Global to Regional Origins of Water Stress (GROWS)

What sets long term trends in water availability and stress? How do local and global factors affect water availability in the Mountain West and worldwide? This area is experiencing an unprecedented ‘megadrought’ and understanding how water stress will evolve in the future is necessary to inform decision making and mitigation efforts. The Caulton research group and our group working in collaboration with NASA GISS, NASA GSFC, and JPL to develop a new machine learning enabled modelling framework based on the GISS-E3 that can learn from our best observations and provide high quality forecasts of future water stress.
-Read our press release.

Perturbed Physics Ensemble Regression Optimization Center for ESM Evaluation and Development (PROCEED)

Earth System Models (ESMs) need to be able to predict environmental change decades into the future at a global scale, but many of the processes that set global climate operate at a scale of micrometers and seconds, like aerosols, clouds, and precipitation. To tackle this problem we have to develop parameterizations that allow our global scale models to represent these phenomena. Department of Energy is supporting us to work with researchers at Pacific Northwest National Lab, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and with the UW School of Computing and Caulton Research Group to come up with a development framework for E3SM and challenge model variants with high-quality observations from DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) sites.
-Read our press release.

-Check out our GitHub page



Models give us the ability to predict the future and better understand the underlying mechanisms that govern the atmosphere and oceans. 

In our group we run simulations to understand how different processes interact and affect the climate. 

We evaluate simulations performed by other modeling centers, and perform our own simulations on the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputer

Earth observations

Observations of the atmosphere play a critical role in evaluating the models that we use to predict the future. 

Our group uses spaceborne remote sensing and in situ measurements to better understand clouds and  climate.

Cloud feedback

The flow of energy in and out of the Earth system is modulated by clouds. 

Boundary layer clouds strongly affect the reflection of sunlight back to space while high clouds affect the flow of heat. 

This means that the response of clouds act as a strong feedback on warming. The complex, multi-scale behavior of clouds lead to the uncertainty in climate sensitivity predicted by global climate models being dominated by cloud feedback. 

Our group examines how models represent clouds and the behavior of clouds in observations of the present day climate to better constrain cloud feedback.

Aerosol-cloud interactions

Aerosols have the potential to interact with clouds, changing their microphysical properties and processes, which in turn may change the macrophysical behavior of the clouds (e.g. thickness and extent). 

The most robust aerosol-cloud interaction (aci) is to increase the number concentration of cloud droplets and the light reflected by clouds back to space. 

We examine observations and models to better constrain the degree to which aerosol affect cloud properties and the overall flows of radiation in the Earth system.