeling sources for water management in Sao Paulo are also discussed along this work. [Full abstract]

A Bayesian Hierarchical framework for identifying regional hydroclimate trends or climate effects from continental or global data

Xun Sun and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

Hierarchical Bayesian models are useful for modeling hydroclimatic trends and teleconnections with a formal approach to characterizing and reducing estimation uncertainties. A challenge to the application of these models to large areas is that the response can be spatially heterogeneous, and the choice of a local spatial covariance model and a large scale spatial trend model in the parameters of the Bayesian regression may not be intuitively obvious. We consider a multilevel modeling structure for exploring homogeneity of response in such data sets, through a multi-component mixture model. The approach allows the reduction of uncertainties through partial pooling of parameters across automatically chosen subsets of the data. Applications to a synthetic data set and to extreme precipitation data for the continental USA from the HADEX2 data set is presented considering trends and selected climate indices as potential predictors. The effect of changing the number of components in the mixture is demonstrated through the changing spatial membership and trends in the data.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014
08:00 AM – 12:20 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

Irrigation, Climate, and Groundwater Depletion in Agricultural Regions of the US

Tess A Russo, Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

Groundwater is increasingly relied on as a critical resource for meeting irrigation water demands. This study quantifies trends in groundwater levels across the US, and determines correlations with irrigation water extraction and climate patterns … The results from this study can be used to quantify relationships between irrigation water consumption, climate, and groundwater resources, and potentially to estimate water scarcity risks under projected irrigation demands and climate conditions. [Full abstract]


Tuesday, December 16, 2014
01:40 PM – 06:00 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

Extreme Rainfall and Flood Events for the Hudson River Induced by Tropical Cyclones: a Statistical Forecast Model

Federico Conticello1, Timothy M Hall2, Upmanu Lall3, Philip M Orton4, Francesco Cioffi1 and Nickitas Georgas5, (1)Sapienza University of Rome, DICEA, Rome, Italy, (2)NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, United States, (3)Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States, (4)Stevens Inst of Tech, Hoboken, NJ, United States, (5)Stevens Institute of Tech., Hoboken, NJ, United States, Timothy M Hall2, Upmanu Lall3, Philip M Orton4, Francesco Cioffi1 and Nickitas Georgas5, (1)Sapienza University of Rome, DICEA, Rome, Italy, (2)NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, United States, (3)Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States, (4)Stevens Inst of Tech, Hoboken, NJ, United States, (5)Stevens Institute of Tech., Hoboken, NJ, United States

Tropical Cyclones (TCs) lead to potentially severe coastal flooding through wind surge and also through rainfall-runoff processes. There is growing interest in modeling these processes simultaneously. Here, a statistical approach that can facilitate this process is presented with an application to the Hudson River Basin that is associated with the New York City metropolitan area. [Full abstract]


Wednesday, December 17, 2014
08:00 AM – 12:20 PM
Moscone South
Poster Hall

Elucidating the effects of dam restoration on hydrologic patterns in streams and tributaries

Molly Rose Cain1, Tess A Russo1, Pamela L Sullivan2 and Andrew L Neal3, (1) Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, University Park, PA, United States, (2) University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, United States, (3)University of Arizona, State College, PA, United States

Dam restoration or removal can result in a hydrogeological regime change, as the draining and refilling of reservoirs influences the regional water table position. We evaluate how the refilling of Lake Perez, central Pennsylvania, influences surface water-groundwater interactions in the lakebed, within a stream that runs through the lakebed, and in a tributary upstream of the lake … We demonstrate how the initial stages of refilling the lake have altered groundwater-surface water interactions within the lakebed and in local upstream tributaries. [Full abstract]


Wednesday, December 17, 2014
12:05 PM – 12:20 PM
Moscone West

Securing the Future of Water, Energy and Food: Can solutions for the currently stressed countries provide the direction for ensuring global water sustainability and food security in the 21st century?

Naresh Devineni, CUNY City College, New York, NY, United States and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

Where will the food for the 9 billion people we expect on Earth by 2050 come from? The answer to this question depends on where the water and the energy for agriculture will come from …  A central hypothesis of the proposed paper is that innovation towards agricultural sustainability in countries such as India and China, that have large populations relative to their water, energy and arable land endowment, and yet have opportunity for improvement in productivity metrics such as crop yield per unit water or energy use, can show us the way to achieve global water-food-energy sustainability. These countries experience a monsoonal climate, which has a high frequency of climate extremes (more floods and droughts, and a short rainy season) relative to the developed countries in temperate climates. Global climate change projections indicate that the frequency and severity of extremes may pose a challenge in the future. Thus, strategies that are resilient to such extremes in monsoonal climates may be of global value in a warmer, more variable world . . . Through this paper, we propose to (a) layout in detail, the challenges faced by the water, energy and food sectors in emerging countries, with specific focus on India and China and (b) provide the scientific background for an integrated systems analytic approach to formulate solutions at varying scales that can be employed globally. Such coordinated analyses is important for an examination of the future water sustainability in the face of changing climate, agricultural trends, environmental impacts and new energy choices. [Full abstract]


Wednesday, December 17, 2014
01:40 PM – 06:00 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

Modeling floods in large river basins: Model resolution and storm patterns

Tara Troy, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, United States, Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States and Naresh Devineni, CUNY City College, New York, NY, United States

Floods in large river basins are not the simple result of heavy rainfall; rather it is the confluence of the spatio-temporal pattern of single to multiple rainfall events, antecedent moisture conditions, and the river network. Increasing the routing model resolution can improve modeled flood peak, volume and duration; however this can be computationally intensive. We use a high-resolution river routing model coupled to the VIC land surface model over the Ohio and Danube Rivers, both of which are large, flood-prone river basins  . . . This modeling framework, which is able to accurately simulate peak flood rate and flood volume, then allows us to explore the relative importance of antecedent moisture conditions and the spatio-temporal pattern of rainfall. [Full abstract]

Soil Moisture Retrieval from Active/Passive Microwave Observation Synergy Using a Neural Network Approach

Jana Kolassa1, Pierre Gentine1, Filipe Aires1,2 and Catherine Prigent1,3, (1)Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, (2)Estellus S.A.S., Paris, France, (3)Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, Paris, France

In November 2014 NASA will launch the Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) mission carrying an L-band radiometer and radar sensor to observe surface soil moisture globally. This new type of instrument requires the development of innovative retrieval algorithms that are able to account for the different surface contributions to the satellite signal and at the same time can optimally exploit the synergy of active and passive microwave data. In this study, a neural network (NN) based retrieval algorithm has been developed using the example of active microwave observations from ASCAT and passive microwave observations from AMSR-E. [Full abstract]


Wednesday, December 17, 2014
04:30 PM – 04:45 PM
Moscone West

What Matters? The Peak, the Volume and the Duration of Floods and Their Coincidence Across the Globe

Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

The bulk of the literature on floods relates to the computation of the flood frequency curve, which is based on the annual maximum or threshold exceedance characteristics of flows at a site. Practically, the duration of a flood may be just as important for response and recovery, and the volume of the flood for determining the adequacy of storage for flood control. Where many assets are at risk, either for property owners, or for a supply chain, or for an insurance portfolio, the coincidence of floods in certain areas may be of greatest interest. A trivial calculation shows us that as the number of assets considered increases, the probability of exceedance of multiple assets being flooded increases. Given climate variations such as ENSO that have impacts across the globe, global portfolio risk may be substantially higher than indicated by an analysis that does not consider such spatial variability. Of course many assets are located in the same river basin and their correlated risk for flooding is well recognized but rarely modeled.

Today, as we consider resilience and other performance metrics for infrastrucutre systems, the correlation of flood risk in terms of peak, volume and duration, in space and in time needs to be considered. In this talk, I will present some evidence of the importance of this risk, and propose a hierarchical framework for the analysis of flood risk in a changing climate from this perspective.


Thursday, December 18, 2014
10:20 AM – 10:35 AM
Moscone West

The Modification of a Thermally Induced Mesoscale Circulation By Deep Moist Convection

Malte Rieck1, Cathy Hohenegger1 and Pierre Gentine2, (1)Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany, (2)Columbia University, New York, NY, United States

Land-atmosphere interactions play a crucial role in earth system modelling through their mutual control on the energy budget and its partition. Land surfaces are generally heterogeneous, can create mesoscale circulations and alter the development of clouds and precipitation. This can be a source of uncertainties for current climate and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models, where convection is partially parameterized. Results of our simulations will help to identify the interaction between land-surface heterogeneities, moist convection and mesoscale circulations in NWP models.

In this study we simulate the diurnal cycle of mid-latitude summertime convection with a focus on the propagation of a thermally induced mesoscale circulation. High resolution large-eddy simulation with an interactive land-surface model is used to address the problem. Sensitivity studies show that moist convection significantly strengthens thermally induced mesoscale circulations. We identify three convective stages that influence mesoscale circulations within the diurnal cycle.


Thursday, December 18, 2014
01:40 PM – 06:00 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

The Budyko and complementary relationships in an idealized model of large-scale land-atmosphere coupling

Benjamin R Lintner, Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ, United States, Pierre Gentine, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, Kirsten Lynn Findell, NOAA, Princeton, NJ, United States and Guido Salvucci, Boston University, Earth and Environment, Boston, MA, United States

Expressions corresponding to two well-known relationships in hydrology and hydrometeorology, the Budyko and complementary relationships, are derived within an idealized prototype representing the physics of large-scale land-atmosphere coupling. These relationships are shown to hold on long (climatologic) time scales because of the tight coupling that exists between precipitation, atmospheric radiation, moisture convergence and advection . . .  Here, the impacts of anthropogenic influences, including large-scale irrigation and global warming, are assessed. [Full abstract]


Friday, December 19, 20140
8:00 AM – 12:20 PM
Moscone West
Poster Hall

Can the annual flood control volume at Three Gorges Dam be predicted to size a variable flood control pool?

Qianjin DONG, Wuhan University, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, Wuhan, China and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

We consider the empirical prediction of the peak flood volume on the Yangtze River at the Three Gorges Dam. The dam is operated for flood control, hydropower production and irrigation. The flood control space reserved in the reservoir each year during the monsoon season limits the ability to supply hydropower and irrigation services. Allocating a variable amount of flood control space based on a pre-season forecast of the peak event flood volume, or of the flood volume over a specific duration is consequently, more useful than a prediction of the annual maximum peak flow for this dam and for other flood control dams. The joint distribution of annual peak flow, the corresponding flood volume, and the event duration is investigated based on the copula theory. A statistical model is developed for the conditional prediction of this joint distribution using pre-season climate indicators. The potential for the guidance for water management in the Yangtze River basin and for insights to the design of the large flood control reservoirs in the future is illustrated.


Friday, December 19, 2014
10:35 AM – 10:50 AM
Moscone West

America’s Water: An opportunity for a new sustainable design from a One Water Perspective

Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of pipes–and sewers–and plumbing-tape–
Of reuse–and CSOs–
And why the wastewater treatment plant is stinking–
And whether houses have wings.”

In a world that seeks solutions to problems of water, energy and waste, and risks from a changing climate, a few lights shine bright. In challenges of aging infrastructure, we see an opportunity.

As drinking water and wastewater treatment standards tighten and pose a financial threat to communities, we see an opportunity.

As the financial industry looks askance at funding large water infrastructure projects with an uncertain payback, we see opportunity.

As others fear for the environment amidst an approaching commoditization of water, we see opportunity.

We visualize a new world in which water is treated exquisitely for the purposes of consumption. Rainwater harvesting addresses CSOs, and need, and point of use systems treat rain and waste water for use, so the environment can breathe a bit easier.

Sensors, smart grids, targeted treatment and innovation in systems and business architecture is in the offing as enabling technologies.

Yes, even as autonomous vehicles seek to seduce you on an inter-city journey, a revolution in water technologies and systems operation is imminent.

Perhaps this talk will illuminate you on the technological possibility, the social barriers to overcome, and the innovation frontier that awaits us.


Friday, December 19, 2014
04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
Moscone South
Poster Hall

A Web Module to Teach Hydrology Using Problem Based Learning in the Context of Designing a Flood Detention Basin

Madeline F Merck1, David G Tarboton1, Emad H Habib2, Upmanu Lall3, Yuxin Ma2 and Ahmed Aly2, (1)Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States, (2)University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA, United States, (3)Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

HydroViz is a web-based, student-centered, highly visual educational system designed to support active learning in the field of Hydrology. It is primarily designed to be used in junior/senior/graduate level courses on subjects related to hydrology and water resources engineering. HydroViz presents case-based, data- and simulation-driven learning experiences in the form of modules that use data, models and analysis to introduce hydrologic concepts in the context of solving real world problems. One of several modules currently under development is based on a case study of Dry Canyon in Logan, Utah, where a flood detention basin has recently been constructed to protect an area of urban development at the mouth of the canyon. The module leads students through the design process, introducing key concepts along the way. It begins by introducing students to the concept of a watershed and methods for determining watershed properties and precipitation inputs from NOAA and NCDC sources. Then soil properties and the concepts involved in infiltration and runoff generation are introduced in support of methods for evaluating the design flood hydrograph. It concludes by introducing the use of computer models to examine alternative designs for the detention basin. Each section of the module uses active learning through hands-on activities that build the hydrologic knowledge needed to address the problem of flood protection. We will introduce the Hydroviz system and present the design cycle used to create the Dry Canyon module, including classroom implementation, student assessments of the system, and changes to the module resulting from the assessments.

Spatiotemporal Structure of Tropical Moisture Exports and their Precursors associated with High Precipitation induced Floods over the Continental United States

Mengqian Lu, Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States and Upmanu Lall, Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

Nonstationarity of flood risk has emerged as an important issue and progress in addressing this concern can only come from an improved understanding of the associated climate dynamics. An understanding of the dynamical mechanisms and statistics associated with the frequency and structure of heavy precipitation induced floods events can aid exploration of the key sources of uncertainties that challenge extreme hydrometerological forecasts, and improve reliability of streamflow forecasts for real-time applications. [Full abstract]


Friday, December 19, 2014
05:30 PM – 05:45 PM
Moscone West

Evaluating the Respective Impact of the Radiative Forcing and Fertilization Response of Vegetation to a Carbon Dioxide Enriched Atmosphere during Severe Heatwaves in Western Europe

Leo Adrien Lemordant, Columbia University in the City of New York, New York, NY, United States, Pierre Gentine, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, Marc Stéfanon, CEA Saclay DSM / LSCE, Gif sur Yvette, France and Philippe Drobinski, CNRS, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Palaiseau Cedex, France; Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau Cedex, France

In a CO2 enriched atmosphere, vegetation-land-atmosphere interactions can change the intensity of extreme meteorological episodes like heatwaves, alter the timing of occurrence and modify the way they evolve. We propose to focus on the 2003 heatwave in Western Europe. How this extreme meteorological event would be different under CO2 atmospheric concentration expected for 2100? [Full abstract]


Other Sessions [Time and Location TBA]

From the source to the user, understanding a total water approach to fluoride treatment

Katherine Ann Alfredo and Tanya O’Garra, Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States

India is a large user of groundwater resources and one of the countries most impacted by fluoride; the rural areas, where 90% of drinking water is sourced from fluoride-contaminated groundwater, are particularly vulnerable. Since fluorosis has no cure, prevention is key, and defluoridation treatment is a primary mitigation approach … The research considers: (1) the fluctuations in source concentrations with respect to climate and changing water use patterns, (2) treatment with regards to performance, operation, and maintenance of implemented technologies to meet fluoride standards, and (3) user understanding, acceptability and uptake of defluoridation technology. This presentation highlights the operational and behavioral barriers to sustainable defluoridation in India.
[Full abstract]

The Effects of Variations in El Niño and La Niña Patterns on World Food Markets

Patrick A Ray1, Richard Robertson2, Tingju Zhu3, Scott Steinschneider4 and Casey M Brown1, (1)University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, United States, (2)International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, United States, (3)Int”l Food Policy Res Inst, Washington, DC, United States, (4)University of Massachusetts Amherst, Northampton, MA, United States

The El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a variation in the sea surface temperature (SST) in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, and corresponding air surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific … In order to test the effect of changing ENSO patterns on global food production, we have developed a Markov Chain to generate multiple scenarios of ENSO frequency and strength, and explore each generated timeseries using the IMPACT Model, which is designed to examine alternative futures for global food supply, demand, trade, prices, and food security. Results identify the potential consequences of changes in ENSO patterns on global food production and markets. [Full abstract]

A closer look at boundary layer inversion in large-eddy simulations and bulk models

Pierre Gentine, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, Gilles Bellon, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand and Chiel Van Heerwaarden, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

The inversion layer (IL) profile of a clear-sky, buoyancy-driven convective boundary layer is investigated using large-eddy simulations covering a large range of convective Richardson numbers. A new model of the IL is suggested and tested. The model performs better than previous first-order models of the entrainment and provides physical insights into the main controls of the mixed-layer and IL growths . . .  The new IL model is sufficiently simple to be used in numerical weather prediction or general circulation models as a way to resolve the IL in a low vertical resolution model. [Full abstract]

Irrigation as an Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change: The Relative Influence of Groundwater and Canal Irrigation on Winter Crop Production and its Sensitivity to Weather Variability in India

Meha Jain1, Ram Fishman2, Pinki Mondal1, Gillian L Galford3, Shahid Naeem1, Vijay Modi1 and Ruth S DeFries1, (1)Columbia University, New York, NY, United States, (2)George Washington University, Washington, DC, United States, (3)University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States

India is a hotspot for food security issues over the upcoming decades, due to increasing population pressures, groundwater depletion, and climate change. Investing in additional irrigation infrastructure may bolster food security, however, the relative influence of different types of irrigation (e.g. groundwater versus canal) on agricultural production remains unclear … This work highlights the need to develop ways to use remaining groundwater more efficiently (e.g. drip irrigation, less water-intensive crops) given that canal irrigation is not an adequate substitute, particularly in the regions that are facing the greatest levels of groundwater depletion. [Full abstract]

The Impact of Climate and Its Variability on Crop Yield and Irrigation

Xiuyuan Li and Tara Troy, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, United States

As the global population grows and the climate changes, having a secure food supply is increasingly important especially under water stressed-conditions. Although irrigation is a positive climate adaptation mechanism for agriculture, it has a potentially negative effect on water resources … We find that the increase in delta crop yield due to irrigation is larger for certain climate conditions, such that there are optimal climate conditions where irrigation provides a benefit and other conditions where irrigation proves to have marginal benefits when temperature increased to certain degrees … based on the exposed relationship between crop yield gained by irrigation and climate variability, those models predicting the global harvest will be redress to estimate crop production in the future more accurately. [Full abstract]

Advancing Water Science through Data Visualization

Xiuyuan Li and Tara Troy, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, United States

Advanced data visualization will play an increasingly significant role in propelling the development of water science in research, economy, policy and education. It can enable analysis within research and further data scientists’ understanding of behavior and processes and can potentially affect how the public, whom we often want to inform, understands our work. Unfortunately for water scientists, data visualization is approached in an ad hoc manner when a more formal methodology or understanding could potentially significantly improve both research within the academy and outreach to the public . . . By building the publics’ own data visualization through apps and games about water science, they can absorb the knowledge about water indirectly and incite the awareness of water problems. [Full abstract]

Using Remote Sensing to Understand Climate Variability

Julia Green, Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States and Pierre Gentine, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States

While a major source of uncertainty in global climate model predictions is due to the coarseness of their resolution, a significant amount of error is also generated due to the lack of information regarding the interactions between atmospheric and land parameters over time … Remote sensing is allowing researchers to better estimate each of these parameters so one can see how they change with time.

This study is an effort to improve our knowledge of the inter-annual and seasonal variability in radiation, water and the carbon cycle using remote sensing products on a global scale. By examining monthly data over a multi-year period (data parameter and source are listed in Table 1) for fluorescence, groundwater, net radiation, vegetation indices, precipitation, soil moisture and evapotranspiration, we should be able to determine the behavior and interactions between these parameters and better understand how they vary together seasonally, annually and year to year. With this information it is our hope that global climate models can be improved to better understand what is occurring climatologically in the present as well as more accurately make predictions about future conditions. [Full abstract]

Detailed Flood Modeling and Hazard Assessment from Storm Tides, Rainfall and Sea Level Rise

Philip M Orton1, Timothy M Hall2, Nickitas Georgas1, Federico Conticello3, Francesco Cioffi3, Upmanu Lall4, Sergey V Vinogradov1 and Alan F Blumberg1, (1)Stevens Institute of Tech., Hoboken, NJ, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, United States, (3)Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy, (4)Columbia Univ, New York, NY, United States

A flood hazard assessment has been conducted for the Hudson River from New York City to Troy at the head of tide, using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model and merging hydrologic inputs and storm tides from tropical and extra-tropical cyclones, as well as spring freshet floods … The hazard assessment is being repeated for several values of sea level, as projected for future decades by the New York City Panel on Climate Change. Recent studies have given widely varying estimates of the present-day 100-year flood at New York City, from 2.0 m to 3.5 m, and special emphasis will be placed on quantifying our study’s uncertainty. [Full abstract]

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