White Paper Image Preview

What is one of the most important and exciting aspects of this research project? It’s a collaboration.


New ideas are best discovered during a discussion! credit

In addition to email exchanges and this blog, we meet biannually in-person with all our partners. On March 2nd, a mere 2.5 weeks from now, we will be having out third Think Tank workshop.

The purpose of the Think Tanks is to present and discuss the data and work we have done with our collaborators from the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves of Virginia and Maryland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Chesapeake Environmental Communications, and University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

This is an interdisciplinary group representing federal and state government, private environmental consultants, and academic stakeholders and end-users.

The White Paper Image

At Think Tank III, we will be handing out a summary document of the historical and future climate extreme variability and change patterns at the CBNERRs. This ‘white paper’ is meant to be a cleaner, more condensed summary, that is a companion to the longer and more detailed manuscript.

A preview of the plot that will be used in the white paper.

A preview of the plot that will be used in the white paper.

To the right is the ‘template’ image for this white paper document using the Frost Days index.

Frost Days is the amount of days each year when the daily minimum temperature is below freezing. The amount of Frost Days has been decreasing in the Chesapeake near-shore region, meaning that we have experienced fewer nights that dip below 32°F. However, there is moderate variance, meaning that we could very well still get years with >75 Frost Days as well as years with <60 days.

In this image, the thick blue line represents the smoothed, 21-year moving mean which depicts the general pattern (a decrease) while the lighter blue line is the year to year pattern.

This plot is the overall trend for the Chesapeake Bay near shore region, thus incorporates both Maryland and Virginia. Having the single line, but still reporting the North and South values, makes the image less cluttered.

For interest, I also shaded the background a light gray color, just so it could out from the sea of bright white plots.

The R script

For anyone interested in the plot specifics, below is the R script.

par(mar=c(5,5.25,4,2)) #This changes the plot margins so the labels have more room par(bg = “ivory2”) #This changes the background color                                                            par(las=1) #This makes the y-axis labels sit horizontally

plot(x,y, ylab=””, xlab=””, main=”Frost Days”, ylim=c(60,120),xlim=c(1900,2015), cex.lab=1.75, cex.axis=1.5, cex.main=1.75, #This makes the axes text bigger col=”aquamarine3″, tck= 0.01)

axis(2,labels=F,tcl=-0.25)                                                                        axis(1,labels=F,tcl=-0.25) #Plots tick marks on the inside and outside                             title(ylab=”Days”, line=3.5, cex.lab=1.75 )

par(new=T) #This allows you to plot both lines on the same image

plot(FD.21,ylim=c(60,120),xlim=c(1900,2015), xlab=””,ylab=””, col=”blue”, axes=F, lwd=3)


Tell us what you think or even make a suggestion!


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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