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Hawaiʻi climate data project gets $20 million boon

Tony Webster

The National Science Foundation just awarded $20 million to the University of Hawaiʻi to boost data science.

One of the unique aspects of the project is that it will link scientists studying climate change with those working on data.

Leveraging the different research areas will produce results on several levels, says Gwen Jacobs with the project called Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

“One is to be able to take climate models that are used throughout say the mainland, and say the world, and to be able to take those models and downscale them so those predictions are appropriate for Hawaiʻi," Jacobs said.

"We don’t have those models now, and that will be something new and really helpful to all of us. This will help us predict things like rainfall patterns in the future, drought, incidents of flooding and others," Jacobs told HPR. "The other area that we’re going to look at is how climate impacts our water balance."

Jacobs says much of what scientists learn through this process can also be applied to other island environments — especially within the Pacific.

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 23, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter. She is also the lead producer of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast.
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