Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: North Carolina
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

North Carolina Project

Characterizing Uncertainty in Changing Precipitation Regimes for Ecological and Hydrological Applicaitons in the Southeast and the Caribbean US.

March 2017 - August 2021


Participating Agencies

  • US Environmental Protection Agency/SE Climate Science Center

Changing precipitation regimes, such as changes to rainfall intensity or prolonged drought, threaten both the natural and built environment. Changes in local to regional precipitation regimes is a result of complex interactions within the climate system, and to better understand how these climate system processes change in a warmer climate requires special attention to regionally relevant atmospheric processes. Climate change simulations are typically at spatial scales (>100-km), and it is well known that climate models are unable to resolve important precipitation processes at these coarser resolutions, especially with respect to precipitation extremes. This research uses high-resolution regional climate models at relevant spatial scales to better characterize, quantify, and understand changing precipitation processes as the climate warms. The research uses a co-production framework where stakeholders inform the design of the high-resolution climate model experiments while creating data relevant to the needs of ecological and hydrological applications within the Southeast and Caribbean US. The current focus is to provide high-resolution climate model data and perform relevant analysis informed by scientists and stakeholders concerned with species conservation and hydrologic design. This project is a joint effort of researchers within USGS and the US EPA with additional stakeholders interested in project outcomes including the US Fish and Wildlife Services, USFS, Federal Highway Administration, and the NC Department of Transportation.