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This campaign ended on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017

About This Project


We are trying to build a regional climate modeling center at the UW. We will run high-resolution regional climate models for approximately 100 years to determine the local implication of climate change forced by increasing greenhouse gasses. This information is critical to enable society to be more resilient to climate change, as well as to promote understanding of effects of local terrain and land/water contrasts.



Why Is Our Project Important?


With greenhouse gases emitted by mankind increasing rapidly, substantial warming of the Earth's climate and other impacts are inevitable. Although we should still work to reduce greenhouse gas emission, society acutely needs to understand the regional and local impacts over the next decades and century. Why? So we can make the infrastructure and land-use decisions that will enable mankind to adapt and be as resilient as possible to the inevitable changes. Few things are more important.


Global warming's effects will NOT be uniform, and we need to develop the scientific and technical capabilities to better define local impacts. Currently, a number of organizations run global climate models (or GCMs) that are driven by increasing greenhouse gases. Although these models are sophisticated, they don't have sufficient resolution to provide insights into the local implications of climate change (see below).


















What Will We Do?


But there IS a solution to this problem: running high-resolution regional climate models (RCMs) that are embedded or nested in the global model domain (see figures). Such RCMs can have enough resolution to properly handle local terrain and regional weather features, like the influence of terrain and coastlines.











The UW team has worked hard to develop the technology and science of running RCMs, something that is also called dynamical downscaling. And with some contributions from Amazon, we have even got it working on the cloud. Here is a sample, showing you the temperature changes from one high resolution climate simulation (right), compared to the output of the global climate model. You will notice they are very different, with the warming greater in areas in the RCM. This is due to melting snow on regional mountains, something not included in the global model.



One can not simply pick one global model for running a high-resolution RCM. The global model forecasts have differences, and we don't know which (if any) are correct. Models have uncertainties and we have to run high resolution regional models for many global climate simulations. And we need to vary the model physics (like how clouds produce precipitation) as well, since there are uncertainties as well. The result will be a large ensemble of regional climate simulations, each providing a somewhat different forecast for the upcoming century. The ensemble tells us about the uncertainties in the regional climate predictions and allows us to calculate probabilities.


We can even do better than this! By running our regional climate models through a contemporary period (such as 1990-2010) for which we have observations, we can calibrate our regional climate modeling system to provide the most realistic results.


With your support, UW students, faculty and staff will complete dozens of regional climate simulations at 12-km resolution (distance between the model grid points) for the

western U.S. (see below for domain)





The result of our work will be probabilistic forecasts of how global warming will influence the western U.S., with this information going to decision makers and others. If this works as well as we expect, it will be a great example for the rest of the world on how local climate change impacts can be determined. Perhaps the start of a new industry of region climate simulation.


Why Your Donation Matters


The funds will be used to support undergraduates, graduate students, and UW staff to work on this effort. Funds for this kind of work is not available from the Federal government, particularly since climate change research is now collapsing. Thus, crowdfunding is an essential approach for ensuring that society has the information it needs to be ready for climate change.








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Chuck Wolber

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Monte Robinson

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Lesley Jacobs

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Dr. Lawrence Baum

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Michelle mauro

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Matt Winberry

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paul maier

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David Cuthbert

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William Carlson

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Marc Zocher

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Dennis Hartmann

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Paul Racz

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