208A (Formerly 9.5) Optimal design of a climatological network: beyond practical considerations

Monday, 24 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Karin Bumbaco, JISAO/Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA; and G. Mauger, G. J. Hakim, and P. W. Mote

Station locations in existing environmental networks have typically been subjectively chosen based on practical constraints such as cost, accessibility for maintenance, etc., while unintentionally overlooking the geographical and statistical properties of the information to be measured. Ideally, what the network is intended to monitor should be the focus of network design. It is important that these ideal and practical considerations be balanced to successfully monitor a chosen parameter. Here we present a proof-of-concept example of an optimal network design technique, based on ensemble sensitivity, that objectively locates the most valuable stations for a given field while taking practical constraints into account. We describe the method, and preliminary results are shown for the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, ID) based on the goal of monitoring regional climate. The computationally inexpensive method may have a variety of applications, including designing different environmental observing networks and locating the most valuable sites for paleoclimate proxies.
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