Atmospheric sciences colloquia

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Seminar coordinator for AY 2022-2023 is Professor Zhuo Wang,

Special Seminar - Frances Davenport - Stanford University

Event Type
Professor Zhou Wang
2079 NHB
Mar 25, 2022   3:30 pm  

Dynamics and Impacts of Changing Climate Hazards: From quantitative approaches to process understanding

Extreme climate events like severe precipitation, flooding, drought and extreme heat disproportionately impact society and ecosystems, but are challenging to model and predict due to their complexity and rarity. In this talk, I will discuss my research into the changing characteristics and risks of two of the most common hazards: extreme precipitation and flooding. First, I analyze historical U.S. flooding costs, and find that historical changes in precipitation account for more than one-third of recent U.S. flood damages. Second, I explore physical processes through which climate change affects extreme precipitation and flooding. Analyzing hundreds of western U.S. watersheds, I quantify how changes in rain-to-snow ratios impact flood size. I also use deep learning to analyze how changes in the large-scale atmospheric circulation and atmospheric moisture transport have affected precipitation extremes in the U.S. Midwest region. Combined, this research provides new understanding of climate extremes and their impacts, which can inform climate mitigation and adaptation, and demonstrates new methodological approaches that can be extended broadly to study other climate hazards and regions. I will conclude the talk by highlighting future directions for my research into the causes, predictability, and impacts of climate hazards and extremes. 


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