In 2012 Professor James S. (Jay) Famiglietti is serving as the Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lecturer of the Geological Society of America, when he will lecture internationally on global water cycle change and freshwater availability. The lectureship is made to one person annually by the GSA Hydrogeology Division; Famiglietti is the 34rd GSA Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturer and is Professor in Earth System Science and Civil & Environmental Engineering and Director of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling.
He is offering two talks:
1. Water cycle change and the human fingerprint on the water landscape of the 21st Century: Observations from a decade of GRACE
Over the last decade, satellite observations of Earth’s water cycle from NASA’s GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission, have provided an unprecedented view of global hydrological change and freshwater availability. Since its launch, the mission has helped to confirm that precipitation, evaporation and continental discharge rates are increasing, that the mid-latitudes are drying while the high and low latitudes are moistening, and that the hydrologic extremes of flooding and drought are becoming even more extreme. Importantly, GRACE has exposed the human fingerprint of water management practices such as groundwater use and reservoir storage, which raises many important issues for climate, water, food and economic security. Moreover, the GRACE mission has enabled us to peer beneath Earth’s surface and characterize the worldwide depletion of groundwater aquifers, raising significant concerns about the potential for heightened conflict over transboundary water resources. In this talk I review the basics of how the GRACE mission observes terrestrial and global hydrology, what new information the mission has provided since its launch in 2002, and the implications for the future of water availability and sustainable water resources management.
2. A strategy for accelerating the development of hydrological models: Societal needs, observational requirements and public communication
While the development of hydrological and land surface models has progressed rapidly over the last few decades, a significant acceleration in model development is required in order to address critical societal issues of water, energy and food availability and security. In particular, major advances are needed in the areas of observations (e.g. of water cycle variability and change, of subsurface soils and hydrogeology, and of streamflow and groundwater levels), model development (e.g. of models that integrate the major components of the human and managed water cycles), data assimilation (e.g. of algorithms that can readily incorporate in situ and remote observations of asynchronous space-time frequency) and of a framework for integrating models and data (e.g. for access to data and simulation results, for running models, and for performing analyses). In this presentation we discuss these needs in detail, and highlight recent efforts in California and at the national scale (i.e. with the Community Hydrologic Modeling Platform [CHyMP]) to develop a modeling and data integration framework that can be applied across scales up to continental and global scales. Finally, the responsibility of the hydrologic research community to convey such important observational and simulation needs to resource managers, environmental decision and policy makers, and the general public, is underscored.
At the request of interested institutions and pending availability, Jay will present one of the two lectures listed above.
Jay's "Water 50/50" blog will cover his journey as he will hold fifty lectures in fifty weeks, giving a global lecture tour. The posts published will primarily be a journal of Jay’s thoughts and experiences during the lectureship.
FIFTY LECTURES IN FIFTY WEEKS: THE 2012 BIRDSALL-DREISS DISTINGUISHED LECTURESHIP. A GLOBAL LECTURE TOUR DELIVERING THE MESSAGE ABOUT OUR CHANGING WATER CYCLE, GROUNDWATER DEPLETION AND THE FUTURE OF FRESHWATER AVAILABILITY.
February 18 - March 2, Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Palestine) TBD