Faculty Candidate Seminar - Kelly Klima

03/14/2016 - 2:00pm

DATE:     March 14th

LOCATION:  2:00pm in Hubbs Hall 4500 (SIO)
SPEAKER: Kelly Klima, Ph.D.
Carnegie Mellon University

TITLE:   Adaptation to reduce extreme weather risks: Ice storm frequencies in a future climate

For the first time in human history, more than 50% of people worldwide live in urban centers.  Cities face unique risks due to high population density, and climate change is only further stressing the problem.  I research on urban adaptation to reduce extreme weather and climate change induced natural hazard risks.   My lines of research include theory and applications of (1) hazard and vulnerability assessments of weather-related events, (2) behavioral and economic decision-making leading to plausible adaptation solutions, and (3) interdependencies between these spheres. This highly interdisciplinary work draws from a variety of different topics, including weather modelling, hydrology, greenhouse gases, renewable energy, vulnerability indices, and behavioral social sciences.  In this talk, I will share recent work published in Climatic Change on ice storm frequencies in a future climate.  Here I perform a simple “thought experiment” using vertical temperature profile data to explore how these might change given plausible future temperature regimes. As temperatures increase, I find a poleward shift and a shift toward winter. Furthermore, southern locations experience fewer ice storms at all times of the year, while northern areas experience fewer in the spring and fall and more in the winter. Using an approximation for surface effects, I estimate that a temperature increase will result in an increased frequency of ice storm events throughout much of the winter across eastern Canada and in the U.S. west of the Appalachian Mountains as far south as Tennessee. Future changes in variability may enhance or moderate these changes. These results suggest that the future frequency, intensity and geographical distribution of ice storms is a topic that deserves greater attention, and that decision-makers in energy, transportation, health, and other critical infrastructures should begin considering the fact that they may need to adapt to a change in ice storms. Improved predictions would be critical to power companies, and electric grid consortia, emergency managers and local and regional governments as they develop risk mitigating strategies to provide effective and efficient essential services in a changing climate.
Faculty Hosts:    Falk Feddersen (ffeddersen@ucsd.edu) & Jennifer Burney (jburney@ucsd.edu)
For more information on this event, contact: 
Leslie Costi
Event Calendar: 
Hubbs Hall 4500