Year Awarded: 2014
Research Lab: Noah Diffenbaugh
Yuwei Liu received a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in May 2014. His research focused on droughts in global monsoon regions. By analyzing 20th-century observations, and conducting global and regional climate-model simulations, Liu found that large-scale regional climate change in the late 1960s was associated with severe droughts. Similar changes in climate are likely to happen in the coming century. His postdoctoral appointment at Stanford ended in 2015.
Effects of Large-Scale Solar Energy on Land and Water Resources in the Southwest United States
With the current drought in the western U.S., solar farms are becoming a preferred way of utilizing land and water resources versus crops and farmland. However, replacing large-scale agriculture with solar technologies can change the local climate by changing land-cover characteristics. The goal of this research project is to test the climate impact of large-scale solar farms using a high-performance computing cluster for climate modeling. This work will build on the initial computer simulations that were run as part of the TomKat seed grant project. As a next step, we have begun to run a long (multi-year and multi-decade) experiment testing the influence of large-scale solar on the climate of the western U.S. This long-range experiment is necessary to distinguish the influence of large-scale solar from the background noise of climate variability.