- Related Research Areas
NASA's Precipitation Measurement Missions (PMM) program continues to play an important role in understanding precipitation variability at weather and climate scales. The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report AR4 highlighted the role that both urban land cover and pollution play in precipitation processes. Renewed interest in urban effects on precipitation has been sparked by recent studies that emerged from our previous NASA funding. Additionally, several major meetings (e.g., the 89th Annual American Meteorological Society, Jan10-15th 2009, IAUC International Urban Climate Meeting, Yokohama Japan) had urban weather and climate as the theme or a significant focus. The proposing team is recognized as three leaders at the forefront of urban hydroclimate research-applications and our NASA sponsorship has enabled a robust research program characterizing urban and aerosol-affected precipitation variability, simulating underlying physical processes, and investigating hydrological responses. With this legacy, we look to the future of the PMM program. The solicited PMM science team will likely represent the immediate pre-launch/early GPM mission team. Thus, we align our research paradigm to build on our previous knowledge while advancing scientific understanding and applicability in the GPM era. The paradigm is to use our overarching research topic, "human influences on precipitation and hydroclimate variability," as an organizing principle to demonstrate (1) Utilization of satellite/GV products for process studies and model development, (2) Methodology development for improved applications of satellite products, and (3) development, evaluation, and validation of TRMM and GPM retrieval algorithms. PMM-based measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), AMSR-E, SSM/I, TRMM ground validation assets (radar, gauges, and disdrometers) and hopefully even GPM will be the core observational resources; however, our unique interdisciplinary approach will require cross-integration of other NASA datasets such as MODIS, CALIPSO, CloudSat, GLORY, and other emerging resources. Our research framework is centered around four overarching research objectives, each with a set of research questions. The research objectives seek to: (1) Conduct a spatio-temporal climatological analysis of precipitation variability as a function of urbanization: leveraging the lengthening satellite precipitation record; (2) Investigate urban land cover vegetation-evaporation-aerosols feedbacks (U-VEAF) and their role in precipitation formation at convective to regional scales; (3) Quantify urban effects on frozen precipitation processes and snowfall retrieval; and (4) Couple urban rainfall effects with hydrological processes. The research is strongly aligned with Science Mission Directorate (SMD), PMM, and other programmatic discussions related to human effects on weather and climate processes. Further, it is consistent with research directions outlined by U.S. and international (e.g., IPCC) assessment efforts.
Project PI: James Shepherd/University of Georgia
University of Georgia Department of Geography Athens, GA 30602
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