Resilience in a Changing Climate: Sonoma County Adaptation Forum

Resilience in a Changing Climate: Sonoma County Adaptation Forum

April 15, 2015

CW3E director Marty Ralph and scientist Julie Kalansky presented at the Sonoma County Adaptation Forum on April 8th. The forum was modeled after state forums, but was the first regional adaptation forum in California. The forum focused on information and approaches to help mitigate the impacts of climate change in Sonoma County and surrounding areas. The audience of over 200 people included city and county leaders, utility managers, environmental groups and the public.

Both Marty and Julie presented in the first session of the morning entitled “Extreme Weather Science; Drought and Deluge in Sonoma County.” Jay Jasperse, Chief Engineer and Director of Groundwater Management at Sonoma County Water Agency, moderated the session. The other panelists included Tim Doherty, from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, who discussed the impacts of sea level rise on the region, and Dr. Lisa Micheli, Executive Director of Pepperwood Preserve, who presented on the importance of downscaling climate models to understand the regional response to climate change. Marty Ralph discussed the importance of atmospheric rivers (ARs) to the water supply as well as the potential flooding risk associated with ARs. This led into an explanation of the FIRO, forecast informed reservoir operations, project for improving the water supply resilience of Lake Mendocino. At the end of his presentation he introduced the first part of an ongoing NOAA-NIDIS and Sonoma County Water Agency funded project to examine how the frequency and intensity of ARs may change in future. The link below is to an interview with Marty Ralph about atmospheric rivers and the forum that was broadcasted on North Bay Public Radio.

http://radio.krcb.org/post/charting-local-adaptations-climate-change

After Marty’s presentation, Julie presented on the second part of the study including the development of a “mega-drought” stress test for the region and working with the community to understand the all the different dimensions of drought. During Julie’s presentation, she was able to involve the audience and received feedback on the vulnerabilities to drought and the difficult decisions that surround drought. The day was a great success in bringing together scientists, decisions makers and the public to discuss how to make the community more resilient to climate change.

CalWater-2/ARM Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (ACAPEX)

CalWater-2/ARM Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (ACAPEX): AGU session

January 2, 2015

The influence of Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) on wet extremes since 1950 are shown by the fraction of AR landfall days (green portion of pie chart). Note, for example, 87% of flood days for the Russian River are AR landfall days.

The Fall 2014 AGU meeting in San Francisco hosted a workshop/press conference describing the upcoming 2015 field campaign: CalWater2 / ARM Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (ACAPEX). Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and NOAA discussed the impetus behind the field campaign to begin in early 2015. The panel described how ground-based, multiple-aircraft, and ship-based measurements will help provide a better understanding of how California gets its rain and snow, how human activities are influencing precipitation, and how the new science provides potential to inform water management decisions relating to drought and flood. One of the related presentations was given by CW3E PI Mike Dettinger. Dr. Dettinger, AGU 2014 Fellow, described historical and future impacts of land-falling ARs. The image above, from his presentation, depicts the influence of AR land-falling days on extreme wet events in California (Russian River floods, flood plain inundations and levee breaks).

Click here for the UCSD/SIO press release about the workshop / press conference.

Click here for the related UCSD/SIO news story about “Refilling California’s Reservoirs—The Roles of Aerosols and Atmospheric Rivers”.

Click here to follow the CalWater-2 / ACAPEX field project forecasts.

First International Atmospheric Rivers Conference

First International Atmospheric Rivers Conference

Note: the full conference has been postponed to 2016

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) play a key role in the water cycle as the primary mechanism conveying water vapor through mid-latitude regions. The precipitation that ARs deliver in many parts of the world, especially through orographic precipitation proceses, is important for water resources; but it also regularly is a hazard, with floods resulting. The aims of the First International Atmospheric Rivers Conference are

  • to discuss and identify differing regional perspectives and conditions from around the world,
  • to evaluate the current state and applications of the science of the mid-latitude atmospheric water cycle, with particular emphasis on atmospheric rivers and associated or parallel processes (e.g., tropical moisture exports),
  • to assess current forecasting capabilities and developing applications, and
  • to plan for future scientific and practical challenges.

The conference aims to bring together experts from academia and applications to form a real community of interests. Questions on the table include: What meteorological conditions constitute ARs and what do not? How can ARs (and related processes) best be identified and categorized? What are the most promising new research directions for putting AR science into its proper meteorological/climatological context and improving its applicability?

Additional contributions are now invited from the scientific community

If you have an interest in ARs (or related topics) and an interest in participating please contact the chairs Marty Ralph or Mike Dettinger.

Please click here for more details.