Science Inventory

Earth system models for regional environmental management of red tide: Prospects and limitations of current generation models and next generation development

Citation:

Elshall, A., M. Ye, S. Kranz, J. Harrington, X. Yang, Y. Wan, AND M. Maltrud. Earth system models for regional environmental management of red tide: Prospects and limitations of current generation models and next generation development. Environmental Earth Sciences. Springer Berlin - Heidelberg, , Germany, 81:256, (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-022-10343-7

Impact/Purpose:

This article discusses the potential uses of Earth System Models (ESMs), a modeling infrastructure that provides quality earth system data and climate services for the benefit of the society, for environmental management at regional scales with a case study of harmful algae blooms in Florida commonly known as red tide. This study shows that high resolution ESMs can be useful on management timescale (i.e., seasonal, or semi-annual), yet substantial long-term investment in climate science capability and model design are still needed to resolve finer spatiotemporal scales applications.

Description:

Earth system models (ESMs) serve as a unique research infrastructure for quality climate services, yet their application for environmental management at regional scale has not yet been fully explored. The unprecedented resolution and model fidelity of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) simulations, especially of the High-Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP) focusing on regional phenomena, offer opportunities for such applications. This article presents the first venture into using the HighResMIP simulations to tackle a regional environmental issue, the Florida Red Tide. This is a harmful algae bloom caused by the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, a toxic single-celled microscopic protist. We use CMIP6 historical simulations to establish a causal agreement between the position of Loop Current, a warm ocean current that moves into the Gulf of Mexico, and the occurrence of K. brevis blooms on the Western Florida shelf. Results show that the high-resolution ESMs are capable of simulating the phenomena of interest (i.e., Loop Current) at the regional spatial scale with generally adequate data-model agreement in the context of the relation between Loop Current and red tide. We use this case study to elaborate on the prospects and limitations of using publicly available CMIP data for regional environmental management. We highlight the current gaps and the developmental needs for the next generation ESMs, and discuss the role of stakeholder participation in future ESMs development to facilitate the translation of scientific understanding to better inform decision-making of regional environmental management.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( JOURNAL/ PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 04/19/2022
Record Last Revised: 12/01/2022
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 356386