Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology

Graduate Student Research

These are some recent abstracts submitted by EPS students for their graduate work.


Ryan Krompinger (Graduate Student)

Advisor:  Albert Owino (Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Meteorology)

The Northeastern United States is a region of diverse landscape and climate.  With one of the steepest climate gradients in the nation, the area is susceptible to strong seasonal cycles that produce snowy winters, verdant springs, humid summers, and colorful autumns (NECIA, 2006).  In order to project future scenarios of such a climate, it is important that they be developed on a regional (site specific) scale.  Atmospheric-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) are the most reliable way of projecting the potential effects of climate change, by discretising the equations for fluid motion and integrating them forward in time.  The drawback in the GCM is its coarse resolution, with 400 km between 2 horizontal grid points.  This is not a relevant scale for discerning regional climate change.  Instead we must downscale.  Research was conducted by applying statistical downscaling methods to the Hadley Centre Coupled Model (HadCM3) to produce future climate scenarios of maximum and minimum temperature, and precipitation at five sites, representing five partitioned climatic zones (1 site for each zone).  High resolution scenarios of future climate were based on an A2 IPCC emission scenario, with regional economic growth and higher emissions relative to B2.  Projections show that average temperature will increase through the year 2100 by 6.8o to 9.3o F with the greatest increases in higher latitude, inland areas.  Seasonal temperature variation shows greater increases in summer compared to winter temperatures.  Downscaled precipitation produced results statistically similar to the raw HadCM3 global grid projections, indicating that the majority of precipitation in the northeast is based on synoptic scale events and less on local climatic forcing.