Researchers to study climate, environmental sciences
I’m delighted to announce that Emory University, Far Eastern Federal University and Delft University have received grants to use the IBM World Community Grid to study research problems in climate and environmental sciences.
Researchers from Emory University will investigate the impact of climate change on public health. While the relationship between adverse health outcomes and environmental risk factors has long been studied, there is a gap concerning the projections of future exposure to environmental risk factors for conducting health impact assessments. To help address this gap, they will analyze data from global climate models and historical weather data to create high-resolution, bias-corrected projections of temperature and air pollution for the United States. The results will be useful for public health, agriculture and actuarial science to assess future environmental risks, particularly health and economic burdens that climate change imposes on our society.
Far Eastern Federal University
Scientists at Far Eastern Federal University will use the World Community Grid to study the impact of aerosols on climate change. This is another of the “known unknowns” in climate science since the detailed effects of aerosol forcing on the atmosphere (i.e., heating or cooling) and interactions with the clouds remain uncertain. The nature of this forcing depends on multiple factors including location of the aerosols as well as their size, shape and composition. However, the simulation of this process is so computationally intensive that the total extent of aerosol forcing remains largely unknown. The researchers will help resolve this issue by modeling the interaction of solar radiation (i.e., scattering) with enough aerosol particles of different morphologies, chemical compositions and sizes, especially in the 6–12 micrometer range, to replicate realistic distributions in the atmosphere with statistical significance. This information will help reduce uncertainty in climate models.
Researchers from Delft University will improve weather models for Africa, where localized rainstorms are difficult to predict. This project aims to use a variety of weather observations including those from the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory and weather modeling to more accurately estimate rainfall in Africa. Such improvements in the fidelity of estimates of past rainfall and predictions can help farmers better plan for the growing season and help insurance companies enable small farmers to be more resilient to climate change as well as for irrigation and hydroelectric power planning in Africa.