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Scientific Highlights | Fundamental Research | Enhancing Productivity | Protection of Life and Property
Education & Outreach | Additional Educational Activities | Publications | Community Service
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Enhancing Productivity and Resilience of Natural Resources

Climate Variability and Agriculture in the Southeastern United States

CSIRO ExampleLinda Mearns and colleagues began a project in FY01 that focuses on an agricultural measurement to quantify uncertainties in spatial assessments, based on data set sources and various methods of spatial scaling of the data sets, as well as various means of calibrating and validating crop models over space. Climate, soils, and crop management data sets are included. Mearns and colleagues have created methods to aggregate different types of data over space in the Southeastern United States. They have developed a number of data sets, and by so doing determine appropriate scale matches for the different variable types. Part of this will involve determining what the concept of matching scales really means operationally. Moreover, the scaling of inputs will be extended for support of an additional goal of calibrating and validating crop models over space. In FY02, comparisons of daily weather datasets for the Southeast were compiled, and an exploration of the uncertainty of estimates of daily-generated climate using a weather generator approach was completed. A website for the project was created in FY02 at

Climate Variability in the Alaskan North Slope Coastal Region

Sea IceLinda Mearns and colleages are working on climate change scenarios and downscaling for the HARC (Human Dimensions of the Arctic System) project at the University of Colorado. The focus of this project is to understand, support, and enhance the local decision-making process on the North Slope of Alaska in the face of climate variability on seasonal-to-decadal time scales, both natural and as a result of anthropogenic changes. The primary goal is to help stakeholders clarify and secure their common interest by exchanging information and knowledge concerning climate and environmental variability. To achieve this goal, Mearns will apply an improved understanding and predictive capability of regional climate variability and change to generate a range of scenarios for changing sea ice variability, extreme weather events, storm surges, flooding and coastal erosion, and other environmental factors. These scenarios can be used to predict the probability of states that affect marine mammals, transportation and offshore resource development. The ESIG portion of this project was begun in late FY01. Work is under way in FY02 on the evaluation of how well climate models simulate the arctic region. A website for the project is available at

Geographical Information Systems Strategic Initiative

GIS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are powerful software technologies for analyzing spatial data that are used widely throughout universities, research centers, governmental agencies, and private industries. The ability of GIS technology to integrate different data types (e.g., biophysical, geophysical, socioeconomic, meteorological) from different sources, analyze the data, and present results in a format useful to decision makers has directed many organizations toward GIS technologies. The realization that GIS and related tools may be crucial to the fusion, analysis, and communication of NCAR science has led to the creation of the GIS Advisory Group. For FY02, the group includes the following members: Janice Coen (MMM/RAP), Robert Harriss, Tim Kittel (CGD), Don Middleton (SCD), Jim Moore (JOSS), Ron Murdock (JOSS), Ron Ruth (ATD), Gerry Wiener (RAP), Olga Wilhelmi, and David Yates (RAP). The goal of the NCAR GIS Initiative is to explore various opportunities that GIS can offer for (1) integrated interdisciplinary research within the organization, as well as between NCAR and the outside research community; (2) interoperability and data exchange; and (3) visualization and improved means of communicating scientific information to the public. A workshop was held in FY02 (see Scientific Highlights) and a website created at

Impacts of Water Resource Variability

Kathleen Miller worked with Tom Graziano (NWS, Silver Spring, MD) during FY02 to organize a symposium on "Impacts of Water Variability: Benefits and Challenges" for the upcoming American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting, to be held in Long Beach, California, in February 2003. The special symposium includes ten sessions and more than 80 oral presentations, many of them invited. See the website at for more information. Miller also continued her research on the social, policy, and institutional issues surrounding management of water in the Interior West, focusing on the impacts of the severe drought of 2002.

Transboundary Fisheries: Modeling Management Games

Kathleen Miller and Robert McKelvey (U Montana) are co-Principal Investigators on a projected funded by NOAA's Office of Global Programs. In collaboration with Gordon Munro (U British Columbia), Ted McDorman (U Victoria), and Peter Tyedmers (Dalhousie U), they completed an analysis of US-Canadian Pacific salmon management and treaty negotiations. In addition, they worked with Peter Golubtsov (Moscow State Lomonsov U, Russia) to extend the work to a broader theoretical examination of the effects of incomplete and asymmetric information in international fishery management games. This new work, begun in FY02, focuses on simulating the outcomes of competitive and cooperative games where climate variability affects the abundance and location of the fishery stock. Also during FY02, Miller and colleagues prepared four papers. One describes the theoretical model and compares results to real-world experience in the Pacific salmon case. It was presented during FY02 at the International Conference on Risk and Uncertainty in Environmental and Resource Economics, Wageningen, Netherlands. In addition, Miller worked with Munro on a paper surveying fishery game models, assessing their applicability to situations characterized by natural variability and asymmetries, and using the Pacific salmon case to illustrate their conclusions. This paper was presented at the Second World Congress of Environmental and Resources Economics, Monterey, California, and published in the proceedings volume.

Yangtze River Flood of 1998: Forecasts and Responses

Yangtze River FloodMichael Glantz and Qian Ye (ESIG Scientific Visitor) began a study of changes in water management in China after the 1998 Great Flood in the Yangtze River Basin. To identify these changes, unpublished literature was collected and interviews conducted with government officials in China responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating the use of water resources. They found that assessments of the flood helped the Chinese government recognize weaknesses in the existing flood control system. Although short-term climate and weather forecasts are considered to be useful for flood prevention activities, the gap between the meteorological services and water management agencies has grown: forecasters put more effort into improving technology for increasing accuracy of forecasts, whereas water managers put effort into improving flood control systems and upstream ecological restoration. A report was prepared by ESIG during FY02 on this project, "The 1998 Yangtze Floods: The Use of Short-Term Forecasts in the Context of Seasonal to Interannual Water Resource Management."


Table of Contents | Director's Message
Scientific Highlights | Fundamental Research | Enhancing Productivity | Protection of Life and Property
Education & Outreach | Additional Educational Activities | Publications | Community Service
Staff, Visitors and Collaborators