GHP & GDAP Meeting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The Joint Meeting of the GEWEX Hydroclimatology (GHP) and Data and Assessments (GDAP) Panels was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 2-6 September 2013. The Meeting was hosted by Professor Ana Nunes of the Departamento de Meteorologia of the Instituto de Geociências (IGEO), Centro de Ciências Matemáticas e da Natureza (CCMN), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and featured topical science sessions from local and regional climate scientists.

During the first two days of the meeting a number of scientists from the region presented some past and planned future research. Of particular interest were the future field campaigns planned as part of GOAmazon (Green Ocean Amazon), presented by Dr Maria Assuncao, and Relámpago (lightning in Spanish), presented by Dr Germán Poveda. GOAmazon is located in the central Amazon and is designed to enable the study of how aerosols and surface fluxes influence cloud cycles under clean conditions, as well as how aerosol and cloud life cycles, including cloud-aerosol-precipitation interactions, are influenced by pollutant outflow from a tropical megacity.  Relámpago is located in Southern Brazil-northern La Planta Basin, and is focused on meso-scale convective systems.

The GHP meeting began with the project reports for the Regional Hydroclimate Projects (RHPs) that focused on how they are contributing to addressing the GEWEX Science Questions. For MAHASRI, Jun Matsumoto reported on a number of activities including a data rescuing project that will digitise meteorological data back to the early 20th century in Japan. A NEESPI  representative could not be present, however Eric Woods presented a summary of some findings to date. For HyMeX, Phillipe Drobinski reported on recent activities, in particular the recently conducted second special observation period, a very large coordinated field campaign in the north-western Mediterranean. The newest RHP, SaskRB was reported by Howard Wheater. This project is still in its establishment phase but is looking to expand its focus to include more northern basins as part of the Changing Cold Regions Network.

A number of cross-cut projects (projects focused on particular issues or questions of interest to multiple RHPs) also reported on progress. The Drought cross-cut, led by Ron Stewart and initiated with the Global Drought Information System (GDIS), is moving toward publication of special issue of the Journal of Climate on regional droughts around the world. While a follow-up activity on drought has not been planned, it is felt that this topic warrants one. Anyone with an idea for a drought related cross-cut activity should contact the GHP co-chairs (Jan Polcher and Jason Evans). The cross-cut activity on sub-daily precipitation was reported by Seth Westra. It recently published a description and call for participation in the August 2013 edition of GEWEX News.

Potential new Cross-cut activities were also discussed including better understanding precipitation that undergoes phase transitions (e.g. freezing rain, rain on snow, …), alpine precipitation and hydrology, and seasonal streamflow prediction (in collaboration with HEPEX) amongst others. GHP is actively looking for new cross-cut activities. If you would like to get involved in a current activity or propose a new one please contact the GHP co-chairs.

A number of prospective RHPs also gave reports including one focused on the hydroclimate of Lake Victoria in eastern Africa (HyVic), the Baltic Sea region (Baltic Earth) and Australia (OzEWEX). While the level of activity in OzEWEX varies considerably between working groups, GHP feedback was generally positive. GHP is certainly supportive of such an activity in Australia and encourages the development of a science plan and application for formal recognition as a RHP. A good science plan will help to focus OzEWEX research, foster collaboration between researchers and provide a clear motivation/justification for related research, which – through GHP – could have World Climate Research Programme recognition and support.


report by Jason Evans

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