J12.4
Assessment of regional climate change and development of climate adaptation decision aids in the Southwestern US

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Thursday, 27 January 2011: 2:15 PM
Assessment of regional climate change and development of climate adaptation decision aids in the Southwestern US
612 (Washington State Convention Center)
Kremena Darmenova, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Chantilly, VA; and G. Higgins, H. Kiley, and D. Apling

Current General Circulation Models (GCMs) provide a valuable estimate of both natural and anthropogenic climate changes and variability on global scales. At the same time, future climate projections calculated with GCMs are not of sufficient spatial resolution to address regional needs. Many climate impact models require information at scales of 50 km or less, so dynamical downscaling is often used to estimate the smaller-scale information based on larger scale GCM output. To address current deficiencies in local planning and decision making with respect to regional climate change, our research is focused on performing a dynamical downscaling with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to assess regional climate change and develop decision aids that translate the regional climate data into actionable information for users. Our methodology involves development of climatological indices of extreme weather and a variety of energy, agricultural and health decision aid products based on WRF ensemble runs initialized with the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis and the European Center/Hamburg Model (ECHAM5) GCM. Results indicate that the downscale simulations provide the necessary detailed output required by state and local governments and the private sector to develop climate adaptation plans. In addition we evaluated the WRF performance in long-term climate simulations over the Southwestern US and validated against observational datasets.