Once performed over the southeastern U.S., further analysis will occur over Central America as we test the following hypotheses: (a) There exists a trend in rainy season (May-October) longevity as a function of land-use and local climate change over the past 30 years in Central America (Mesoamerica), and subsequently the meteorological conditions within tropical ecosystems across have been altered, as a partial result of human presence and activity. (b) A statistical relationship exists, and can be formulated, between land-use and satellite-observed low (cumulus) cloud properties (i.e. frequency, depth, cloud base height) and precipitation on small spatial scales (1-10 km), from the mesoscale down to the kilometer/cumulus scale in the vicinity of tropical and montane cloud forests (e.g., as a function of wind regime, distance from coast, forest fragmentation).
This study squarely address how mesoscale weather phenomena, in this case clouds and precipitation, may be altered from its "original," pre-industrial state climate by such things as land-use change and perhaps large-scale climate change. The presentation will provide the methodology on how the composite fields are developed, and how confident we are with the information they provide.