Status Update: White Paper Outline

If you have been following this blog, you may have noticed that we have been very climate focused! And with good reason: the first major product of this project is a white paper report focused around climate extremes in the near-shore Chesapeake Bay region!

weather_climate_12Presently, the SciencePensieve team is drafting an in-depth white paper with the goal of describing the past, present, and future climate extremes trends and patterns in this region.

Before many scientists put the pen to paper, they like to outline the logical structure of such a massive report! For me personally, outlining helps me to realize which analyses I am missing to tell a complete “story” as well as how the supporting figures should look and what information the tables need. For example, I created Table 1 yesterday after realizing I needed to define the indices we used!

Below is the current outline of this white paper report. (Please feel free to comment or strike up a discussion with ideas, changes, and inputs!)

Table 1: Definitions of the 26 extreme climate indices used for this white paper analysis.

Table 1: Definitions of the 26 extreme climate indices used for this white paper analysis. (click table to enlarge)

Quick Overview

Past: How has the frequency, duration, and intensity of climate extremes changed in Chesapeake Bay?

Present: What is the present day baseline of these climate extremes?

Future: How might these climate extremes change in the future?
Slightly more in-depth

Retrospective Analysis on the Observed Trends
In order to assess how climate extremes have changed, we will present the data from the following statistical tests:
1) An Anderson-Darling test to assess if the probability density distribution (“spread of the data”) from 1951-1980 is different than 1981-2010.
2) A Student’s T-test to assess if the means from the two time periods above are different
3) A linear regression on the 21-year rolling mean to estimate the historical rate of change on indices with significant trends

Status of the Present
We calculated the climate normal (a 3 decade mean) from 1981-2010 to serve as a baseline for all future climate values. We also calculated the 1971-2000 climate normal (the previously used baseline) for comparison to other studies. Additionally, boxplots were created to assess the latitudinal trends (north to south) over the entire time series.

Climate-water linkages
Since this project is focused on how climate affects estuarine processes, we assessed the following:
1) Has streamflow changed?
2) What is the correlation between the air temperature and water temperature?
3) Is there a relationship between turbidity and precipitation?

Future Projections
Ensembles of the best performing Global Climate Models were used to project how these climate extremes are predicted to change in the near future.


While we still have a lot of work to do on climate trends, we are preparing to start the next phase of this project (stay tuned!)


Kari Pohl

About Kari Pohl

I am a post-doctoral researcher at NOAA and the University of Maryland (Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point Laboratory). My work investigates how climate variability and extremes affect the diverse ecosystems in Chesapeake Bay. I received a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island (2014) and received a B.S. in Environmental Science and a B.A. in Chemistry from Roger Williams University (2009). When I am not busy being a scientist, my hobbies include running, watching (and often yelling at) the Boston Bruins, and taking photos of my cat.
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2 Responses to Status Update: White Paper Outline

  1. Jacqueline Tay says:

    Really looking forward to seeing the paper Kari!

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