Climate Science Program

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Christopher J. Anderson

Scientist, Assistant Director Climate Science Program

Christopher J. Anderson

Office: 2021 Agronomy Hall

Phone: 515-294-9948



Department: Agronomy

Research Interests: regional climate analysis, regional climate change attribution, seasonal forecasts, impact of climate change on engineering and energy production, financial markets, and severe weather

Brief description of current research:

My research interests stem from two questions, one hypothetical and one applied.

What changes in regional weather conditions are caused by increased greenhouse gas concentrations?

This question is hypothetical since it would require that a second earth exists without greenhouse gas increases to make real-world measurements to answer it.  It is relevant, however, to estimate this from our best weather models in order to give perspective to changes made to societal infrastructure, like bridges, levies, reservoirs, and insurable property, as a result of climate change.  My focus is on weather events connected to the water cycle, such as frequency and intensity of rainfall, of severe thunderstorms, and of floods.

How should the design process for societal infrastructure be altered to accommodate the expected climate changes?

This is the applied question.  The science of climate variability and climate change is entering a period in which the research goals will become more focused on using climate information for resource management, policy decisions, and industry profitability.  In this transition period, I see opportunity to provide the best climate information and to connect it to the bottom line.

Recent publications:

Christopher J. Anderson, Raymond W. Arritt, and John S. Kain, 2007: An Alternative Mass Flux Profile in the Kain–Fritsch Convective Parameterization and Its Effects in Seasonal Precipitation. J. Hydrometeor.,8, 1128–1140.

Christopher J. Anderson, Christopher K. Wikle, Qin Zhou, and J. Andrew Royle, 2007: Population Influences on Tornado Reports in the United States. Wea. Forecasting, 22, 571-579.

Christopher J. Anderson, Raymond W. Arritt, Eugene S. Takle, Zaitao Pan, William J. Gutowski Jr., Francis O. Otieno, Renato da Silva, Daniel Caya, Jens H. Christensen, Daniel Lüthi, Miguel A. Gaertner, Clemente Gallardo, Filippo Giorgi, Song-You Hong, Colin Jones, H.-M. H. Juang, J. J. Katzfey, William M. Lapenta, René Laprise, Jay W. Larson, Glen E. Liston, John L. McGregor, Roger A. Pielke Sr., John O. Roads, and John A. Taylor, 2003: Hydrological Processes in Regional Climate Model Simulations of the Central United States Flood of June–July 1993. J. Hydrometeor., 4, 584-598.

Christopher J. Anderson and Raymond W. Arritt, 2001: Representation of Summertime Low-Level Jets in the Central United States by the NCEP–NCAR Reanalysis. J. Climate, 14, 234-247.

Christopher J. Anderson and Raymond W. Arritt, 2001: Mesoscale Convective Systems over the United States during the 1997–98 El Niño. Mon. Wea. Rev., 129, 2443-2457.