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September 2012
   Cross-disciplinary climate research in service of society
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FCI Expands to Better Serve Florida   


We are pleased to announce that the Florida Climate Institute is expanding to increase the effectiveness of collaborations among universities and state and local agencies in Florida. The FCI will include Florida Atlantic University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Miami, and the University of South Florida (including the Patel School of Global Sustainability), in addition to the University of Florida and Florida State University. By bringing together even more outstanding scientists from across the state, we are able to increase both the breadth and the depth of our research and better inform Floridians about the economic and environmental opportunities and risks our state faces due to climate variability, climate change, and sea level rise.

FAU logoUF logoUCF logoUF logoUM logoUSF logo

Research Spotlight: Forecasting the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season   

By Dr. Tim LaRow, FCI Member and FSU Meteorologist


TS Beryl Photo

This is the fourth consecutive year that the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) has issued a seasonal hurricane forecast at the start of the North Atlantic hurricane season. We forecast the level of tropical activity for the Jun.-Nov. season using our atmospheric model with predicted sea surface temperatures obtained from NOAA. Because it is a seasonal forecast, the level of tropical activity needs to be quantified using probabilities. We make a large number of atmospheric seasonal forecasts beginning a week before the hurricane season begins and use an objective detection/tracking algorithm to identify the storms. Our methodology of using a global atmospheric model to predict seasonal tropical activity differs from many other groups who use statistical techniques. Re-forecasts from 1982-2009 show a mean LaRow Photoabsolute error of 1.9 hurricanes and 2.3 named storms and a correlation with the observed hurricane counts of 0.74. This year's forecast called for a 70 percent probability of 10 to 16 named storms and 5 to 9 hurricanes. So far we are on track this season with 13 observed named storms, including 5 hurricanes. While the FSU/COAPS forecast doesn't predict specific storm events, the National Hurricane Center's average 72-hour track forecast error is now about 100 nautical miles. For more information see http://coaps.fsu.edu/hurricanes.

Awards & Recognitions


summit logo Dr. Jim Jones, FCI director at UF, was awarded the John Deere Gold Medal at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers meeting in Dallas, Texas, last month. This award recognizes distinguished achievement in the application of science and art to the soil and honors engineering ways and means for improved manipulation, use and conservation of soil and water resources.


ruscher photo Dr. Paul Ruscher, associate professor of meteorology at FSU, has accepted a position at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, as leader of the Earth and Environmental Sciences program and director of the Watershed Science program there.  He is leaving FSU after 24 1/2 years. We'll miss you, Paul!     


Gornish photo Elise Gornish, FSU grad student in biology, will be attending the third international course on Climate Change to be held in Do´┐Żana National Park from 24 September to 5 October 2012. She got into one of 15 spots, reserved for upper level doctoral students and postdocs.  

Sea Level Rise Summit Summary    


summit logo On June 21-22, the Florida Center for Environmental Studies hosted the Risk and Response: Sea Level Rise Summit in Boca Raton, Florida, with over 300 attendees from private and public agencies. The event helped highlight the interrelationships between sea level rise, saltwater intrusion into fresh water aquifers and water management in Florida; share the ongoing responses and adaptation planning of agencies, institutions and civic organizations to sea level rise; and compare Florida's challenges and responses with other vulnerable localities in the US and worldwide. View the full event summary.

New Collaboration with FL Natural Resources Leadership Institute     


summit logo The Florida Climate Institute is partnering with the Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute for the Class XII fellowship in 2012-13. The fellowship was created to help rising leaders in business, agriculture, government, academia and the environmental community to enhance the skills required to effectively manage conflicts that arise from natural resource issues. The Florida Climate Institute will be helping to coordinate these efforts in 8 different sessions this fall and spring throughout the state around the issue of climate change.  

Educational Opportunities


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Society, the National Park Service, and other federal and state agencies have online and webinar opportunities in climate literacy.  Natural resource and conservations professionals, students, and faculty are encouraged to participate. See details in links below. 


Oct. 1 - Nov. 30, 2012 | "Decision Analysis for Climate Change" | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center | Course Announcement | Syllabus 


Oct. 2012 - Jul. 2013 | "Climate Academy" | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center | Course Announcement | Syllabus | Registration Instructions

Project Updates       


* Dr. Jim Jones, FCI director at the University of Florida, is co-leading an international research initiative aimed at assessing climate impacts on regional and global food security now and in the future. Also part of this AgMIP (Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project) team at UF are Ken Boote, Senthold Asseng, and Cheryl Porter. The project was featured in the August issue of Nature Climate Change and brings together experts who use computer models to understand how the world's major economic crops are vulnerable to changing climate. For more information, download the press release.  


* Testing virtual crops under climate change

Accelerating the increase in agricultural production is required to meet the demand of the growing global population. At the same time, projected climate change scenarios threaten crop production in many regions of the world. To explore new ways of increasing crop yields and adapt to a warmer climate with more frequent heat and water stress, a crop modeling team from the University of Florida, including Dr. Senthold Asseng, Jim Jones, Ken Boote and Cheryl Porter, has received funding from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) for a collaborative project with The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers. In close collaboration with breeders and economist, strategies for developing crops with new characteristics will be explored in simulation experiments of "virtual crops" and tested under future climate change scenarios. For more details, contact Dr. Senthold Asseng.

Upcoming Events

Sep. 21, 2012 | Florida Earth Foundation Water Choices V | Gainesville, FL


Sep. 24-26, 2012 | GreenGov Symposium | Washington, DC   


Oct. 5-7, 2012 | Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference |Tallahassee, FL


Oct. 13-20, 2012 | DISCCRS VII Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Symposium | Colorado Springs, CO     


Oct. 19, 2012 | Learn Green: Florida's Green Schools Conference | Palm Beach, FL    


Oct. 21-24, 2012 | ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings | Cincinnati, OH  


Oct. 22-25, 2012 | NOAA's 37th Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Workshop | Fort Collins, CO   


Nov. 4-7, 2012 | 10th International Conference on Hydroscience and Engineering | Orlando, FL  


Dec. 3-7, 2012 | American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting | San Francisco, CA 


Dec. 9-12, 2012 | Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting | San Francisco, CA     


Dec. 11-13, 2012 | Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo - North America | Orlando, FL   

More events....   

Funding Opportunities

OAR/NOAA/Dept of Commerce: FY 2013 Joint Hurricane Testbed


Climate Funding Opportunities Compiled by NOAA (as of July 12, 2012) 


NOAA: FY 2013 Climate Program Office 

Employment Opportunities


DataONE Post Doc in Visualization | NYU-Poly | New York, NY

CCAFS Latin America Regional Program Leader | International Center for Tropical Agriculture | Palmira, Colombia


FCI members are in bold. 


American Meteorological Society. (2012). Climate Change: An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society. Adopted by the AMS Council 20 August 2012.


American Meteorological Society. (2012).  Climate Services: A Policy Statement from the American Meteorological Society. Adopted by the AMS Council 10 August 2012. 


Breithaupt, J. L., Smoak, J. M., Smith III, T. J., Sanders, C. J., & Hoare, A. (2012). Organic carbon burial rates in mangrove sediments: Strengthening the global budget. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 26(3).  


Dutton, A., & Lambeck, K. (2012). Ice Volume and Sea Level During the Last InterglacialScience, 337(6091), 216-219.  


Jones, J.W., Berry, L., & Chassignet, E. (2012). SUS Climate Change Task Force: Science Addressing the Needs of Florida Agencies, Industry, and Citizenry - Final Project Report. January 31, 2012.    


Martinez, C.J., Maleski, J.J., and M.F. Miller. (2012). Trends in precipitation and temperature in Florida, USA. Journal of Hydrology, 452-453: 259-281.  


Misra, V., DiNapoli, S. (2012). The observed teleconnection between the equatorial Amazon and the Intra-Americas Seas. Climate Dynamics, early online release. 

Misra, V., DiNapoli, S. (2012). Understanding the wet season variations over FloridaClimate Dynamics, early online release.    


Misra, V., A. Stroman, and S. DiNapoli (2012), The rendition of the Atlantic Warm Pool in the reanalysesClimate Dynamics, (in press).  


Rahman, M. M. (2011). Climate Change Pattern in Bangladesh and its Impact on Water Cycle. ITN-BUET Center: Dhaka, Bangladesh.  


Tian, D. and C.J. Martinez. (2012). Forecasting reference evapotranspiration using retrospective forecast analogs in the southeastern United States. Journal of Hydrometeorology, In Press.   


Walter Anthony, K.M., Anthony, P., Grosse, G., & Chanton, J. (2012) Geologic methane seeps along boundaries of Arctic permafrost thaw and melting glaciers. Nature Geoscience 5:419-426. doi: 10.1038/ngeo1480.   


Zhu, J., Huang, B., & Wu, Z. (2012). The role of ocean dynamics in the interaction between the Atlantic meridional and equatorial modesJ. Climate, 25(10), 3583-3598, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00364.1.    


More Publications... 

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