Opening Workshop: August 21 – 25, 2017

Computational and Mathematical Challenges in Climate Deadline for applications was July 6, 2017


This workshop will be held at the Hamner Conference Center in Research Triangle Park.

This workshop serves to introduce the activity of the entire SAMSI Climate program that will last from August 2017 through May 2018. There will be overview lectures by leading scientists in the field, a series of sessions of research talks and round table discussions, discussions and initial meetings of Working Groups, and a short course on computational methods.

The opening day (August 21) will consist of five Overview Lectures designed to highlight major areas of climate science for which there is a need for input from mathematicians and statisticians. Speakers and summary titles are:

  • Vipin Kumar (University of Minnesota): Climate Informatics
  • Kristie Ebi (University of Washington): Climate and Health
  • Leonard Smith (London School of Economics): Science, Simulation and Insight
  • Bill Collins (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab): Mathematical Challenges in Climate Modeling
  • Kenneth Kunkel (North Carolina State University): Climate Datasets

The next three days will include research sessions featuring invited talks on the following topics: Remote Sensing; Ice Dynamics; Climate Informatics; Climate and Health; Stochastic Parameterizations. There will also be round-table discussions on the following topics: Climate Extremes; Climate and Risk Analysis.

The Thursday afternoon session will be a Working Groups formation session. Leaders of proposed Working Groups will make 5-minute presentations and this will be followed by initial organizational meetings of the groups themselves. The topics for the Working Groups are constantly being updated but, as of the time of writing, the proposed topics are: Remote Sensing; Parameter Estimation; Data Assimilation; Data Analytics; Climate Prediction; Extremes; Stochastic Parameterizations; Climate and Health; Food Systems; Ice Dynamics; Detection and Attribution.

Working group discussions will continue Friday morning. Finally, the afternoon of Friday, August 25, Doug Nychka and Dorit Hammerling (both from the Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO) will present a 3-hour short course on “Computational Methods for Climate Science” (question #20.5 on the on-line application form.)

Schedule and Speakers:

Confirmed Speakers currently include:

  • Veronica Berrocal (University of Michigan)
  • Michal Branicki (University of Edinburgh)
  • Amy Braverman (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Chris Bretherton (University of Washington)
  • Alberto Carrassi (Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center [NO])
  • Howard Chang (Emory University)
  • Bill Collins (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)
  • Noel Cressie (University of Woolongong [AU])
  • Dan Crichton (NASA)
  • Imme Ebert-Uphoff (Colorado State University)
  • Kristie Ebi (University of Washington)
  • Montse Fuentes (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Andrew Gettelman (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • Dorit Hammerling (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • Murali Haran (Penn State University)
  • Christopher Jones (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
  • Charles Jackson (University of Texas)
  • Matthias Katzfuss (Texas A&M University)
  • Vipin Kumar (University of Minnesota)
  • Ken Kunkel (NOAA)
  • Adam Monahan (University of Victoria – British Columbia [CA])
  • Prabhat (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)
  • Leonard Smith (London School of Economics)
  • Deborah Sulsky (University of New Mexico)
  • Jason West (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)

Schedule and Supporting Media

Printable Schedule
Speaker Abstracts
Poster Session

Monday, August 21, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:30 Participants arrival by bus
8:40-9:00 Introductions and Welcome
9:00-10:00 Overview Lecture 1: Big Data in Climate: Opportunities and Challenges for Machine Learning Vipin Kumar, University of Minnesota
10:30-10:30 BREAK
10:30-11:30 Overview Lecture 2: Climate and Health Kristie Ebi, University of Washington
11:30-12:30 Overview Lecture 3: Science, Simulation and Insight: Developing Confidence when Extrapolating Complicated Complex Systems Leonard Smith, London School of Economics
12:30-1:30 LUNCH
1:30-2:30 Overview Lecture 4: Computational and Mathematical Challenges in Climate Modeling Michael Wehner, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
2:30-3:30 BREAK
3:30-4:30 Overview Lecture 5: Climate Datasets Ken Kunkel, NOAA
4:30-5:00 General Discussion
5:00 Return to Hotel

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:45 Participants arrival by bus
8:45-9:00 Introductions and Announcements for the day
9:00-12:15 Research Session 1: Remote Sensing
9:00-9:45 A Bird’s-Eye View of Statistics for Remote Sensing Data Noel Cressie, University of Wollongong (AU)
9:45-10:30 Software Architecture Considerations in the Analysis of Highly Distributed Data and Computational Analysis Dan Crichton, NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-11:45 A General Framework for Vecchia Approximations of Gaussian Processes Matthias Katzfuss, Texas A&M University
11:45-12:05 Discussant Amy Braverman, NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory
12:05-12:15 General Discussion
12:15-1:30 LUNCH
1:30-4:45 Research Session 2: Ice Dynamics
1:30-2:15 Modeling Arctic Sea Ice Deborah Sulsky, University of New Mexico
2:15-3:00 Some Statistical Challenges in Studying the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Murali Haran, Penn State University
3:00-3:30 BREAK
3:30-4:15 Research Session 2: Issues in Ensemble Prediction and Data Assimilation Using a Lagrangian Model of Sea-Ice Alberto Carrassi, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NO)
4:15-4:35 Discussant Christopher Jones, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
4:35-4:45 General Discussion
5:00-7:00 Poster Session
7:00 Return to Hotel

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:45 Participants arrival by bus
8:45-9:00 Introductions and Announcements for the day
9:00-12:00 Research Session 3: Climate Informatics
9:00-9:45 Deep Learning for Extreme Weather Detection Prabhat, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
9:45-10:30 Methods for Causality Analysis in Climate Science Imme Ebert-Uphoff, Colorado State University
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-11:45 Research Session 3: Compression and Conditional Emulation of Climate Model Output Dorit Hammerling, National Center for Atmospheric Research
11:45-12:00 Discussant  Doug Nychka, National Center for Atmospheric Research
12:00-1:00 LUNCH
1:00-2:00 Panel Discussion 1: Climate Extremes Panelists:
Daniel Cooley (Colorado State University); Michael Wehner (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab); Michael Stein (University of Chicago); Adam Monahan (University of Victoria)
Research Session 4: Climate and Health
2:00-2:45 The Effects of Climate Change on Human Health through Changes in Air Quality Jason West, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
2:45-3:15 BREAK
3:15-4:00 Projecting Health Impacts of Climate Change: Embracing an Uncertain Future Howard Chang , Emory University
4:00-4:45 A Multivariate Dynamic Spatial Factor Model for Speciated Pollutants and Adverse Birth Outcomes Montse Fuentes, Virginia Commonwealth University
4:45-5:05 Discussant Veronica Berrocal, University of Michigan
5:05-5:15 General Discussion
5:15 Return to Hotel

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:45 Participants arrival by bus
8:45-9:00 Introductions and Announcements for the day
9:00-1:00 Research Session 5: Stochastic Parametrizations
9:00-9:45 A Cloud of Numbers: Representing Physical Processes in the Earth System with Mathematics Andrew Gettelman, National Center for Atmospheric Research
9:45-10:30 Ice Sheet Contribution to Sea Level Rise Charles Jackson, University of Texas
10:30-11:00 BREAK
11:00-11:45 An Information-Theoretic Framework for Improving Multi-Model Predictions & Data Assimilation Techniques Michal Branicki, University of Edinburgh
11:45-12:30 Developing Stochastic Parameterizations of Subgrid Variability of Clouds and Turbulence using High-Resolution Simulations Chris Bretherton, University of Washington
12:30-12:50 Discussant Adam Monahan, University of Victoria – British Columbia (CA)
12:50-1:00 General Discussion
1:00-2:00 LUNCH
2:00-3:00 Panel Discussion 2: Climate and Risk Panelists:
Brian Blanton (Renaissance Computing Institute); Wei Lei (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Slava Lyubchich (University of Maryland); Hans Kaper (Georgetown University)
3:00-5:30 Working Group Formation Session
5:30 Return to Hotel

Friday, August 25, 2017
Hamner Conference Center, RTP

Time Description Speaker Slides Videos
8:45 Participants arrival by bus
8:45-9:00 Introductions and Announcements for the day
9:00-12:00 Initial Meetings of Working Groups
12:00-1:00 Adjourn/LUNCH/Shuttle to RDU Airport
1:00-4:30 Short Course on Computational Methods Doug Nychka and Dorit Hammerling, National Center for Atmospheric Research
NOTE: Pre-Registration Required for this event
4:30 Buses to Airport and/or Hotel

Questions: email