Assessing Vulnerability through the use of Dynamical Models


Thursday, 16 February, 2017 -
14:00 to 15:00


Climate Change Research Centre Seminar Room, Level 4 Mathews Building, UNSW Kensington Campus


Climate Change Research Centre

Type of event: 

The economic impacts of weather and climate extremes are rising, as the population grows and moves into urban and more hazard-prone areas. Industry, local government and society increasingly require sufficient understanding and warning to enable proper planning and adaptation to mitigate future costs and disruptions arising from climate variability and change. Damages caused by Tropical Cyclones are amongst the highest associated with natural disasters. Tropical cyclone related wind (and associated storm surge) and precipitation damage is responsible for the largest portion of financial and material losses. From a reinsurance, management and building code perspective, it is therefore essential to assess the associated long-term risks.
This presentation will discuss a 2-tier approach to utilizing dynamical models for assessing vulnerability:
  • A high-resolution Dynamical Regional Climate Ensemble is used to investigate the limits of predictability of climate simulations, with a focus on tropical cyclones. A diverse set of approaches are being applied to examine the impact of the different physics parameterizations on the simulated climate and high impact weather statistics and to determine the physics combinations that result in realistic scenarios.
  • Traditional dynamical downscaling and statistical approaches lack a certain amount of flexibility. This presentation will also describe the development of a new hybrid dynamical-statistical modeling capability. This hybrid modeling approach uses a special version of the WRF model that has been set up to be steered along preferred tracks and with defined size ranges. Such sensitivity assessments can provide a view of events that are physically plausible under current climate conditions but have not occurred in the historical record.


Cindy Bruyère is the Deputy Director for the NCAR Capacity Center for Climate and Weather Extremes (C3WE). She plays a key role in the development of the Global Risk, Resilience, and Impacts Toolbox (GRRIT), which pulls information from disparate locations, including local drives, the cloud, or servers located in different places. Once captured, relevant data are fed to decision-making tools to provide insights and answers to critical questions related to extreme weather and climate risk and resilience. In her role, Cindy directs efforts to incorporate tools as they are developed into GRRIT, spearheads related database construction, maintenance, and management, and is responsible for climate downscaling efforts conduct by the group.
Cindy has an MSc in Dynamical Meteorology and a PhD in Environmental Management. She started her career at the South African Weather Service, where she rose to Assistant Director of research programs, and Project Manager for operational systems. For a number of years she was also associated with the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and involved in meteorological training. Current research activities include understanding and predicting the impact of climate variability and change; dynamical model development; creating useful climate decision-making tools; and the development of statistical downscaling techniques. She trains those within the atmospheric science community in climate modeling techniques. Cindy is also a visiting research fellow at the North-West University of South Africa.