Climate Risks in the Water Sector: Advancing the Readiness of Emerging Technologies in Climate Downscaling and Hydrologic Modeling
Presenting Author: Andy Wood
Organization: NCAR Research Applications Laboratory
Co-Author(s): Christa Peters-Lidard, Martyn Clark, Bart Nijssen, Grey Nearing, Ethan Gutmann, Sujay Kumar, Joe Hamman, Andrew Bennett, Julie Vano, Naoki Mizukami, Kristine Verdin, James Geiger, Scott Rheingrover
We describe an effort to extend the NASA Land Information System (NASA-LIS) to evaluate climate-related risks in the water sector. This overarching aim is being undertaken through a number of tasks: (1) Extend recently-developed climate downscaling tools to provide climate change scenarios for input to NASA-LIS; (2) Customize hydrologic NASA-LIS extensions to define the impact of climate change on hydrologic processes; (3) Refine land model simulations to improve model fidelity; (4) Tailor model outputs to increase the applicability of hydrologic simulations for water resources planning; and (5) Use advanced concepts of information theory and machine learning to identify the process-level tradeoffs between modeling options, and guide priorities for future research investments. The project has added a new land model (the Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives, SUMMA) into the NASA-LIS system, as well as a new channel routing model (Mizuroute), implemented for national-domain hydrologic and fine-scale streamflow simulations, providing flow output for the 2.7 million river reaches used in the National Water Model. The project is demonstrating the use of these models in LIS for projecting future hydrologic water availability, deriving future climate inputs from multiple strategies for downscaling global projections of climate using both statistical and hybrid pseudo-dynamical downscaling tools. The project has also developed techniques for comparing process-level differences in hydrologic dynamics between LIS-based models through insights into information linkages between hydrologic states and fluxes. This presentation describes the project elements and summarizes findings to date.