Hierarchical stochastic modelling of large river ecosystems and fish growth across spatio-temporal scales and climate models: the Missouri River endangered pallid sturgeon example
Published:January 01, 2017
Mark L. Wildhaber, Christopher K. Wikle, Edward H. Moran, Christopher J. Anderson, Kristie J. Franz, Rima Dey, 2017. "Hierarchical stochastic modelling of large river ecosystems and fish growth across spatio-temporal scales and climate models: the Missouri River endangered pallid sturgeon example", Integrated Environmental Modelling to Solve Real World Problems: Methods, Vision and Challenges, A. T. Riddick, H. Kessler, J. R. A. Giles
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We present a hierarchical series of spatially decreasing and temporally increasing models to evaluate the uncertainty in the atmosphere – ocean global climate model (AOGCM) and the regional climate model (RCM) relative to the uncertainty in the somatic growth of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). For effects on fish populations of riverine ecosystems, climate output simulated by coarse-resolution AOGCMs and RCMs must be downscaled to basins to river hydrology to population response. One needs to transfer the information from these climate simulations down to the individual scale in a way that minimizes extrapolation and can account for spatio-temporal variability in the intervening stages. The goal is a framework to determine whether, given uncertainties in the climate models and the biological response, meaningful inference can still be made. The non-linear downscaling of climate information to the river scale requires that one realistically account for spatial and temporal variability across scale. Our downscaling procedure includes the use of fixed/calibrated hydrological flow and temperature models coupled with a stochastically parameterized sturgeon bioenergetics model. We show that, although there is a large amount of uncertainty associated with both the climate model output and the fish growth process, one can establish significant differences in fish growth distributions between models, and between future and current climates for a given model.
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Integrated Environmental Modelling to Solve Real World Problems: Methods, Vision and Challenges
The discipline of Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) has developed in order to solve complex environmental problems, for example understanding the impacts of climate change on the physical environment. IEM provides methods to fuse or link models together, this in turn requires facilities to make models discoverable and also to make the outputs of modelling easily visualized.
The vision and challenges for IEM going forward are summarized by leading proponents. Several case studies describe the application of model fusion to a range of real-world problems including integrating groundwater and recharge models within the UK Environment Agency, and the development of ‘catastrophe’ models to predict better the impact of natural hazards. Communicating modelling results to end users who are often not specialist modellers is also an emerging area of research addressed within the volume. Also included are papers that highlight current developments of the technology platforms underpinning model fusion.