by Judith Curry
This Workshop has been particularly interested from my participation because of the participation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which brings a broad range of decision making and technical needs to the table, plus a different kind of expertise than I have usually encountered in NOAA meetings on topics such of this.
Here are a few of the plenary presentations that I thought were particularly good and of broad interest:
Interagency Coordination – IWRSS (Don Cline)
Drought – NIDIS (Roger Pulwarty)
Predictions Under Change (PUC): Water, Earth & Biota in the Anthropocene (Murugesu Sivapalan)
Land Surface Hydrology & Watershed Dynamics (Jim McNamara)
My presentation was well received, in the sense that in generated a lot of discussion. One notable point is that I received no pushback from anyone for my statements on the value of the 21st century climate models to support water decision making, and the usefulness of the PDO and AMO on decadal time scales.
The single topic that has my mind buzzing is the potential for war games application to decision making related to water. This extends my “creative scenario development” in a very useful way. The idea is to come up with a whole range of scenarios that would cross some sort of threshold for the system, i.e. a certain rainfall accumulation over a certain time and region. Then identify possible precursor events that could cause this scenario. Search for previous analogues and/or ensemble members in a forecast. Some possibility or probability of occurrence of such an event would then trigger a decision tree based upon modeling and analysis that occurred well in advance of the actual event.
I also gained a better understanding of how difficult it is to predict drought (I think I’ll stick to floods in the near term) .
Overall, a very interesting meeting, and I am convinced that the recommendations will have real utility at least for the US Army Corps of Engineers (no predictions re NOAA).