Water Cycle Intensification Indicator (WCI)

October 9, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

P. Houser, X. Feng, 2013-2014: Water Cycle Intensification Indicator (WCI). NASA-ROSES-2012 A47: Development and Testing of Potential Indicators For The National Climate Assessment (NNH12ZDA001N-INCA), $241,762, 3 mo/yr (GMU), 1/01/2013 – 6/30/2014, Sponsor POC: Dr. Jack A. Kaye (202/358-2559, Jack.A.Kaye@nasa.gov).

Summary: The most significant climate change impacts are shifts in the distribution of precipitation and evaporation, and the exacerbation of extreme hydrologic events. Therefore, we propose to develop and test potentially spatially- and temporally-scalable Water Cycle intensification Indicators (WCI) using NASA observations and model reanalyses in support of the National Climate Assessment (NCA). The WCI will summarize how climate changes result in stronger or more extreme water cycling over the nation. The final composite WCIwill be a monthly, vertically integrated gridded composite of primary water cycle trends and extremes, integrated and weighted through water balance concepts. The WCI will provide baselines and future projections to compare options about how society can best address water issues, and will provide the water sector with sources and perspectives of data not otherwise available. By providing a key set of indicators on the water cycle consequences of climate change of direct relevance to a broad set of stakeholders, and actively increasing the pool of assessment-capable scientists by involving a recently graduated postdoctoral fellow, the proposal is directly relevant to the NASA-ROSES A.47 solicitation.

Integral to this effort will be participation in NASA’s Indicator System Team (IST), which will help to coordinate and align the WCI with the NCA national indicator strategic vision, and to identify complementary resources and alternate products. To this end, the PI (Houser) proposes to help coordinate this team by submitting an application for IST Leader. By closely coordinating with and participating with the NCA indicator efforts, and conducting regular IST communications, the IST leader will provide management and direction to help align IST with the NCA indicator vision. The PI’s long association and leadership of NASA, intergovernmental, and related climate programs give him a unique ability to serve in this role and enable value-added coordination that will optimize NASA’s contribution to the NCA indicator effort.


Filed in: Pending Support

Dr. Paul R. Houser

About the Author (Author Profile)

Dr. Houser in an internationally recognized expert in local to global land surface-atmospheric remote sensing, in-situ observation and numerical simulation, development and application of hydrologic data assimilation methods, scientific integrity and policy, and global water and energy cycling. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona in 1992 and 1996 respectively. Dr. Houser's previous experience includes internships at the U.S. Geological Survey and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Houser joined the NASA-GSFC Hydrological Sciences Branch and the Data Assimilation Office (DAO/GMAO) in 1997, served as manager of NASA’s Land Surface Hydrology Program, and served as branch head of the Hydrological Science Branch. In 2005, he joined the George Mason University Climate Dynamics Program and the Geography and Geoinformation Sciences Department as Professor of Global Hydrology, and formed CREW (the Center for Research for Environment and Water). Dr. Houser has also teamed with groundwater development and exploration companies (EarthWater Global and Geovesi) and has served as Science Advisor to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Dr. Houser has led numerous scientific contributions, including the development of Land Data Assimilation Systems (LDAS), the Hydrospheric States Mission (Hydros/SMAP), the Land Information System (LIS), the NASA Energy and Water cycle Study (NEWS), and the Water Cycle Solutions Network (WaterNet).

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