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UCAR/NCAR Junior Faculty Forum on Future Scientific Directions 2005

JULY 27-29, 2005
at NCAR's Mesa Lab facility in Boulder, CO

The objective of this forum is to bring together junior faculty and members of NCAR's Early Career Scientists Assembly (ECSA) to discuss selected topics in the Geosciences. This forum is open to non-tenured faculty at U.S. universities with preference given to those within five years of their first professorial academic appointment. In addition to promoting scientific discussion, an intended goal of the forum is to encourage development of professional relationships between members of ECSA and UCAR institutions.

TOPICS:

Downscaling Climate Change: Extreme Events, Regional Impacts, and Ecosystems.

Session Chairs: Jeffrey Yin, James Done, Lara Prihodko, and Daniel Ziskin

Invited Senior Participants: Linda Mearns, Director of (ISSE) & Rick Katz, ISSE Senior Scientist


While global climate models are often used to predict large-scale climate change, society and ecosystems are largely impacted by scales not resolved by current climate models. For example, heat waves and floods occur on time scales of days, droughts occur on timescales of years to decades over limited regions, and glaciers evolve according to precipitation and temperature variability on spatial scales of mountain ranges
or even a single valley. Current approaches to downscaling climate information include the use of regional numerical models and statistical
methods. Such high resolution climate scenarios are necessary for impact studies of regional climate change on society and ecosystems. This
forum will explore the issues and methods of downscaling climate information, and identify potential collaborations for advancing the current state of the science. Possible forum discussion topics include:

* The value of higher resolution climate information.
* Limitations of current approaches to downscaling.
* Requirements of climate information users.
* Sensitivity of society and ecosystems to climate change.

Evaluating Coupled Climate Models: Roles of Global Observational Networks and Local High-Density Experiments.

Session Chairs: Gokhan Danabasoglu, Markus Jochum, and Bernadette Sloyan

Invited Senior Participants: Antonio Busalacchi (Univ. of Maryland) & Kathryn A. Kelly (APL/Univ. Of Washington)

Progress in Coupled Climate Models' fidelity requires essentially two tasks: validation of the model results and improving the representation of physical processes in the models. These two tasks create very different challenges for both the modeling and the observational communities. Validation requires global, long term data acquisition and detailed knowledge of statistics. In contrast, improving the representation of physical processes often requires short, high density observations, and physical intuition. Arguably, these differences in goals and methods can explain why the needs of the modeling community are met by observations only accidentally. For any meaningful progress on both tasks, there is a need for these two communities to communicate and collaborate more effectively. To achieve this goal, our primary focus is to bring junior people from both communities together in this forum. The topics for discussions will include the observational data needs of the climate modeling community, what observations provide, what is missing, and the limitations of models and observations.

Mesa Lab

Mesa Lab

1850 Table Mesa Dr
Boulder, CO 80305
(303) 497-1000