Date(s) - 11/09/2021
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Please use this zoom link for the event.

Please join us for a UW Data Science Seminar event on Tuesday, November 9th from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The seminar will feature Fangfang Yao from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

“Understanding decadal variability in global lake water storage using satellite data and modelling” 

Abstract: Natural lakes and reservoirs (hereafter “lakes”) are essential components of the global hydrological cycle. They function as sentinels of climate change and provide indispensable water supply, energy generation, and aquatic ecosystems for meeting natural and human needs. Despite the importance of lakes, their water storage dynamics are poorly understood on a global scale. The challenge has been even amplified by the currently declining global network of gauging measurements. This knowledge gap prevents a fundamental understanding of changes in surface water availability under climate change and human activities. A synergy of satellite images and level measurements by satellite altimetry has the potential to deduce lake storage variations, but to date only a couple hundreds of large lakes worldwide have a time-varying volume record spanning over a decade. Here we construct an unprecedented global database of lake volume time series in nearly 2,000 large lakes (>100 km2) spanning 1992-2020 by leveraging three decades of high-resolution satellite observations from various sensors (e.g., optical, radar and lidar). We also map human and climate alterations to lake water storage at the global scale using statistical-learning techniques that incorporate natural and anthropogenic drivers estimated from global climate/hydrological models and published reports.

Biography: Dr. Fangfang Yao is a postdoctoral fellow in Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. He holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography from Kansas State University and an M.S. in Geographic Information Systems from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research explores the interaction among lakes, climate change and human activities with a primary focus on the terrestrial water cycle, climate and human impacts on lakes, and the impact of dams on society and the environment.

The UW Data Science Seminar is an annual lecture series at the University of Washington that hosts scholars working across applied areas of data science, such as the sciences, engineering, humanities and arts along with methodological areas in data science, such as computer science, applied math and statistics. Our presenters come from all domain fields and include occasional external speakers from regional partners, governmental agencies and industry.

The 2021-2022 seminars will be hybrid virtual and in-person events, and are free and open to the public.