Scientists study the dangers and impacts of drought and heat waves

As parts of North America experience record heat waves and face extended periods of drought, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are working to better understand and predict these extreme weather and climate events. that have an impact on human health and well-being. .

Our experts are available to discuss issues such as:

  • Better understand the causes of droughts and heat waves
  • Impacts of drought and heat episodes on vegetation
  • Impacts of heat on human health, including changes in air quality
  • The potential influence of climate change on the frequency, duration and intensity of droughts and heat waves

Dave Gochis, NCAR Scientist
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An expert in hydrometeorology, Gochis studies floods and droughts and how to better predict them. In particular, he is interested in how droughts occur during the summer monsoon season as well as the snowpack and the availability and forecasting of seasonal water supply in the West.

Daniel Kennedy, NCAR Scientist
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Kennedy is studying how vegetation responds to extreme changes in water availability, such as drought or increased precipitation. In particular, it is available to answer questions related to improving the vegetation and water interaction component in climate models in order to better understand how these systems react in the real world.

David Lawrence, NCAR Principal Scientist
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Lawrence specializes in using computer models to better understand the interactions between the earth’s surface and climate change. He applies his modeling expertise to the study of the water cycle, both regional and global, and how the water cycle responds to climate change and human development.

Danica Lombardozzi, NCAR Scientist
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Lombardozzi is an expert in terrestrial ecosystems, studying how human activities and the climate impact crops and vegetation, and how these changes in turn affect the climate. In particular, she uses ecological models to understand how vegetation will be affected by climate change, including droughts and heat waves.

Gerald Meehl, NCAR Senior Scientist
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An internationally recognized expert in climate variability and change, Meehl studies the links between our changing climate and altered weather patterns, including the increased frequency of record daily temperatures. It can answer questions related to the influence of climate change on heat waves, drought, precipitation patterns and other weather and climate events.

Andreas Prein, NCAR Scientist
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Prein is an expert in climate modeling with a particular focus on climate change in North America, including severe thunderstorms, droughts and floods. His research aims to improve long-term forecasting of extreme events, and he is currently working on forecasting monsoon precipitation trends in the southwestern United States.

Isla Simpson, NCAR Scientist
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Simpson’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that cause large-scale changes in the atmosphere that influence regional climate and weather patterns over a variety of time scales, from sub-seasonal variability (months) to long-term climate change (decades). She is available to answer questions about forecasting regional changes in temperature and precipitation, including drought.

Daniel Swain, NCAR researcher and climatologist at the University of California at Los Angeles
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Swain is a climatologist with a particular interest in how climate change affects regional climate extremes. He is engaged in several research projects that focus on understanding the growing risk of droughts, floods and wildfires in the American West. Widely cited in the media, Swain regularly tweets from @Weather_West and writes for the Weather West blog, which provides real-time insights into the weather and climate of California.

Olga Wilhelmi, NCAR Scientist
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Wilhelmi is a geographer who studies the interactions between people, weather and climate with the aim of understanding societal risks and the ability to adapt to extreme weather events and climate change. She is an expert on the impacts of extreme outdoor and indoor heat on urban residents, working with health experts, first responders and others to map vulnerabilities and develop potential strategies to protect those at risk.

NCAR Scientist Cassandra O’Lenick
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O’Lenick, an environmental epidemiologist, examines the health impacts of ambient and indoor environmental exposures among vulnerable populations. She recently analyzed the impacts of extreme indoor heat on Houston’s older population, working with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to develop an innovative method to estimate the health risks of older people exposed to high temperatures indoors. .

Frank Flocke, NCAR Senior Scientist
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Atmospheric chemist and expert in many aspects of air quality, Flocke has studied how weather conditions typically associated with extreme heat – such as clear skies, strong sunshine and stagnant air – can worsen the quality of the air. the air. It can answer questions about forest fire emissions and human activities that pose risks to human health, especially during strong heat waves.

Gabriele Pfister, NCAR Scientist and Deputy Director, Atmospheric Chemistry Observation and Modeling Laboratory
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Pfister is an atmospheric chemist specializing in the movement and evolution of air pollutants, including the interactions between extreme heat and air quality. She studied the potential influence of climate change on ozone pollution, and she also analyzed the complex ways in which emissions from human activities and forest fires affect air quality under various weather conditions, including heat waves.

Andrew Wood, NCAR Scientist
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A leading expert in flow forecasting, hydrological modeling, climate change and water resources, Wood is available to answer questions related to flood and drought forecasting and monitoring, as well as change. hydroclimatic and associated impacts. His research focuses on the real-world applications of meteorology, climate and hydrological science to advance water resources, energy, and emergency management and decision-making.

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