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Past Working Groups


Climate Shift

The objective of the WG is to better understand changes in the global water cycle as related to the “climate shift” which happened in approximately 1998. During the last 25- 30 years of satellite and re-analysis information, global surface warming and increases in ocean water vapor are evident, primarily in the pre-1998 period, with a leveling off of these increases in the post-1998 period.


Clouds & Radiation

The NEWS Cloud and Radiation Working Group is aimed at improving the global closure of the water and energy budgets by first focusing on understanding the variability of clouds and radiation within specific regimes. The current emphasis is on subsidence regimes, where climate models have considerable difficulty representing the tight coupling between surface fluxes, precipitation, boundary layer clouds, and radiative fluxes.

Drought in California


The Extremes WG group focused on identifying the onset and demise mechanism of severe droughts in the United States. The 2012 drought may not have been predictable based on current schemes employed for such purposes, but it may have been anticipatable due to knowledge of key precursors such as favorable SST patterns, reduced regional soil moisture and winter snow packs. This working group examined the extent to which the onset and demise of the 2011-2012 drought could be anticipated and to put recent severe droughts in perspective.


Drought & Flood Extremes

Including water and energy aspects of abrupt climate change.

Evaporated Lake

Evaporation & Latent Heating

WG activities emphasized understanding, and characterized the available E, P, and LH datasets. The goal was to choose an analysis that can be performed solely or mainly with NEWS data sets and also with MERRA results, working together with the modeling community to not only learn something about the science, but also something about the data and the models in a way that may be useful for future model development.

Modeling & Water Cycle Prediction

Foster interaction with the global modeling community 

Water and Energy Cycle Climatology

The NEWS Water and Energy Cycle Climatology working group developed the first assessment of the state of the global water and energy cycles at the start of the new millennium, based on data from the most advanced space and ground based measurement systems and output from observation-integrating models.  This was a critical step towards the NEWS objective of evaluating water and energy cycle consequences of climate change.