US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Climate Test Bed Joint Seminar Series (2009-2010)
NCEP, Camp Springs, Maryland, 19 October 2009

Pathogens, HABs, Swine Flu: What Can CTB Do?

Raghu Murtugudde

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC)

University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Seasonal predictions from global climate models have been used with some success for various applications for resource management and human health. Even as the resolutions of the global climate models gets finer they are expected to remain at order kilometers if not coarser for many years to decades to come. It is evident that the day-to-day management of resources and human health and planning the adaptation and mitigation strategies for future management will require information at meter scales with a keen understanding of regional specificities. A combination of dynamic and statistical downscaling is clearly the path forward and a prototype will be discussed not only for downscaling of the climate predictions but forecasting of linked Earth System parameters like pathogens, harmful algal blooms, and early attempts to drive towards respiratory disease morbidities. Computational social science is being used to project scenarios of rapid spreading of communicable diseases like swine flu and the same approach is being explored for optimizing the web of sensors to monitor the Earth System to validate, improve, and assess the skill of forecasts. How can the CTB goals be dovetailed with the needs for regional Earth System prediction and make the two way communication seamless to cover both global governance issues and regional sustainable management issues at days to decades? The discussion used a regional Earth System prediction prototype (1) to raise the relevant issues.

Paper published

(1) Murtugudde, R., 2009: Regional Earth System prediction: a decision-making tool for sustainability? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 1, Elsevier, 37-45.

Contact  Raghu Murtugudde