RAL SEMINAR: Advanced Research Programs on Land-Atmosphere Feedbacks and Recent Application

Mar. 15, 2024

1:00 – 2:00 pm MDT

Main content

There is an urgent need to advance the understanding of land-atmosphere (L-A) feedback processes and their representations in Earth system models. This is essential for accurate Earth system analyses and simulations at all spatial and temporal scales. These include weather forecasts, medium to sub-seasonal forecasts and climate projections. L-A feedbacks alter the impacts of land use and land cover changes on regional hydrology, weather, and climate. Furthermore, heat waves and droughts can be intensified by L-A feedbacks, which is particularly critical because extremes are expected to be increased and amplified by climate change. A detailed understanding of L-A feedbacks also provides the basis for a trustworthy analysis of bio-geoengineering and weather modification approaches.

In this presentation, two new projects are introduced that are designed to contribute to these efforts. These are the Collaborative Research Unit 5639 „Land-Atmosphere Feedback Initiative (LAFI)“ of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the GEWEX Land-Atmosphere Feedback Observatory (GLAFO), a research activity of the GEWEX Global Land-Atmosphere System Studies (GLASS) Panel.

The application of an advanced understanding of L-A feedbacks is demonstrated by the socalled Cloud and Precipitation Reactor (CPR), an EU-patented approach to initiate and intensify precipitation in desert regions. The CPR is based on the modification of the dynamics and thermodynamics in the lower troposphere by land surface modifications. The main design and the resulting impacts of the CPR on cloud and precipitation development over the UAE during summertime is presented and discussed. 

Professor Volker Wulfmeyer

University of Hohenheim

Professor Volker Wulfmeyer is a German physicist, meteorologist, climate and earth system researcher, university professor, and member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences in Germany. He received his doctorate in 1995 from the University of Hamburg and Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology in the Department of Geosciences with the thesis "DIAL Measurements of Vertical Water Vapor Distributions". Under a prestigious German fellowship, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and leader of the joint NOAA-NCAR lidar research team in Boulder, Colorado, from 1996 to 1998, and then as a scientist at NCAR from 1998 to 2000. Since February 2001, Volker has been a university professor, the managing director of the Institute of Physics and Meteorology and Chair of Physics and Meteorology at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. He leads research on observations and modeling the atmospheric boundary layer and land-atmosphere interaction, with research on optimizing WRF and Noah-MP, high-resolution weather forecasts, impact studies for data assimilation, and regional climate simulations, i.e. the latest regional climate projections for Europe as part of a project of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). In recent years his team has been expanding the Land Atmosphere Feedback Observatory (LAFO), and since 2020 Wulfmeyer is a member of the Global Land/Atmosphere System Study (GLASS) panel of the Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX), a core project under WCRP.

Presentation Slides