GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

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GFDL Statistical Downscaling Research Team Members & Collaborators

NOAA GFDL federal employees:

Keith Dixon, NOAA/GFDL – Team Lead
Keith’s research focuses on the use of state-of-the-art computer models to simulate the global climate. His interest in statistical downscaling stems from a desire to assess the capabilities of climate models and downscaling methods. Keith also is active in the science communications arena – seeking to enhance the exchange of scientifically credible information between the realms of large-scale climate research and local-scale impacts and applications.

[John Lanzante]
John Lanzante, NOAA/GFDL
John is interested in climate change and climate variability on a variety of time scales. His work involves the use of statistics and data analysis techniques as applied to both observed and model (GCM) generated data. Recently, John has been focusing on the evaluation and development of statistical downscaling methods and data, with some emphasis on extremes and the use of synthetic time series to enhance the evaluation process.

[M. Nath]
Mary Jo Nath, NOAA/GFDL
Mary Jo’s efforts contribute to the development, documentation and use of the team’s statistical downscaling software infrastructure. She provides support to in-house team members in the use of off-the-shelf and custom-built software. Mary Jo also plays a critical role in creating, managing, and performing quality control reviews for the many data sets associated with the team’s downscaling projects.

UCAR contract staff:

[Dennis Adams-Smith]
Dennis Adams-Smith, UCAR at NOAA/GFDL
Dennis joined the ESD team in June 2016 as a data analyst and programmer. He brings in-depth knowledge of statistical methods, R programming and climate data. Dennis is supporting the creation of an expanded and improved framework both for downscaling climate model output and for analyzing the results in a rigorous manner that can be readily communicated to users of statistically downscaled climate products.

Engility® contract staff:

[Carolyn Whitlock]
Carolyn Whitlock, Engility® at NOAA/GFDL
Carolyn, a 2012 graduate of Wellesley College, joined the ESD team in May 2014. Carolyn is supporting the ESD team by working on tasks that benefit from her Python and R programming skills.

Our Internal Research Collaborators at NOAA-GFDL & Princeton

[C Bay icon]

Charles Stock, NOAA/GFDL
Vincent Saba
, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center
Fernando González Taboada
, Post Doc at Princeton University
Barbara Muhling, Carlos Gaitan, & Desiree Tommasi

Members of GFDL’s ESD Team collaborate with Charlie Stock and others on the bias correction and statistical downscaling of surface climate variables for use in marine resource impacts applications. Elements of this work has been funded by the National Center for Coastal Ocean Research (NCCOS), part of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Additional support was provided by NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Program, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and a NOAA/OAR SEED program. Earlier work focused on multi-decadal projections. An ongoing study examines sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts.

♦ Muhling, B. A., C. F. Gaitán, C. A. Stock, V. S. Saba, D. Tommasi, and K. W. Dixon, 2017: Potential Salinity and Temperature Futures for the Chesapeake Bay Using a Statistical Downscaling Spatial Disaggregation Framework. Estuaries and Coasts, doi:10.1007/s12237-017-0280-8.
♦ Muhling, B. A., J. Jacobs, C. A. Stock, C. F. Gaitan, and V. S. Saba, 2017: Projections of the future occurrence, distribution, and seasonality of three Vibrio species in the Chesapeake Bay under a high-emission climate change scenario: Vibrio and Climate in the Chesapeake Bay. GeoHealth, doi:10.1002/2017GH000089.

Our External Research Collaborators

[University of Oklahoma logo]

Adrienne Wootten, Derek Rosendahl, & Esther Mullins, Post Docs at The University of Oklahoma

Adrienne became the primary research point-person for OU-GFDL collaborative activities in January 2017. Adrienne, Derek and Esther are involved in the co-ordinated analysis of downscaled climate projections generated at GFDL, and in the conversion of knowledge developed from that research into products and guidance useful to researchers and the broader SC-CSC stakeholder community. Adrienne also contributes to expanding the set of downscaling and analysis techniques used at OU and GFDL.

♦ Adrienne Wootten’s poster abstract [LINK] at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (Dec. 2017): “Examining the stationarity assumption for statistically downscaled climate projections of precipitation”.

[Texas Tech logo]

Katharine Hayhoe, Professor at Texas Tech University
Anne Marie Stoner, Research Associate / Post Doc at Texas Tech University

Katharine and Anne are perhaps best known for their development of the ARRM statistical downscaling method. Starting in 2012, TTU and GFDL researchers have been episodically collaborating on evaluating the stationarity assumption in statistical downscaling applications -and- leveraging what is learned as part of those evaluations to create improved statistical downscaling methods. Early parts of the effort were supported by the South Central Climate Science Center.

♦ Anne Stoner’s presentation [LINK] at the 97th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (Jan. 2017): “Comparing the performance of multiple statistical downscaling approaches using a perfect model framework”.

Imtiaz Rangwala, Candida Dewes, & Linyin Cheng, CIRES research scientists
Michael Alexander, NOAA ESRL-PSD federal researcher

Starting in 2017, the GFDL ESD Team is partnering on a project with researchers affiliated with three entities in Boulder, CO. The GFDL-related part of the project involves expanding and extending perfect model-based evaluations of statistical downscaling methods. Much of the analysis work is being conducted by researchers at NOAA-ESRL PSD (Physical Sciences Division) and its CIRES-Univ. of Colorado (Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) partner, with Imtiaz Rangwala being GFDL’s most frequent point of contact. Researchers at NCAR are also part of the project (see below). The primary sponsor is the Department of Defense’s  Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP).

[NCAR logo]

Linda Mearns, Seth McGinnis, & Rachel McCrary, NCAR research scientists
Under Linda’s direction, the NCAR Regional Integrated Science Collective (RISC) at NCAR’s Mesa Lab works to produce regional climate scenarios and guidance for impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation studies. As the lead for the NA-CORDEX related ESTCP project begun in 2017 that also involves researchers affiliated with GFDL and NOAA ESRL-PSD (see above), our NCAR collaborators are providing processed regional climate model output for use in statistical downscaling experiments run at GFDL, and they are providing software, including Seth’s Kernel Density Distribution Mapping (KDDM) method.

Prior External Collaborators

[NMSU logo]

Kenneth Boykin, Research Associate Professor at New Mexico State University
Eric Salas, Niki Harings, & Virginia Ann Seamster, Post Doctoral Research Scientists at New Mexico State University

During the early phases of a project modeling the effect of environmental change on crucial wildlife habitat, Ginny was the ecologist at New Mexico State University with whom we at GFDL most directly interacted [USGS Project Page]. Ginny’s since taken a position at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, so Niki and Eric are joined the effort. Two  journal articles were produced as a result of this collaboration with staff and affiliates of the New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

♦ Salas, E. A. l., V. A. Seamster, K. G. Boykin, N. M. Harings, and K. W. Dixon,  2017: Modeling the impacts of climate change on Species of Concern (birds) in South Central U.S. based on bioclimatic variables. AIMS Environmental Science, 4, 358–385.[LINK]
♦ Salas, E. A. L., V. A. Seamster, N. M. Harings, K. G. Boykin, G. Alvarez, and K. W. Dixon, 2017: Projected Future Bioclimate-Envelope Suitability for Reptile and Amphibian Species of Concern in South Central USA. Herpetol Conserv Biol, 12, 522–547. [LINK]