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USGS-FAU Workshop on Increasing Confidence in
Precipitation Projections for Everglades Restoration

A USGS & CES Sponsored Meeting  
September 28, 2017 - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Florida Atlantic University - Davie Campus

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

downscaling report cover Any model of future precipitation exhibits some uncertainties. Such models are needed for Florida’s Everglades restoration efforts, as precipitation is a key driver of that ecosystem’s  structure and function. Thus until we can characterize, and reduce, the model uncertainties, Everglades restoration efforts will benefit little from precipitation modeling activities. Successful communication of uncertainty across disciplines, such as between climate scientists and user groups in south Florida engaged in Everglades restoration, is an important step in bridging the gap between climate scientists and the climate-data user community.

South Florida user groups, particularly those in Everglades restoration, have expressed interest in better understanding the uncertainty of precipitation projections and reducing the uncertainty where possible. The objective of this workshop was to improve the utility of precipitation projections for south Florida water management and Everglades restoration efforts. In this workshop, the the Western Everglades Restoration Project (WERP) was used as an example and test case, but the workshop was not intended to provide any specific outputs to be used in the WERP planning process. Additionally represented at the workshop were the needs of Everglades fire ecologists.

The goals of this workshop were to improve awareness of how climate data and science can support natural resource management activities, and to identify research directions for a peer-reviewed scholarly publication, including tailored outputs for the represented user groups. The focus of the workshop was on the overlaps and discrepancies between users and user groups pertaining to needs for precipitation temporal and spatial resolution, time periods for planning, parameters (e.g., mean, trend, extremes), and best practices for uncertainty characterization.

Approximately 40 scientists and resource managers with a common goal of Everglades restoration gathered at the FAU Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) in Davie, FL. Through a series of presentations and discussions, the workshop facilitated an exchange related to user climate data needs compared to currently available data, while serving to identify existing gaps. The workshop was intended to enhance the credibility and salience of existing climate model data.

This workshop followed the USGS-FAU Precipitation Downscaling Technical Meeting (June 2015), but with greater focus on uncertainty of precipitation projections and new data sources or analyses, and highlighted the changing needs of south Florida resource managers. Ideally, there should be multiple discussions between climatologists and climate data users to refine the exact information users seek in order to facilitate increased interaction between groups. Currently, there is a need for improved communication between climatologists and climate data users, with a common set of terms and methods between both groups. There is also a necessity of better understanding the physical drivers of future changes, and for expert (climatologist) guidance on what data or models are best for use in south Florida.

This report describes the event, discussions, and future directions for research and work. A major theme highlighted during this workshop was the need for greater communication between disciplines, and this workshop will lead to further interaction in the future.

This technical meeting is sponsored by:

Florida Atlantic University Center for Environmental Studies, United States Geological Survey, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and University of Miami Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science  

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For more information contact:

Mary Beth Hartman, Conference & Outreach Coordinator 
Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University 
Mary Beth Hartman  or (954) 236-1203 

Johnna Infanti, PhD
Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) Fellow
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research/Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University/
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science/United States Geological Survey

jinfanti@rsmas.miami.edu



 Last Modified 11/22/17