Dr. Leonard Druyan
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Leonard Druyan
This research will produce a new set of climate analyses by downscaling NCEP reanalyzes to a 0.5 grid over West Africa with the latest version of the PI's Regional Climate Model (RM). Twenty seasons of the RM product will be systematically validated and evaluated and differences between rainy and drought composites will be documented. African Wave Disturbances (AWD) characteristics, periodicities, amplitudes, frequency of occurrence and associated precipitation patterns will be analyzed for each simulated summer and differences between rainy and dry conditions noted. Relevant climate mechanisms, from planetary to regional scales will be identified to increase our understanding of how they influence the interannual variability of Sahel seasonal rainfall. An experiment has been designed to evaluate the improvements in the spatial definition of climate features achieved by the downscaling technique. The relative advantages of nudging and periodic reinitialization will be tested. The project will provide the first 3-D climatology of the West African summer climate at such a high horizontal resolution and will offer new insights into the characteristics of AWDs, and other important synoptic features. The potential to mitigate the negative social impacts of adverse climate events will be pursued by validating experimental seasonal hindcasts, made by driving the RM with GISS GCM seasonal predictions. Broader Impacts: The PIs are scientist mentor candidates in a New York City Metropolitan Area Research Initiative (NYCRI) outreach program supported by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The project will provide research enrichment experiences for teams of college and high school students and teachers from institutions in the Greater New York Region. The NYCRI Summer Research Institute is scheduled to begin in June 2003. The PIs will help introduce students to cutting edge research, giving them a hands-on opportunity to experience professional scientific research. The teachers would formulate learning units, based on their summer research, which will be implemented in their courses during the academic year, thereby multiplying the number of students who eventually benefit from the outreach effort connected with the sponsored research.
Cross Cutting Themes:
Climate and Society
National Science Foundation