Western Kentucky University

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WKU team tackles Caribbean climate change with international collaborators

At the beginning of January, a group of faculty from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology visited Belize for a two-day meeting hosted by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), which included members of Cuba’s meteorological organization INSMET (Instituto de Meteorología) and the Belize National Meteorological Service.

The CCCCC serves as the regional information clearing house and advisor for climate change policy and guidelines for the Caribbean Community Member States (CARICOM). The Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), among other international agencies, as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean.

The team included Dr. Xingang Fan, Assistant Professor of Meteorology; Dr. Josh Durkee, Assistant Professor of Meteorology; and Dr. Jason Polk, Associate Director of Science for the Hoffman Environmental Research Institute and Assistant Professor of Geoscience. Collectively, the WKU group’s expertise ranges from paleoclimate reconstruction and extreme event forecasting to downscale climate modeling, all of which are necessary for creating a framework by which long-term climate change impacts can be studied and understood for real-world applications.

As a result of the meeting, the group agreed to work together to launch an exploratory climate modeling project that will cover Bahamas, Jamaica, Belize and the Eastern Caribbean using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF v3), a modeling tool developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read more about the CCCCC meeting.

Contact: Jason Polk, (270) 745-5015.

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