Thursday, May 8, 2008
Applications of macroscale land surface modeling: (1) drought monitoring and prediction; and (2) detection and attribution of climate changes effects on western US hydrology
The last decade has seen the coming of age of macroscale land surface energy and water balance models running at resolutions from 1/8 th to ½ degree to simulate hydrology on regional to global scales. These models evolved initially to support better characterization of the land surface in coupled land-atmosphere modeling efforts, but have been increasingly applied in an uncoupled context for a wide range of hydrological applications. This presentation describes two recent and ongoing efforts: (1) the implementation and use of a national system for real-time drought monitoring and prediction, with a spinoff system focused on Washington State; and (2) the detection and attribution of climate change effects on western US hydrology. For the former, the VIC model is used to generate analyses of past, present and future soil moisture, SWE and runoff anomalies for use in federal drought monitoring activities, and for the latter, the same model forced by climate model outputs (for 1600 years of preindustrial control climate and several ensembles of historical climate) in a retrospective study of changes in snow water equivalent, runoff and temperature variables.
Andy Wood is a Senior Scientist (Hydrology) at 3TIERô, Inc. and Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington's Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering.