Ateneo Physics Alumnus and Purdue University graduate student Kendra Castillo in UCAR Magazine June 2010: Impact of tropical deforestation on climate using NCAR’s Community Land Model

Ateneo Physics alumnus Ms. Charlotte Kendra G. Castillo was featured in the UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) Magazine last June 10, 2010 for her work on computer simulations of climate effects of tropical deforestation.  Kendra finished her B.S. in Physics (2001) in Ateneo de Manila University and graduated as the Class Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude.  She worked on Climate Studies at Manila Observatory then went to  take her graduate studies in Purdue University.  Below is the magazine article on Kendra’s work:

Sam Levis, Gordon Bonan, Kendra Castillo

NCAR’s Sam Levis and Gordon Bonan are working with Kendra Castillo (Purdue University) on tests of the newest Community Land Model.

A graduate student from Purdue University has been putting the latest version of NCAR’s Community Land Model through its paces, simulating the impacts of tropical deforestation on climate. Kendra Castillo spent the past winter in Boulder as a graduate student visitor, one of ten being supported this year by NCAR’s Advanced Study Program for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months.

The project’s focus came naturally to Castillo, a native of the Philippines. “I guess I have a bias because I’m from a tropical country,” she says. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Philippines has been losing its rainforest at the rate of about 2% per year, one of the highest rates in the world.

With her adviser at Purdue, Kevin Gurney, Castillo is conducting a sensitivity analysis to determine whether the pace of deforestation makes a significant difference in the end result. The project dovetails with a climate-treaty option called “preservation pathways,” put forth by Gurney and Purdue colleague Leigh Raymond. Under this plan, nations would receive credit both for preserving forests and for slowing down the rate at which forests are lost.

A new paper by Castillo and Gurney, now in review, compares the climate feedbacks that result from two different rates of human-induced deforestation, one in line with recent history and the other substantially higher. According to Castillo’s NCAR mentor, Sam Levis, “the hypothesis is that there might be some nonlinearity if you pick a rate in between the extremes. That’s what Kendra is trying with CCSM 4.0.”

Castillo’s study will serve as the first major test of the newest CLM’s dynamic vegetation component. It’s now available to users in a format coupled with interactive carbon and nitrogen, which lends a new realism to the output. Although the dynamic vegetation component wasn’t ready to be used in this year’s IPCC runs, says Levis, those runs are including the interactive carbon and nitrogen with vegetation distributions assigned from satellite products.

Source: UCAR

A graduate student from Purdue University has been putting the latest version of NCAR’s Community Land Model through its paces, simulating the impacts of tropical deforestation on climate. Kendra Castillo spent the past winter in Boulder as a graduate student visitor, one of ten being supported this year by NCAR’s Advanced Study Program for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months.

The project’s focus came naturally to Castillo, a native of the Philippines. “I guess I have a bias because I’m from a tropical country,” she says. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Philippines has been losing its rainforest at the rate of about 2% per year, one of the highest rates in the world.

With her adviser at Purdue, Kevin Gurney, Castillo is conducting a sensitivity analysis to determine whether the pace of deforestation makes a significant difference in the end result. The project dovetails with a climate-treaty option called “preservation pathways,” put forth by Gurney and Purdue colleague Leigh Raymond. Under this plan, nations would receive credit both for preserving forests and for slowing down the rate at which forests are lost.

A new paper by Castillo and Gurney, now in review, compares the climate feedbacks that result from two different rates of human-induced deforestation, one in line with recent history and the other substantially higher. According to Castillo’s NCAR mentor, Sam Levis, “the hypothesis is that there might be some nonlinearity if you pick a rate in between the extremes. That’s what Kendra is trying with CCSM 4.0.”

Castillo’s study will serve as the first major test of the newest CLM’s dynamic vegetation component. It’s now available to users in a format coupled with interactive carbon and nitrogen, which lends a new realism to the output. Although the dynamic vegetation component wasn’t ready to be used in this year’s IPCC runs, says Levis, those runs are including the interactive carbon and nitrogen with vegetation distributions assigned from satellite products.

Advertisements

About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

One Response to Ateneo Physics Alumnus and Purdue University graduate student Kendra Castillo in UCAR Magazine June 2010: Impact of tropical deforestation on climate using NCAR’s Community Land Model

  1. Concerned Student says:

    2010/08/02 at 2:30 am

    The Ateneo Physics Department has already produced a lot of ingenious and bright minds who have given pride not only to the department but also to the school. Many of the students have finished their graduate studies abroad. But we are all aware that Physics is a rapidly changing field. We have to admit that the department has to improve and grow for us to become globally competitive and self-sustainable. Personally, I believe that the department needs its alumni. The condition of Physics education in the country is getting worse. We have to revive it as early as possible if we want to help in the future of our country. Physics is very crucial in a country’s development. We need new equipments and facilities. We need more professors and lecturers. We need researchers. We need our physicists. We have to invest for the future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: