The University of Arizona

Jeremy Weiss | CLIMAS

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Research Scientist, Department of Geosciences

I work extensively in the biogeophysical sciences, and aim to merge the latest scientific information with data generation and analysis to identify and take advantage of opportunities while diagnosing and solving problems related to changes in weather and climate.

Many of my efforts integrate traditional analysis techniques from the atmospheric and related sciences with geospatial data modeling to investigate regional climatic hazards and their impacts. In addition to aggregating climate data in a state-of-the-art geographic information system (GIS), my work promotes web map visualization tools that enable the public to view geospatial data from new and potentially powerful research perspectives.

One area of my research considers the kinds of changes in weather and climate it takes to put vegetation of Southwestern deserts, grasslands, and forests under abnormal or extreme environmental conditions. For example, fewer occurrences of freezing temperatures in the Sonoran Desert region in recent decades make winter a lot more hospitable for certain species such as the iconic saguaro cactus. Also, droughts and warmer temperatures can act alone or in tandem to bring about conditions of higher water stress. But due in part to terrain in the Southwest ranging from below sea level to above treeline and producing diverse climatic and biotic zones, the spatial patterns of such conditions vary tremendously. This not only makes reason for more inquiry, but also calls for production of some captivating maps.

Another area of study for me is climate change and sea level. Through the spatial analysis of digital elevation models at both global and national levels, I have developed two popular data sets and first-generation geospatial web applications on areas potentially impacted by sea level rise. I also have participated in the development of sea level change scenarios for the U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Most recently, I launched a new line of inquiry to develop a dataset of cut-off low pressure systems, a weather phenomenon that historically has been associated with floods in the Southwest. I also began collaborating on an investigation of historical variations of weather extremes and thresholds relevant to regional agriculture from observational data sets.