Skip Navigation

OU Professor Awarded Funding to Study Predictions for High-Impact Climate Futures

NEWS

OU Professor Awarded Funding to Study Predictions for High-Impact Climate Futures

March 13, 2024

NORMAN, OKLA. – Kathy Pegion, associate professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, has been awarded funding for her project to examine whether initialized multi-year to decadal predictions can better predict high-impact climate futures than uninitialized projections.

The funding for the project — “Bridging Predictions and Projections: Understanding Predictability from Initialized Multi-Year to Decadal Predictions for High-Impact Climate Futures” — comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections, or MAPP, program, which aims to advance Earth system models to build resistance to climate impacts.

Pegion and her collaborators will examine whether the North Atlantic Subtropical High is a source of predictability for high-impact climate events, such as extreme precipitation and heat, drought, and coastal inundation.

Kathy Pegion.

“Given that we have this connection where it seems like the state of the ocean matters to ultimately impact our extremes in precipitation, our hypothesis is that for these multi-year to decadal timescales we actually need to be using initialized predictions and not just projections,” said Pegion. “When we go to these timescales, do we need initialization of the atmosphere, the ocean, and the land, or are we getting the same information from these projections where we’re only using external forcing?”

The success of this research could lay the foundation for a real-time multi-year to decadal prediction system. Such a system would enhance understanding of what causes high-impact events and consequently enhance climate resilience. An outcome of this project will be whether initialized projections are needed for the kinds of climate-related services NOAA aims to build.

In addition to leading this project, Pegion will serve as co-lead of the Projections Task Force, one of several NOAA MAPP Task Forces, leading the initiative to enhance engagement across the climate projections teams. Pegion said the task force brings together all the principal investigators and all that is being learned under this call for projections. The task force will also collectively pull information that could lead to guidance on how to connect with and provide useful information around climate services to stakeholders, such as civil engineers and building standards.

About the project

The project, "Bridging Predictions and Projections: Understanding Predictability from Initialized Multi-Year to Decadal Predictions for High-Impact Climate Futures," is funded by NOAA grant NA23OAR4310613-T1-01. It began Sept. 1, 2023 and is expected to conclude Aug. 31, 2026.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.


Recent News

April 24, 2024

OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center Expanding to Tulsa to Serve Northeast Oklahoma

OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center today announced its expansion to the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, marking a significant milestone in providing access to research-driven cancer care to northeastern Oklahoma residents. As the state’s sole National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, Stephenson Cancer Center's expansion will offer local patients unparalleled access to advanced cancer treatments and hundreds of innovative clinical trials for multiple cancers.


April 24, 2024

Out of Darkness Walk April 28 to Raise Mental Health Awareness

Three cycles around the University of Oklahoma’s South Oval will take you one and a half miles. When students make the trek on Sunday, April 28, their laps will be for the symbolic purpose of raising awareness of suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of Darkness Campus Walk at OU will be the first of what organizers hope will become an annual tradition centered around suicide awareness and prevention.


April 23, 2024

OU Names New Dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication

The University of Oklahoma announced today the appointment of Andrea Miller as dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and holder of the Sue Rainbolt Van Natta Chair in Journalism, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval.