Emily Becker, a scientist at the University of Miami, has been awarded funding for their role as a co-PI in the climate projections project, “Bridging Predictions and Projections: Understanding Predictability from Initialized Multi-Year to Decadal Predictions for High-Impact Climate Futures.”
Becker will support this scientific study, led by Kathleen Pegion of the University of Oklahoma, investigating the connections between North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) variability and high-impact climate events in the Eastern and Central US during summer. The team will test the hypothesis that the North Atlantic Subtropical High (NASH) plays a crucial role in predicting extreme weather phenomena like heatwaves, extreme precipitation, drought, and coastal inundation on multi-year to decadal timescales. If proven true, this insight could lead to the development of a multi-year to decadal prediction system, providing valuable information for effective decision-making in the face of climate-related challenges. Becker will lead the coastal inundation analysis, collaborate on extreme weather tasks, and author a paper on coastal inundation, contributing significantly to the project’s comprehensive exploration of high-impact climate futures.
The work will employ advanced climate models, including NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s SPEAR forecast system and the Community Earth System Model 2 (CESM2), to investigate how initializing North Atlantic SST impacts the predictability of the NASH and subsequently influences the prediction of extreme weather events. By exploring the potential benefits of initialized predictions over uninitialized projections, the research addresses NOAA’s long-term climate research goals and enhances society’s ability to make informed decisions on multi-year to decadal timescales. Becker’s expertise adds a crucial dimension to the study, focusing on coastal inundation, a key aspect of understanding and preparing for the impacts of changing climate conditions along the East Coast of the US.
Funding for this project is provided by the NOAA Climate Program Office, MAPP program.