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2007

List of Archived Seminars and Coffee Talks by Month (2007)

December

 

December - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title To be Announced
Speaker Coming soon
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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November

 

November - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title To be Announced
Speaker Coming soon
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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October

 

October - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title To be Announced
Speaker Coming soon
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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September

 

September 25 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title A preliminary assessment of the severe thunderstorm environment in North America as simulated by a global climate model
Speaker Patrick T. Marsh, University of Oklahoma, School of Meteorology
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract

Global climate models (GCMs) are becoming increasingly important in the simulation of climate changes associated with increases in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. However, little, if anything has been said about the effects of increased anthropogenic forcing on severe convective weather. Recent improvements in global climate model resolution and increased data storage capabilities have allowed for climate simulations of resolutions similar to those of the NCAR / NCEP global reanalysis to be archived at six hour intervals. Brooks et al. (2003) demonstrated that probability of occurrence of significant severe convective weather increases with increasing Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and 0 to 6 kilometer deep layer shear. Additionally, Brooks et al.(2003) went on to demonstrate that the NCAR / NCEP global reanalysis data can be used as a surrogate for observational fields of CAPE, deep layer shear, and their combination. The methodology used by Brooks et al. (2003) serves as the basis to examine changes in the severe thunderstorm environment in North America under global warming as simulated by the NCAR CCSM3 global climate model.

A comparison of the current CCSM3 severe thunderstorm environment to that of the global reanalysis data will be presented to illustrate the ability of the CCSM3 to simulate the current severe thunderstorm environment qualitatively. This will be followed by a preliminary examination of the severe weather environment at the end of the 21^st century simulated by the CCSM3 under the A2 SRES emission scenario. The focus will be on comparing CCSM3 and global reanalysis distributions of CAPE, deep layer shear, and their combination. This will be followed by a brief discussion of projected changes in the probability of occurrence of severe thunderstorm environments in North America.

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August

 

August 7 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Ethical analysis of prediction and decision making: The case of the Red River flood of 1997 and general considerations
Speaker Eugene Wahl, Rebecca Morss
Location FL3-2072
Time 10:00am
Abstract Weather, climate, and hydrological science and technology are used to generate hydrometeorological predictions that are incorporated into human decisions in a wide variety of situations, affecting individual and societal outcomes. This talk will examine ethical aspects of such predictions and decisions, focusing on the case of the 1997 Red River flood in Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota (U.S.). The analysis employs a formal ethical framework and analytical method derived from medical and business ethics. The results of the analysis highlight issues related to the generation of hydrometeorological forecasts, communication of forecast meaning and uncertainty, responsibility for the use of forecasts in decision making, and trade-offs between the desire for forecast certainty and the risk of missed events. Implications of the analysis for the broader arenas of weather, climate, and flood prediction and disaster management will also be discussed.
Keywords ethics, flooding, prediction, forecasts, disasters
Slides Gene Wahl's PowerPoint slides from the talk
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August 28 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title To be Announced
Speaker Mercy Borbor-Cordova
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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July

 

July 17 - ISSE Coffee Talk - RESCHEDULED AUGUST 7
Title See below
Speaker Eugene Wahl
Location See below
Time See below
Abstract See below
 

June

 

June 5 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title What Can Government Affairs Do For ISSE?
Speaker Jeffrey Fiedler
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract ISSE's work is receiving increased attention in Congress and other policy arenas. Cindy Schmidt and Jeff Fiedler of UCAR's Office of Government Affairs (OGA) will describe what OGA does, and discuss ideas for how OGA can help respond to this demand for information, increase ISSE's profile, and promote the interests of the broader UCAR research community involved in related fields. Click here to read "What Does Government Affairs Do, Anyway?".
 
June 19 - ISSE Coffee Talk - CANCELLED
Title To be Announced
Speaker Robert Cox
Location FL3_2072
Time 1:30pm
Abstract Coming soon
 
June 27 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title From Contrarians to Climate Policy: The Shifting Conversations on Climate Change
Speaker Robert Cox
Location FL1_2133
Time 1:30pm
Abstract As the U.S. Senate considers a new energy bill, the public debate over climate change has begun to shift. News media give less attention to "global warming contrarians," while local and state initiatives are providing an impetus for federal action. In the 110th Congress, the debate has had less to do with climate science than regional politics. Nevertheless, the political will for a comprehensive federal policy to reduce CO2 emissions remains fragile. In his remarks, Dr. Cox will address some of the challenges facing lawmakers recently in crafting policy responses to climate change.
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May

 

May 8 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Assessing the Impacts of Extreme Weather Events on Infrastructures
Speaker Brian Bush
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Historically, weather-related events have created the greatest damage among incidents involving critical infrastructures (e.g., transportation, energy, telecommunications, public health networks), and many societal and economic impacts of extreme weather stem from their dependence on these facilities. Furthermore, infrastructure often mediates the impact of extreme weather upon society and the economy: it may either exacerbate or mitigate consequences. In this talk, we will highlight ongoing work to better estimate such impacts and consequences, focusing on hurricanes, ice storms, and increases in temperature due to climate change. These studies typically combine the output of numerical models of natural systems (weather, climate, storm surge, etc.) with engineering models of infrastructure and heuristic models for demographic and economic impacts. We will review the models and provide examples of their output and products.
 
May 15 - ISSE Frontiers of Human Dimensions Science Research Seminar Series
Title Climate, Uncertainty and Decision Making
Speaker Prof. M. Granger Morgan
Location FL2 1001
Time 1:30-2:45pm
Materials Click here to view presentation
Abstract

Uncertainty is ubiquitous in climate science, impacts and policy. This talk begins with a discussion of the nature and sources of uncertainty, strategies that can be used to characterize and deal with uncertainty, and cognitive issues that can complicate and bias judgments about uncertainty. Then it will turn to a discussion of uncertainty in the context of: 1) climate forcing; 2) the resulting changes in climate; and 3) the impacts that result from those changes. The final portion of the talk will argue that while there are many things that are unique about climate problems, irreducible uncertainty is not one of them. The talk will conclude with some discussion of implications for climate-related decision-making and public policy.

 
May 22 - ISSE Coffee Talk -- CANCELLED
Title To be Announced
Speaker Marc Bekoff
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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April

 

April 10 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Assessing how the U.S. Public Understands and Uses Weather Forecast Uncertainty Information
Speaker Julie Demuth
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract In the past few years, there has been increasing attention within the meteorological community to providing uncertainty information in weather forecasts. To support the effective provision of uncertainty-explicit weather forecast information, we developed a web-based survey to assess the U.S. public's attitudes toward forecast and forecast uncertainty information. The survey includes four main parts with questions about (1) respondents' sources, uses, and perceptions of weather forecast information, (2) the extent to which respondents' find weather to be salient to their lives, (3) respondents' understanding of, uses of, and preferences for uncertainty-explicit weather forecast information, and (4) the value of weather forecast information to respondents. More specifically, the portion of the survey on uncertainty communication assesses respondents' inference of uncertainty in a deterministic temperature forecast, interpretations of probabilistic precipitation forecasts, preferences for receiving uncertainty information in precipitation and temperature forecasts, and use of precipitation and temperature uncertainty information to make decisions based on hypothetical cost-loss scenarios. We implemented the survey in November 2006 and received over 1500 complete responses. I will discuss some of the initial results from our survey, focusing primarily on the uncertainty questions, as well as ideas for future related research.

Related References Available Online:
AMS (American Meteorological Society), 2002: Enhancing weather information with probability forecasts. /Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc./, 83, 450-452. Available online

NRC (National Research Council), 2006: /Completing the Forecast: Characterizing and Communicating Uncertainty for Better Decisions Using Weather and Climate Forecasts/. National Academy Press, 124 pp. Available online
 
April 24 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title The Policy Order of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
Speaker Toby Warden
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract In 2005, Greg Nickels, the mayor of Seattle, a participating member of the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, committed to enrolling a minimum of 140 U.S. cities to sign on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (USMCPA). The mission of the agreement is to engage U.S. cities to address global warming and to commit to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the national guidelines set forth by the Kyoto Protocol. As the Kyoto Protocol remains mired in controversy as an international treaty, due to lack of commitment from nations like the U.S and Australia , this city-centered initiative is moving ahead at full speed. Nickels quickly surpassed his goal. The number of participating U.S. cities participating has already exceeded 300 in close to two years time. While there are no official mechanisms of enforcement set in place, this initiative presents a valuable study area for understanding the emergence of collaborative local solutions to global problems. From a policy studies perspective, it is important to understand how inventive global solutions may be created by linking local participation. Might there be a model for this type of innovative policy structure which has application for other international environmental problems ? The primary goal of this project is to analyze the emergence of this collaborative response to global warming, within the theoretical frameworks of Social Ecology and Policy Network Analysis, in order to explain the formation of a locally-centered, horizontal design of policy at a sub-national level within the United States . This presentation will focus on my research for my dissertation, including semi-structured interviews with municipal and policy network participants and content analysis form a large collection of archival data categorizing multiple motivations for participation.
Contact: twarden@uci.edu
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March

 

March 13 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Weathering the waves: ethnographic research on global climate change in Tuvalu, South Pacific
Speaker Heather Lazrus
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Global climate change entails human implications that are equally global in scale and the effects of shifting climate processes are being felt initially and most acutely in smaller social arenas, such as the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu (10°S, 170°E). Through ethnographic research on Funafuti, the capital of Tuvalu, and Nanumea, the northernmost atoll in the Tuvaluan archipelago, I have explored perceptions of the causes, consequences, and potential cures for environmental changes associated with global climate change at local, island, and national levels. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods, my research indicates that traditional environmental knowledge and resource management, cultural attachment to place, and political identities are each important aspects of how people conceive of and deal with environmental change. Findings from this study: 1) advance theoretical development of research in disaster and environmental anthropology at a time when livelihoods around the world are being rendered increasingly vulnerable; 2) provide downscaled climate knowledge from local environmental observations that is specific to an impacted culture and place, and; 3) establish and test an ethnographic research model that can be adapted to research on the effects of climate change across cultures and contexts. This presentation will relay some initial results from my dissertation research and ask some questions about how to examine atmospheric hazards, vulnerability, and resilience from a myriad of social, economic, and political points of view.
 
March 27 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Climate Change Impacts and Vulnerability in Interior Alaska: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Data Integration toward Identification of Regional Patterns Relevant to Stakeholders
Speaker Shannon McNeeley
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The Northern Alaskan Interior region is undergoing rapid social-ecological change due, in part, to recent decades of a marked warming climate. This is shifting seasonal patterns and affecting ecosystem services, with localized impacts on subsistence people and resource management. There is a paucity of data for the region, including disparate sets of biological and weather data along with a growing archive of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) documenting local observations of change and effects. This project is a collaboration between McNeeley, Athabascan (Koyukon and Gwich’in Athabascan) communities, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Alaska Climate Research Center (ACRC), which aims to integrate these datasets by framing questions within the context of local observations and asking questions of relevance to stakeholders (i.e., local residents, agency personnel, and scientists). As we collectively grapple with how to understand and adapt to these changes while sustaining valuable resources and ecosystem services, scaling data and observations of change to a local/regional level while asking the appropriate questions of those data is critical to increase our understanding of the impacts of climate change and to devise adaptive strategies for management and decision making. We will be performing statistical and qualitative data analysis on observational weather, biological, and interview data with the specific objectives to: a) define local/regional patterns of climate change on appropriate time and spatial scales and b) identify local impacts and vulnerabilities in communities along two transects along the Koyukuk and Yukon Rivers of the Northern Interior. Regional stakeholders participate in a reiterative process to provide results and to get feedback and additional observations for continuing the refinement of our questions and analysis. This project is a part of McNeeley’s dissertation research examining local/regional impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities in Interior Alaska through an interdisciplinary, multi-method, regional case study approach.
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February

 

February 13 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Some Reflections on Weather Modification and Recent NRC Findings
Speaker Robert Serafin, NCAR Director Emeritus
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The talk will summarize some of the promises and achievements in weather modification. NCAR's involvement will also be discussed.  Recommendations of a recent NRC study will be presented.  Then I would like to introduce a discussion on the topic of Geoengineering for mitigation of climate change.
 
February 27 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Daily to Seasonal Ensemble Flood Forecasting for Bangladesh
Speaker Thomas Hopson
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The country of Bangladesh experiences life-threatening floods in the basins of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers flowing through the country with tragic regularity. These floods result in loss of life on a scale that often greatly eclipses the deaths due to natural disasters in developed countries. Flooding in these basins can occur on weekly time scales (as occurred during the severe Brahmaputra floods of 2004) to seasonal time scales (as occurred during the disastrous floods of 1998). Beginning in 2003, the Climate Forecasting Applications for Bangladesh (CFAB) project began issuing operational flood forecasts to the country of Bangladesh over a wide-range of time scales to provide advanced warning of severe flood-stage discharges in the catchments of the Ganges and Brahmaputra basins. In this paper I discuss the real-time operational multi-model flood forecast schemes for the upper basins of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers based on the application of the current European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 51-member ensemble weather forecasts, 41-member climate forecasts, near-real-time TRMM and CMORPH satellite and NOAA CPC rain gauge precipitation estimates, and near-real-time discharge estimates from the Bangladesh Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre. In order to generate fully automated probabilistic river discharge forecasts from 1-day out to 6-months in advance, these schemes utilize statistical dressing and a downscaling technique to bias-correct the ECMWF weather and seasonal forecasts. These techniques also ensure reliability in both the weather and discharge forecasts and skill no worse than a climatological forecast or persistence. In addition to a discussion of the technical aspects behind operational production of these forecasts, I will also provide an overview and history of the CFAB project, including a discussion of new initiatives and pilot programs to apply the probabilistic forecasts to decision-making at the local level.  
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January

 

January 30 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Use of RCM results for modeling cryospheric processes in high-mountain areas
Speaker Dr. Nadine Salzmann, from the University of Zurich, Physical Geography Division, Department of Geography.
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The impacts of climate change on the mountain cryopshere can have serious effects on a major part of the global population. Changes in the ice and snow regime can lead to shifts in peak river runoff as well as to changes in their water storage capacity. Thawing of permafrost can cause severe instabilities and provoke rock falls, debris flows or problems with engineering structures.

The assessment and modeling of such changes in mountain regions requires climate data with high spatial and temporal resolution from the past, present and future. Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are among the most promising tools for generating such climate data. However, because of their relatively coarse horizontal resolution and the many associated uncertainties, the use of RCM results for impact modeling in complex topographical high-mountain regions is challenging.

In my recently finished PhD, I tried to assess the potential and benefits of RCM results for their application to local-scale high-mountain cryopsphere models, with a focus on permafrost. Two possible matching approaches were developed to overcoming the scale differences between RCMs and mountain permafrost models, approaches
intended to allow for the handling of the associated uncertainties and to permit possible changes in the climate variability. These approaches were applied to a local-scale energy balance model to assess possible ranges of change in the ground surface temperature (GST) of steep rockwalls with variable topographical characteristics (elevation, slope, aspect). The results were analyzed and compared to results obtained with simple incremental scenarios. It became evident that the application of RCM-ba sed scenarios in mountain topography is particularly important and leads to results, which significantly differ from those of incremental scenarios.

In a first part of this coffee talk I will summarize the main results of my PhD. In a second part of the talk, I will give a brief overview about the plans during my visit at the ISSE. The main focus will be on the analyses and use of NARCCAP data concerning the snow regime and the related hydrological processes in the Colorado River Basin.
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2006

List of Archived Seminars and Coffee Talks by Month (2006)

December

 

Title Public Response to Hurricane Rita Forecasts Along the Texas Gulf Coast: An Undergraduate Research Study Linking Classroom to Reality
Speaker Rebecca Morss (with Fuqing Zhang and coauthors)
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Hurricane Rita made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border in September 2005, causing major damage and disruption. As Rita approached the Gulf Coast, significant uncertainties in the track and intensity forecasts, combined with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, led to major evacuations along the Texas coast and significant traffic jams in the broader Houston area.

To investigate the societal impacts of Hurricane Rita and its forecasts in greater depth, seven undergraduates and three graduate students at Texas A&M University participated in a student research project in the spring semester of 2006. The research team developed a structured interview questionnaire to explore Texas Gulf Coast residents' hurricane preparation and evacuation decisions, their perceptions of hurricane risk, and their use and opinions of Hurricane Rita forecasts. The students then conducted 120 in-person interviews in the Texas Gulf Coast cities of Galveston, Port Arthur, and Houston.

This talk will discuss major findings from the interviews as well as the educational benefits gained by the participating students.  We will also initiate discussion on whether this type of study might serve as a model for other projects, to give more students opportunities to learn first-hand about people's perceptions and use of scientific information.
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December

 

Title A Walk through the Landscape of Global Climate Change Governance
Speaker Michele Betsill, a visiting Scientist in ISSE, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract This talk will present several research projects related to the governance of global climate change. This will introduce the multiple forms and mechanisms of climate governance and illustrate how both the academic study and political practice of climate governance have evolved over the last decade.
 

November

 

Title An Urban Initiative to assess the impact of air quality on health with community participation in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador
Speaker Mercy Borbor-Cordova, an ISSE ASP Postdoc
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Latin America is one the most urbanized regions in the developing world
with a rapidly increasing vehicle fleet, and industrialization. This is leading to air pollution in major urban centers. Although air-quality standards have been established in most of the Latin American countries, there is limited consistent information on major air pollutants levels and even less in their potential health effects.

Guayaquil, the largest city of Ecuador with 2.5 million people, is also facing air pollution and community health issues related mainly to transport and point sources power generation. To assess these urban issues a team of public officers and researchers are developing an initiative that is looking for collaboration to enhance the quality of the research and its applicability.

Two projects are to be developed to analyze air quality management at two levels: community and city scale. A pilot Ecohealth Project of * Health, Environment and Community * is investigating what the impacts of power plants and ports of particulate matter emissions are on the respiratory health of the children of the community. These projects will use a transdisiplinary approach that will combine emissions inventory and air dispersion modeling with an epidemiological case control study using spirometry in children and participatory stakeholders' communication. At the city scale a research group will start an Interdisciplinary Research Program to delineate an *Air Quality Management Plan and Urban Climate.* This program aims is to develop the first baseline of urban meteorology, a framework for emissions inventory and air quality modeling that can be used by the city officers and finally it is a study of the contingent valuation of prevention, control and mitigation measures of air management.
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October

 

October 10 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Are water utilities making use of climate change information in their planning process?
Speaker David Yates
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract He and Kathy Miller have been working with the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) for the past 3 years on how water utilities might include climate change information into their planning processes. David will reflect on the interest of the AWWARF in bringing climate change as a research topic to their utility subscribers and discuss the outcome of the NCAR-AWWARF collaboration that led to a joint publication/primer on climate change and water utilities. He will discuss the future collaborations that will begin in FY07 ("Incorporating climate change information in water utility planning: A collaborative, decision analytic approach") and highlight the partnering utilities that will participate in this project.
 
October 16 - Conversations with Migratory Birds Seminar
Title Conversations with Migratory Birds: Considerations While on the Move and What to do in a Changing Climate
Speaker Dr. Reuven Yosef, Director of the International Birding & Research Center in Eilat, Israel will be speaking
Location Main Seminar Room, NCAR Mesa Lab
Time 7:00pm
Abstract Learn about the world famous research station in Israel and how climate change and other factors affect migratory birds.
 
October 17 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems: Climate, Agriculture, and Complexity in the Argentine Pampas
Speaker Rick Katz
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The NSF program on Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) is first discussed, based on my past experience as a member of several proposal review panels. As an example of the type of activity funded by this program, the project on Climate, Agriculture, and Complexity in the Argentine Pampas is described. This project is centered at the University of Miami, with Guillermo Podesta being the lead Principal Investigator -- I serve as a Co-Principal Investigator. The project focuses on the question of how the interannual variability of climate enters into the decision-making processes of farmers in the Argentine Pampas. My own involvement in this project deals primarily with scenario generation and uncertainty analysis. Finally, I speculate about the forthcoming CNH competition.
 
October 24 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Panel Discussion on Exploring the Boundaries of Nature
Speaker Panelist: Jeffrey Kiehl, Stephen Bennett, Stephen Foster, Susi Moser and Don Williams (members of the workshop organizing committee)
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract With increasing concern over environmental change, the need for constructive dialogue increases. As psychologists and environmentalscientists, we have grappled with how to explore our boundary with Nature and the boundaries among different groups focused on environmental issues. In August we held an Aspen Global Change Institute workshop called, “Exploring the Boundaries of Nature: A Reflective Dialogue on the Environment.” The purpose of the workshop was to bring together experts from a diverse range of communities to consider new ways of exploring our relationship to the environment. We used psychological and philosophical perspectives to aid in creating a new forum for dialogue among the communities that included some of the leaders in environmental thought. The workshop did not assess the science of global environmental change, but sought to understand and explore impediments to reaching a consensus view among communities. Most importantly we explored common issues of each community's relationship to the environment. Through focused awareness on how we talk about our experiences we hoped to establish new directions in crossing boundaries among diverse communities. The organizing committee of the workshop will lead a panel discussion on our experiences the outcomes of the workshop.
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September

 

September 5 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Terrestrial Hydrology: State of the Art and Its Relevance for NCAR
Speaker Larry Winter NCAR Deputy Director
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Hydrology & Water Resources at the University of Arizona
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Abundant supplies of fresh water are essential for life and civilization, and management of terrestrial water is one of the earliest examples of environmental engineering.  However, water resource management remains in a “pre-scientific” state because the observational, computational and theoretical tools needed to analyze and predict the outcomes of management decisions have only recently become available.  I will discuss two of those tools – uncertainty analysis and catchment-scale simulation -- in this rather informal talk.  I will outline the approach groundwater hydrologists have taken to quantifying uncertainty because it is unique in geophysics, yet it has potential for application in many other fields.  I will introduce a little groundwater hydrology and a bit of the use of stochastic differential equations in groundwater studies without getting too technical.  Then I will use an example from the Rio Grande basin to illustrate catchment-scale water cycle simulations.  Finally, I hope we will have a discussion of the role NCAR, and specifically ISSE, might play in fostering water research and transferring it to decision-makers and other water stakeholders.
 
September 19 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title The dynamics and societal relevance of wind predictions on weekly to seasonal time scales
Speaker Jeff Yin, a visiting Scientist in CGD
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract A combination of results from the atmospheric dynamics community leads me to believe that we will soon be able to predict, with at least limited skill, the statistics of winds on weekly to seasonal time scales.  One result is the success of linear inverse models in predicting the large scale atmospheric circulation at lead times of 2 to 3 weeks.  In addition, there is a well established body of literature showing that the large scale atmospheric circulation has a strong organizing influence on extratropical cyclones, also known as frontal storms.  Extreme winds associated with extratropical cyclones are of interest because the winds associated with the strongest of these storms can cause billions of dollars in damage.  In addition, predictions of the full probability distribution of wind speeds may be of interest to the wind energy industry.  The purpose of this talk is to share my ideas on the potential predictability of winds on weekly to seasonal time scales, and to start a conversation with ISSE scientists about the kinds of societally relevant problems that could be addressed using this predictability.
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August

 

August 8 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title A Self Evident Truth
Speaker Dr. Albert Allen Bartlett, Professor Emeritus of Physics of the University of Colorado
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract If any fraction of the observed global warming can be attributed to the activities of humans, then this constitutes positive proof that the human population, living as we do, has exceeded the carrying capacity of the Earth. This situation is not Sustainable!
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July

 

July 25- ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Boulder's Climate Action Plan
Speaker Mark Ruzzin (Boulder Mayor)
Location FL3_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming Soon
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June

 

June 6 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Making Sense of Science (and Scientists) in Policy and Politics
Speaker Roger Pileke Jr. of the University of Colorado Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES). At CIRES, Roger serves as the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Scientists and scientific institutions have choices in how they interact with decision makers.  Such choices have individual and collective consequences for those in the scientific enterprise.  But as well such choices affect the effectiveness of science as a contribution to decision making.  This talk will discuss these choices and their consequences based on my forthcoming book, The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politic (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
 
June 20 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Organize Your Work Day In No Time
Speaker K.J. McCorry
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Do you feel at the end of your workday exhausted, overwhelmed and unproductive? In today’s busy world it is important to be as effective as you can with the limited hours of time during the day. Come learn the top 10 organizational habits to improve your work efficiency. K.J. McCorry, author of Organize Your Work Day In No Time, will talk about ways to improve how you organize documents, manage email, and ways to increase your effectiveness and reduce time-wasted activities.

K.J.McCorry is owner of Officiency, Inc. an efficiency consulting company based out of Boulder , Colorado . Her work in office process simplification has been recognized locally and nationally in the New York Times , International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Boulder County Business Report, Rocky Mountain News, Better Homes & Gardens with TV and radio appearances on the Do It Yourself Network, The Peter Boyles Show, and World Talk Radio. She is also the author of Organize Your Work Day In No Time, released in April 2005 by Que Publishing. This book empowers workers to take back their workday and shows readers how to use their work time more efficiently through simple time management and computer organization techniques.
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May

 

May 9 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Government Censorship of Climate Science in EPA, NOAA and NASA. Is it NSF's Turn?
Speaker Jerry Mahlman of ISSE
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming Soon
 
May 23 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Coming Soon
Speaker Coming Soon
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming Soon
 
May 30 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Linking probabilistic climate scenarios with downscaling methods for impact studies
Speaker Hayley Fowler - A Research Fellow in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract This talk will show two proposed methods for linking probabilistic climate scenarios with downscaling methods for hydrological impact studies. Both use Bayesian statistics to weight climate model outputs based on bias and convergence criteria.

The first method takes outputs from the AR4 global climate model integrations and fits pdfs of change in temperature and precipitation over small regions suitable for impact studies, using the UK and Spain as examples. A KNN downscaling method is then used to resample from observed data for two case-study catchments, following a linear trend in temperature projected for different quantiles from the pdf. This produces spatially consistent precipitation and temperature series that can be used as input to hydrological models to explore impacts, producing a pdf of hydrological change.

The second method uses a model recently developed for the Environment Agency in the UK. Six Regional Climate Models from the PRUDENCE project, driven by boundary conditions from two different GCMs, are used to fit a pdf of change in temperature and precipitation for regions in the north-west and south-east of the UK. A weather generator approach is then used to downscale these change pdfs to the catchment scale using change factors (CFs; the difference between the future and control simulations). These CFs (rainfall: mean, proportion dry days, variance, skewness, Lag 1 autocorrelation; Temperature: mean, sd) are applied to the weather generator, which incorporates a stochastic rainfall model based on the Neyman Scott Rectangular Pulses model, and a regression-based temperature and PET generator. Simulations from the different RCMs are weighted by using different numbers of simulations, based on the weighting derived for the regional pdfs (above). This method allows the uncertainty in the forecasts of different RCMs to be assessed, providing a probabilistic estimate of future climate change impacts.
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April

 

April 11 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Climate and Terrorism: Commonalities and Differences in Societal Response
Speaker Susan Moser, Institute for the Study of Society and Environment
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The risks of terrorism and climate change have attracted some of the leading minds in politics, intelligence, and science. While terrorism may well be one of the most intractable risks to analysts, it surely has captured the imagination and attention of American intelligence agencies, government officials, and the public in recent years. Climate change, by contrast, despite growing scientific consensus on its existence, causes and severity, and many experts' judgment that it is one of the greatest challenges humankind has ever faced, is still a problem trying to gain traction among key players in American politics and the public. It's an interesting set, if certainly not an obvious pair of risks, to discuss in tandem. This talk will be an adapted "re-run" of a presentation given at the AAAS annual meeting in St. Louis, MO in February. I will discuss commonalities and differences in the American public's perceptions of these risks, the lay understanding of the risks and the risk assessment process, public responses to governmental risk management efforts, and the challenges communicators face in conveying these risks.
 
April 18 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Climate Impacts Research in Pakistan
Speaker Peter Backlund, NCAR Director of Research Relations and Interim SERE Director
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Peter will present an overview of research efforts described to him during his recent visit to the Global Change Impacts Study Center in Islamabad, Pakistan
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March

 

March 07 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Non-linear Effects of Weather on Crop Yields
Speaker Wolfram Schlenker of Columbia University and Michael Roberts of the Economic Research Service at USDA
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Random fluctuations in weather directly influence crop yields. The exact relation between these fluctuations and yields is important for an adequate design of crop insurance programs or to assess the potential effects of climate change.

Previous studies examining the link between weather and yields either used broad aggregate weather measures on a large geographic scale, or detailed weather outcomes on a limited geographic scale. In this paper we utilize a unique fine-scale data set of daily weather records and link it to corn yields on a large geographic scale covering 2430 eastern counties as well a large time period from 1950-2004 to estimate a very flexible non-linear relationship.

We find a very robust and significant non-linear relationship between temperature and yields that is in line with the concept of degree days, i.e., yields are linearly increasing in temperature for moderate temperatures, but become quickly harmful once temperatures exceed 30C.

Hotter climate as well as later time periods show the same relationship, suggesting that there is limited potential for adaptation to changes in climate and little technological progress in the robustness of plants to high temperatures in the last 55 years.
 
March 13 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Timescale interactions in economics and their consequences on the assessment of economic damages due to climate change and extreme events
Speaker S. Hallegatte, Center for Environmental Sciences and Policy (CESP), Stanford University and Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement (CIRED, Paris)
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Climate change damage assessments are commonly based on long term growth models that neglect disequilibrium processes, assumed to be transient over short periods. I will highlight, from a set of modelling exercises, how important the short-term transients and the endogenous economic variability are in the estimation of extreme events and climate change damages. The results suggest that it is impossible to evaluate damages independently of a precise representation of economic dynamics: damages are as sensitive to the nature and amount of impacts than to the dynamics of the economy they occur in. The uncertainty in economic damages due to climate change stems thus both from an incomplete scientific knowledge of impacts and from the uncertainty on the future organisation of economies.
 
March 21 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Context and Climate Change: Lessons from Barrow, Alaska
Speaker Ronald D. Brunner, Amanda Lynch, and James Maslanik
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract With NSF funding we have sought to help Barrow, Alaska, adapt to problems of climate change and variability by expanding the range of informed choices for the community. After exploratory discussions in Barrow in August 2000, we focused on the community’s vulnerability to coastal erosion and flooding as the outstanding problem from the community’s standpoint. Since then we have reported our findings at least annually to community leaders and the public through meetings, lectures, and radio interviews, and have sought their guidance for further research.

Our approach is intensive: centered on one community; comprehensive, incorporating the full range of factors affecting Barrow’s risk and vulnerability; and integrative, emphasizing interactions among these factors in a series of extreme events including the most damaging, the great storm of October 1963. Extreme events provide a common focus of attention for diverse community members and researchers from different scientific disciplines. The payoffs are indicated by community members’ willingness to continue collaborating with us, and in their decisions and actions informed by our research: an emergency management exercise based on the 1963 storm, platting an evacuation route inland, locating a new hospital site outside the 1963 flood area, designing the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Facility to withstand a storm of that magnitude, and fuller consideration of alternatives to additional beach nourishment, including planning and zoning, relocation, and retrofit of the utility corridor.

Our intensive approach also suggests reconsidering the connections between science, policy, and decision-making structures. First, profound uncertainties are inherent in unique interactions among the many factors affecting local risk and vulnerability. Science cannot significantly reduce these uncertainties, but can reconstruct and update local trends, clarify underlying dynamics, and harvest experience for policy purposes. Second, sound policies to reduce vulnerability must incorporate these profound uncertainties and multiple community values though rational decision processes, ones capable of evaluating policies as events unfold, terminating mistaken policies, and building on successes. Third, the community itself is in the best position to understand its own context, to decide on sound policies, and to take responsibility for them. In short, context matters in adapting to climate change and variability.

Overall, cognitive constraints may be the most important human dimension in climate change decisions. To make the most of our limited cognitive capacity, future research might factor the global problem into more tractable local problems, and help local communities network to diffuse and adapt the best working solutions.
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February

 

February 07 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Power to the Edge: Sustaining Livability and Resilience in a Coastal Community
Speaker Bob Harriss
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Follow the money to see the future. In this nation of top-down government, the management of disasters and rebuilding of devastated communities is largely determined by the vast power of federal resources. Talk abounds about the appointment of a czar to oversee the rebuilding of Gulf Coast communities destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Congressional hearings explore the possibility of a more aggressive use of military troops as early responders to natural disasters. If the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast continues the way it is heading there will be one more chapter to write in the familiar book of bureaucratic blunders that lead to less livable and resilient neighborhoods and communities.

At the edge, far from the centers of power, are the hundreds of thousands of people blasted from places that, while far from perfect, are home. They are scattered and unorganized, living day-to-day. Where are their voices? They alone know the salient qualities of place that need to be preserved, reimagined, or redefined to create more livable and resilient Gulf Coast futures. A reconstruction process that values local culture, geography, construction techniques, and psychology will yield neighborhoods rather than infrastructure. Empowering a bottoms-up recovery from disaster can restore and enhance the legitimacy of all levels of government.

The recovery of Galveston following America’s most deadly hurricane is both remarkable and especially appropriate at this time. The September 1900 storm devastated the fabric of what was a vibrant and cosmopolitan Gulf Coast city. Like the images from New Orleans, corpses and filth filled the streets with stench and the serious threat of serious disease. Historian’s Patricia Bixel and Elizabeth Turner have described how, with federal support and local leadership, Galvestonian’s turned their city into “a laboratory of sorts, a testing ground for new ideas about government, society, and technology”. Drastic solutions included raising the elevation of a large area of the island, the lifting and restoration of over two thousand historic structures, and the construction of an exceedingly robust seawall that has protected the city from subsequent storms. The recovering city was also a nexus for a variety of progressive changes in the structure of local government, the role of women in shaping public policy, and public health reforms. Even today, the Galveston experience should remind us of the power of citizens to mobilize around love of community and the power to create their own future.

This talk describes the prototype design for community collaboration aimed at sustaining livability and resilience at a time of rapid economic, social, and environmental change.

 
February 22 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title The Science of Assessing Climate Impacts in the Tropics - Crops and Water
Speaker Professor Julia Slingo, the Director of NCAS Centre for Global Atmospheric Modeling, Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading
Location FL1_2133
Time 11:00am
Abstract Coming Soon
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January

 

January 10 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Disaster Research and Its Application
Speaker Ilan Kelman
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Take a journey through disaster diplomacy, disaster deaths, and island vulnerability to learn more about, and to comment on, the research and application work which Ilan is pursuing at ASP/CCB, SERE, NCAR. Contribute to answering the question: When we know so much about dealing with disasters, why don't we?

More details:
"Disaster diplomacy" explores how disasters do and do not bring together enemy states.
"Disaster deaths" analyses who dies in disasters and why.
"Island vulnerability" looks at managing short-term (single event) and long-term (chronic) disasters in small, isolated locations.
See http://www.ilankelman.org for more.
 
January 24 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title What WAS*IS is
Speaker Eve Gruntfest and Julie Demuth
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Weather and Society*Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) is a two-part workshop being held by the NCAR Societal Impacts Program, which is funded jointly by NCAR and NOAA's U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP). WAS*IS is dedicated to moving beyond rhetoric to action by shifting societal impact efforts from being a cursory "add-on" at the end of major research projects to being an integral part of new project development for scientists and practitioners.

More Details:
WAS*IS is changing from what WAS to what IS the future of integrated weather studies!

The WAS*IS webpage provides more information about efforts to date, WAS*IS participants, ongoing group projects, and our developing reference list of articles, books, and presentations related to societal impacts of weather.
To check it out, click here or contact Eve Gruntfest or Julie Demuth
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2005

List of Archived Seminars and Coffee Talks by Month (2005)

December

December 6 , 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Coming soon
Speaker Nicholas Flores
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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November

November 8 , 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title | November
Speaker Seth McGinnis - ISSE Scientist
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The goal of the Disaster Dynamics project is to develop experiential learning products that teach players about the unique challenges posed by weather and climate-related hazards, extreme events, and natural disasters. The Hurricane Landfall game is a computer game about the interaction between natural hazards and urban planning. Undergraduates who play the game learn about hazard management through role-playing, negotiation, and experiencing the sometimes unanticipated consequences of their decisions. This presentation will demo the game, outline the goals driving its development, and discuss how the resulting design constraints shaped it.
 
November 22 , 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title An Extreme Precipitation Return Levels Map for Colorado's Front Range
Speaker Dan Cooley
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract

Common tools used by flood planners to assess a location's potential for extreme precipitation are return-levels maps. The n-year return level is the (precipitation) amount which is exceeded on average once every n- years. The maps supply information about potential extreme precipitation by providing return level estimates for locations in the study region. Traditionally, these maps have not provided uncertainty estimates with the return levels.

There is a current effort by the National Weather Service (NWS) to produce updated return levels maps. Using the Regional Frequency Analysis (RFA) methodology of Hosking and Wallis, the NWS has produced return levels maps and uncertainty estimates for two regions in the US.

We have developed an alternative methodology to produce precipitation return levels maps along with uncertainty estimates. Using this methodology, we have produced a precipitation map for the Front Range region of Colorado. To develop the map, we have relied on the theory of extreme values. Specifically, we have used the generalized pareto distribution (GPD) to model precipitation above a threshold at 56 weather stations throughout the region. By constructing a Bayesian hierarchical model which relates each station's GPD parameters to a spatial model we are able to pool the data from all the stations and obtain parameter and return-level estimates which have more spatial consistency. The parameter estimates also take into account the available covariates we have for the model.

In this talk, I will outline our methodology and discuss the differences between our Bayesian framework and the RFA methodology. I hope that the discussin will bring forth new ideas on ways to improve the model and critique what the model (and map) may be missing.

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November

October 11, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title A Primer on Coastal Biogeochemistry and Related Bibliometry
Speaker Jean-Pierre Gattuso -
Laboratoire d'Océanographie, CNRS-Université de Paris 6, Villefranche-sur-mer, France on sabbatical at NCAR
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract In this seminar, I will provide a review the main elements of the carbon cycle in coastal ecosystems as well as the present and future challenges. I will also summarize the findings of a recent bibliometric study on coastal biogeochemistry. Related papers (pdf files) are available at http://www.obs-vlfr.fr/~gattuso.
 
October 25 , 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Understanding why we treat the environment the way we do from both a psychological and philosophical perspective. In short: "Valuing Nature."
Speaker Jeff Kiehl
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
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September

September 13, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk - POSTPONED
Title Coming soon
Speaker Eve Gruntfest and Julie Demuth - ISSE Scientists
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Coming soon
 
September 27, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Modeling for China's Energy and Environment"
Speaker Jiang Kejun
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Due to rapid growth of economy in China, energy and environment problems occurred by energy shortage and serious air pollution and water pollution. Policy assessment to support policy making process to response to these problems is an important part for policy study. This presentation summarized study activities from Integrated Policy Assessment Model for China(IPAC) modeling team in ERI, mainly cover energy and GHG emission scenarios for China, Urban Transport Development Strategy, Energy Fiscal Policy Assessment, Regional Energy Five Year Plan, Regional Energy and Emission Inventory, CDM potential Assessment in China.
 
September 29, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Rebuilding a Sinking City – A New Orleans Perspective on Hurricane Katrina"
Speaker Sandy Johnson
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Dr. Sandy Johnson will offer an overview of the historical and institutional processes which created pockets of vulnerability in the human landscape of New Orleans. These issues will then be placed in the context of reconstruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. Johnson is herself, one of the estimated million refugees from the area. She worked in public health research focused on “underserved populations” within Greater New Orleans.
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August

August 2, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Everything but the Power Suit: Reflections on Three Leadership Programs"
Speaker Susi Moser, ISSE Scientist
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract In this coffee talk Susi Moser will describe and reflect on three leadership training programs she participated in this year: The UCAR Leadership Academy, a career development workshop for early career geographers at CU, and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. Each program had its distinct focus, lessons, and impacts for her, yet they also shared some insights and benefits. Maybe most importantly, they offered her invaluable communities of learning and growing. Come find out more and participate in them yourself in the future!
 
August 17, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Applying Probabilistic Scenarios to Environmental Management and Resource Assessment"
Speaker Rob Wilby, the Climate Change Science Advisor of the UK Environment Agency willl be the speaker
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Research into probabilistic forecasting is advancing rapidly, yet there are relatively few examples of uptake for climate change impact assessment and strategic planning. This talk begins with an outline of the Environment Agency’s role in building adaptive capacity and in implementing policies for addressing the unavoidable consequences of climate change. Trial frameworks for assessing key uncertainties, and for appraising adaptation options, will then be illustrated using examples for diffuse pollution and water resource management. Finally, planned research will be described for undertaking impact assessments using very large ensembles of climate model experiments (held by the NERC-supported ClimatePrediction.Net project). This work will enable the Agency and partner organization to develop risk-based approaches and guidance for handling probabilistic information ahead of the release of the Hadley Centre’s UKCIPnext scenarios in 2008.
 
August 30, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES): Integrating human and environmental processes into Earth Systems Models"
Speaker Kathy Hibbard of CGD will be the speaker
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract There is a growing recognition that the Earth itself is a single system within which the biosphere is an active component. Human activities are now so pervasive and profound in their consequences that they affect the Earth at a global scale in complex, interactive and apparently accelerating ways. The new IGBP project, Analysis, Integration and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) follows from the foundation of GAIM with the additional charge to integrate human with environmental processes.

The grand challenge for GAIM in the 1990’s was to integrate biogeochemistry and land surface processes into the climate system leading to Earth system modeling. Earth system processes can be considered as three unique, yet interwoven tapestries. Using the carbon cycle as an example, the system includes physical processes such as the ocean’s thermohaline circulation and temperature dependence of CO2 uptake by oceans. Secondly, the carbon cycle involves biological processes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Thirdly, both physical and biological dynamics are driven by human land use and industrial processes. The grand challenge for AIMES in the 2000’s and beyond is to extend the Earth system modeling approach, in terms of physical-chemical-biological coupling and how these interact and respond to human processes.

Incorporating human-environmental processes into Earth System models cannot occur at the global scale. Studies in both the natural and social sciences largely examine processes, observations and measurements at local to regional scales. AIMES will promote the development of regional linkages in the human-environmental system in coherent regions of global significance. Regions where changing emissions, land cover, hydrology and economics triggers responses and ensuing feedbacks to the global scale will be the primary focus. In return, AIMES will provide a global context for regional studies. Examples from ongoing activities including the coupled carbon-climate model intercomparison (C4MIP) project and their anticipated integration with human drivers of fossil fuel emissions and land use will be discussed.
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July

July 8, 2005 - Joint CGD-ISSE & CIRES Seminar - Panel Discussion
Title Hockeysticks, the tragedy of the commons and sustainability of climate science.
Speaker Hans von Storch - Director of Institute of Coastal Research
of the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht. Professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg , Germany
Panelists Warren Washington, Caspar Amman and Doug Nychka, NCAR, and Roger Pielke Jr. (CIRES)
Location Mesa Lab Main Seminar Room
Time 3:00pm
Abstract “The "hockey stick", elevated to icon-status by the IPCC, plays a crucial role in debate regarding climate change. Yet the methods used to develop it have not been completely explicated. We have tested the method in the artificial laboratory of the output of a global climate model, and found it to significantly underestimate both low-frequency variability and associated uncertainties. Our work focuses on multi-century simulations with two global climate models to generate a realistic mix of natural and externally (greenhouse gases, solar output, volcanic load) forced climate variations. Such simulations are then used to examine the performance of empirically based methods to reconstruct historical climate. This is done by deriving "pseudo proxies" from the model output, which provide incomplete and spatially limited evidence about the global distribution of a variable.

Our simulation study was published in "Science" but received less response than expected - almost no open response, a bit in the media; but many colleagues indicated privately that such a publication would damage the good case of a climate protection policy.

In this talk the methodical critique of the hockey stick methods will be presented, followed by a personal discussion about the problem of post-normal climate science operating in a highly politicized environment.”

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on the science of the hockey stick in the context of high–profile political issues. Panelists: Warren Washington, Doug Nychka, and Caspar Amman, NCAR and Roger Pielke Jr., Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado (CIRES).
 
July 19, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title Shall We Call It Global Warming, Climate Variability or Human Climate Disruption?: The Social Construction of
Global Warming
Speaker Mike Page, Scientific Computing Division /NCAR
Location FL1_2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract The social construction of global warming is different from both the scientific and policy aspects of global warming. It relates to the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and society at large that science cites as some of the root causes of global warming. It can be tracked through the content analysis of prominent media streams from the mid-80s and can be shown to follow Downs' issue attention cycle.

After reviewing these considerations, a social reconstruction of global warming is proposed that incorporates aspects of social psychology and catastrophe theory that can be evaluated in an agent-based simulation.
 
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June

June 7, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Opening the window for policy change and organizational learning in watershed management"
Speaker Sarah Michaels - ISSE visiting scientist
Location FL1-2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Sarah Michaels will present preliminary findings from her research into creating organizational knowledge for watershed management. Along with two graduate students, she has been investigating whether five conservation authorities in Canada's most populous province, Ontario, have the means to function as knowledge-creating organizations. These watershed-based authorities are provincially created bodies mandated to manage, protect and restore Ontario's freshwater resources in partnership with landowners, government and other organizations. Knowledge-creating organizations define problems and develop new knowledge to solve problems. To do this, they interact with their surroundings, reshape the context in which they function and make internal institutional adaptations.

Professional staff across the five conservation authorities identified three events and one emerging issue as being pivotal in bringing about policy change. The three events are Hurricane Hazel in 1954, the province cutting financial support to conservation authorities by 70% in the mid 1990s and the contamination of the drinking water system for the Town of Walkerton in southern Ontario with deadly bacteria in 2000. The emerging issue is climate change. This presentation will consider the implication of these events and issue for creating organizational knowledge applicable to watershed management.
   
June 28, 2005 - ISSE Coffee Talk
Title "Changing rainfall patterns in the UK, 1961-2000: dramatic increase in
climatic variability or the first indications of climate change?"
Speaker Hayley Fowler - Water Resource Systems Research Laboratory, School of Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, UK
Location FL1-2133
Time 10:00am
Abstract Increasing flood risk is now recognised as the most important sectoral threat from climate change in most parts of the world. The recent repeated severe flooding in the UK and Europe have caused major loss of property and life, and the insurance industry are now threatening the withdrawal of flood insurance cover from millions of UK households. There has been much public debate on the apparent increased frequency of extreme weather events and this has focussed attention in particular on the perceived increase in rainfall intensities. Climate model integrations predict increases in both the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall in the high latitudes under enhanced greenhouse conditions which would be expected to cause increased risk of flooding. These projections are consistent with recent increases in rainfall intensity seen in the UK and worldwide. Using a statistical method called regional frequency analysis; we have exa mined 204 rainfall records across the UK in 9 homogeneous climatic regions for evidence of change in extreme events. It is clear from our research that there have been significant changes to both the timing and occurrence of multi-day intense rainfall events over the past decade. We estimate that the magnitude of multi-day extreme rainfall has increased two-fold over parts of the UK since the 1960s. Intensities previously experienced every 25 years now occur at 6 year intervals; more analogous to regional climate model estimations for the end of the 21 st century. Indeed, the observed patterns of change are very similar to those projected under climate change (Figure 1). There have also been changes in timing, with extreme events now predominating in autumn months. These climatic changes may be explained by persistent atmospheric circulation anomalies and have huge economic and social implications in terms of increased flooding. These changes are similar to climate model projections for the end of the 21 st century; with the latest climate model predictions from HadRM3H suggesting increases of 30% in the magnitude of multi-day rainfall events over parts of the UK . This will have severe implications for design and planning practices in flood control.

Click here for the PDF version of the abstract with graphics.
 
"Because the pathway to sustainability cannot be charted in advance, it will have to be navigated through trial and error and conscious experimentation. The urgent need is to design strategies and institutions that can better integrate incomplete knowledge with experimental action into programs of adaptive management and social learning."
NRC, Our Common Journey (1999)