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Regional Earth System Prediction: Microbes to Man

Google Tech Talk September 18, 2009 ABSTRACT Presented by Professor Raghu Murtugudde, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center University of Maryland, College Park. While the IPCC will continue to lead Earth System projections for global issues such as greenhouse gas levels and global temperature increase, high-resolution regional Earth System predictions will be crucial for producing effective decision-making tools for day- to-day, sustainable Earth System management and adaptive management of resources. Regional Earth System predictions and projections at the order of a few meters resolution from days to decades must be validated and provide uncertainties and skill scores to be usable. While the task is daunting, it would be criminally negligent of the global human not to embark on this task immediately. The observational needs for the integrated natural-human system for the regional Earth System are distinct from the global needs even though there are many overlaps. Regional Earth System monitoring and predictions thus will continuously take the pulse of the planet to prescribe appropriate actions for participatory decision-making for sustainable and adaptive management of the Earth System and to avoid catastrophic domains of potential outcomes. The model predictions must produce predictive, pre-emptive, personalized environmental information for human health, agro-economics, fisheries, water, energy, harmful algal blooms, and any other information demanded by lay people to resource managers to policy-makers. Technological innovations will have to meet the scientific demand to produce instruments from molecular probes to exploit the ever evolving genetic-level understanding, to nano-technology for in situ monitoring of the environment in open and confined spaces, to satellites that monitor the Earth System at ever increasing details to capture the natural-human system interactions and their feedbacks to the Earth System. The ultimate deliverable is a fully integrated decision-making tool that allows all users to carry out what-if scenarios to scope the range of options they have to work with. Prof. Murtugudde's research has focused on the ocean's role in climate, from intraseasonal to decadal time-scales including the impacts of climate on fisheries, agriculture, water resources, carbon cycle, and air-sea interaction processes of scale selection. He has conducted rainwater harvesting in urban areas and watershed management in rural areas using the agroforestry technique as a sustainable method for rural development. His most recent research has focused on Earth System Prediction for air and water quality, human health, agriculture, water and energy resources, fisheries, and future projections for decision makers, policy wonks, and educational institutions. The Chesapeake Bay Forecast Project that he has led is the first such Earth System Prediction model to issue routine forecasts of useful environmental package. This is one of the few projects that will combine expertise from climate scientists, bioinformatic experts, computer scientists, geographers, architects, public health and epidemiology experts, public policy and health information researchers, agro-economists, social scientists, and biologists providing a campus-wide connection at UMD. Eventually, this research to operations transition will develop an academia-private-military-government partnership that will be seamless and essential.
Length: 01:02:18


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