CFANS Soil, Water & Climate
College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
College of Food, Ag & Nat Res Sci
Forecasting the Future of Minnesota's Natural Resources: Impacts on Physical and Biological Systems
These researchers are involved in three projects that address challenges of Minnesota’s future environment. All projects require running the Weather and Research Forecast (WRF) model on the supercomputers.
- Early detection, forecasting, and management of Halyomorpha halys: This goal of this project is to detect, forecast, and manage the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB; Halyomorpha halys), an invasive species originally from Asia that poses a threat to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest as a severe agricultural pest and home invader. BMSB was first detected in Minnesota in 2010 but has not yet been found in fields. It has caused substantial losses in other states to soybean, sweet corn, apples, and grapes. These researchers will determine the current extent of BMSB in Minnesota and expand a monitoring system, forecast where the environment is conducive to establishment in Minnesota, and provide an understanding of impacts of climate change on BMSB and its impacts. To address these goals, the researchers will provide dynamically downscaled climate datasets of Minnesota for historical and future climate periods to link with entomological models of BMSB functioning.
- Informed Water Management: Mapping Scarcity, Threats, and Values: This project involves examining Minnesota’s current water resources and projecting changes to these resources within the next 100 years. Compared to other states, Minnesota retains an advantage in water resources needed to support healthy communities and economic development, but we are discovering rapidly that water resources are not unlimited. Managers need to be able to predict changes in availability and quality of water, as well as the economic value of clean water. This project has three activities: parameterizing and applying a statewide water balance model using downscaled climate data; assessing threats to water sustainability and evaluating the impacts of those threats on water quality and quantity; and quantifying the economic impacts of changes in the availability of clean water to support recreation, health, industry, and other water-related services. The Twine group will provide the same downscaled climate downscaled climate datasets created for the BMSB project.
- Evaluation of the Cooling Effects of Backyard Plants: This project uses the WRF to simulate the urban region surrounding the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The goal is to quantify surface exchanges of energy and water between the atmosphere and surface of backyard grasses and gardens, as well as community gardens, and to evaluate whether these backyard or community gardens have a cooling effect, and if so, to what extent. WRF has not been run at fine resolution over this region before, but the researchers aim to replicate the modeling framework of previous studies that have successfully captured the urban form of cities in China, and then evaluate what adjustments to the model need to be made to characterize the urban canopy of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Model nesting is required similar to what is being done for the other two projects, along with a fine grid containing the Minneapolis-St. Paul region.
Dr. Stefan Liess
Associate Professor Tracy Twine