Recently published

Recently published

Apr 29, 2015 | by: Bart Nijssen

There has been a spate of new publications (co-)authored by the UW Hydro | Computational Hydrology group. You can always get the latest on our publications page, but here is a brief overview of the papers published so far this year:

  • Mishra et al., Changes in observed climate extremes in global urban areas, Environmental Research Letters, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/2/024005:

    A look at changes in daily, historic extremes in temperature, precipitation and wind in urban areas around the globe over th period 1973-2012. Main takeaways: “[…] urban areas have experienced significant increases […] in the number of heat waves during the period 1973–2012, while the frequency of cold waves has declined”. At the same time “[e]xtreme windy days declined”.

  • Roberts et al., Simulating transient ice–ocean Ekman transport in the Regional Arctic System Model and Community Earth System Model, Annals of Glaciology, doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A760:

    This is one of the first publications that stems from the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM). The study demonstrates that high-frequency coupling is necessary to represent certain transport processes in the Arctic Ocean. In particular, “[t]he result suggests that processes associated with the passage of storms over sea ice (e.g. oceanic mixing, sea-ice deformation and surface energy exchange) are underestimated in Earth System Models that do not resolve inertial frequencies in their marine coupling cycle.”

  • Vano et al., Seasonal hydrologic responses to climate change in the Pacific Northwest, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2014WR015909:

    The development of a methodology that allows rapid evaluation long-term changes in seasonal hydrographs based on global climate model output and an application in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Withing the PNW, “[…] transitional (intermediate elevation) watersheds experience the greatest seasonal shifts in runoff in response to cool season warming.”

  • Clark et al., A unified approach for process-based hydrologic modeling: 1. Modeling concept, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2015WR017198:

    The first paper describing the concepts behind SUMMA (Structure for Unifying Multiple Modeling Alternatives), which potentially has a big impact on the work done in our group. While we will continue to support VIC and DHSVM for the foreseeable future, much of our model development effort over the next few years will shift towards SUMMA. SUMMA “[…] formulates a general set of conservation equations, providing the flexibility to experiment with different spatial representations, different flux parameterizations, different model parameter values, and different time stepping schemes.” The goal of this modeling approach is for SUMMA to “help tackle major hydrologic modeling challenges, including defining the appropriate complexity of a model, selecting among competing flux parameterizations, representing spatial variability across a hierarchy of scales, identifying potential improvements in computational efficiency and numerical accuracy as part of the numerical solver, and improving understanding of the various sources of model uncertainty.”

  • Clark et al., A unified approach for process-based hydrologic modeling: 2. Model implementation and case studies, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2015WR017200:

    The second paper in this two-part series discusses the SUMMA implementation and provides some initial applications to demonstrate SUMMA’s potential.

  • Mao et al., Is climate change implicated in the 2013–2014 California drought? A hydrologic perspective, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2015GL063456:

    California has been subject to a major drought over the last few years (with no relief in sight as of this writing). In this paper, we examined whether the 2012-2014 drought was within the range of historic droughts and to what extent warming during the past century has contributed to the below-average mountain snow pack in 2013-2014. “We find that the warming may have slightly exacerbated some extreme events (including the 2013–2014 drought and the 1976–1977 drought of record), but the effect is modest; instead, these drought events are mainly the result of variability in precipitation.”

  • Clark et al., Continental Runoff into the Oceans (1950-2008), Journal of Hydrometeorology, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-14-0183.1:

    This paper (by a different Clark than the above two papers – Liz rather than Martyn) provides a new set of estimates of freshwater discharge to the oceans, based on a merger of observations and model simulations. “We estimate that flows to the world’s oceans globally are 44,200 (± 2660) km3 yr-1 (9% from Africa, 37% from Eurasia, 30% from South America, 16% from North America, and 8% from Australia-Oceania). These estimates are generally higher than previous estimates, with the largest differences in South America, and Australia-Oceania.”


UW Hydro builds tools to simulate and investigate the terrestrial hydrological cycle.


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