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‘Regional climate modeling’ provides clearer picture of climate change impacts in PNW

Published on July 1, 2019

Climate modeling and climate change analysis.
Climate modeling and climate change analysis. Image Credit: Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois

KNKX weather expert and UW professor of Atmospheric Sciences Cliff Mass has been working with a group of researchers within the Department of Atmospheric Sciences hoping to get a better idea of the impact climate change will have on the Pacific Northwest. The group has been conducting “regional climate modeling.”

“Many people know about global climate models,” Mass said. “We keep on hearing about it, how the earth will warm with a certain amount of increase in greenhouse gases. The trouble with these global models is that they don’t have enough resolution, enough detail, to define the weather in a place like the Northwest.”

Mass says the models don’t include the land-water features found in this region, or the terrain, including the Cascades and Olympics. That makes it difficult to get an accurate understanding of what climate change will mean locally.

“What we’ve done is we’ve run 12 times a very high resolution weather prediction model for 130 years,” he said. “But just over the Northwest. So, we use the global climate models to define what’s happening on the whole planet and then we telescope in.”


Continue reading at KNKX.

Originally written by Ariel Van Cleave for KNKX.
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