The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) recently received funding for a project that will improve climate predictions, give better insight to drivers of climate change, and create better climate models and data. Dr. Ben Kirtman, Associate Dean of Research at RSMAS, and Climate & Environmental Hazards Program Director at the Institute for Data Science and Computing, will serve as Principal Investigator for this project. This grant symbolizes a new level of involvement for the University of Miami in the development of powerful climate forecasting tools.
The University will work directly with the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) team. NMME is a seasonal forecasting system that uses aggregate climate models from several scientific agencies. NMME receives funding for climate modeling from important participants, such as the Department of Energy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NMME has proven highly effective at producing better quality predictions when compared to individual climate models. UM will take the lead in collecting and interpreting real-time forecast data, which will garner critical information sets for agencies that use climate data.
In addition, UM will take responsibility for the research that evaluates climate model performance, allowing for more accurate predictability in the future. UM will have the honor of serving a leadership role in working with the NMME Team to provide coordination of team activities. It is truly groundbreaking for UM to have such direct involvement with NMME’s forecast data, which is considered by many to be the most comprehensive seasonal prediction dataset. UM’s collaboration with the NMME team in this profound and historic initiative could change the way we understand and use climate change data.
Dr. Kirtman and his team have been doing forecasts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) since 2009, and their CCSM4 model—part of NOAA’s NMME-II research initiative officially adopted by NOAA in July 2015—will be used through June 2018.