Dynamic Model Downscaling of Climate Change and Its Impacts on Marine Environmental Conditions off North Carolina



Photo via NC State University

State Marine Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor Roy He is investigating a suite of high-resolution simulations of future climate change impacts at the NC coastal region by dynamically downscaling global climate scenarios using a newly developed regional ocean model and multi-scale nesting capability. The project goal is to provide NC coastal communities and resource managers with site-specific information on the potential impacts of sea-level rise and marine environment on NC coastal communities and habitats and their associated ecosystem services.

In 2019, Dr. He and his research team have improved their model nesting capability, with a specific focus on the NC coast. This nesting allows their model to “zoom in” on coastal NC, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and the Outer Banks, to resolve fine-scale features such as flooding, hurricane, and sea-level impacts.

In addition, Dr. He reported:

  • 7 publications,
  • 11 conference presentations,
  • 2 faculty members,
  • 3 graduate students,
  • 6 post-docs,
  • 7 university partners,
  • and 6 company partners.

Dr. He’s related startup company Fathom Science LLC continues to grow and develop, having completed a contract with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and subsequently winning a second, three-year NOAA contract. OceanNow, a user-interface site, has been developed and is in the process of commercial implementation and testing. Dr. He reported leveraging a $2.1 million National Academy of Sciences grant, a $684K NSF grant, and a $306K NOAA grant.