General Information

Student: Roshil Paudyal
Office: CoRE 434
School: Howard University
E-mail: p.roshil1994@gmail.com
Project: Climate Change Analysis

Project Description

From the REU Project Description page: I am interested in refining the climate change analyses described in a "weather module" that is being developed for the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 project. In particular, it would be interesting to make a simplified version of the world climate change map in which each location is analyzed not by solving a daily model with sinusoidal seasonal fluctuations but rather a simpler model that uses annual averages for the input to a linear regression model. I will be working with Dr. Robert Vanderbei this summer. Dr. Vanderbei is a leading researcher in operations research and financial engineering. He is also an associated faculty member with the Astrophysics, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering departments at Princeton Universtiy

Weekly Log

Week 1:
So here I am at Rutgers working on my first ever research project! I spent the first half of the week just exploring the campus and its surroundings as I was yet to meet my mentor. On Thursday, I went to Princeton University to meet my mentor, Dr. Robert Vanderbei, and discussed some possibilities for the summer. Then I worked on my presentation which went well on Friday.
Week 2:
I went through some of my mentor's past works on the topic. He hooked me up with an access to AMPL, A Mathematical Programming Language (literally!). He also sent me most of the required data files so that I didn't have to dig into the NOAA database (Thank you Dr. Vanderbei!). I spent rest of the week getting familiar with the language and attending cool seminars.
Week 3:
I did the first round of data analysis. Using NCAR Command Language, I plotted the weather-station locations scattered throughout the world in a spherical globe. Then I created Delaunay triangulation and Voronoi polygons from them. (A voronoi Polygon is a polygon whose interior consists of all points in the plane which are closer to a particular point than to any other.) One of my goals was to compute the average change in temperature on the surface of earth per century. For that, I used the change in each station weighted by the area they represent. However, the computed average was not really close to what was expected. Time to rethink the process!
Week 4:
More seminars! And an exciting cultural day! It was a fun week and between all those, I managed to get to Princeton once again and talked to my mentor regarding the not-so-accurate results. We figured out the possible causes and planned out a better method of computation. Then my mentor mentioned something interesting. While we are here, spending entire summer to calculate how much the temperature has risen due to global warming, a New York Times article says that there has been no "warming" in last 20 years! Hmm.. point to be noted. We decided to give it a try and see if we get the same answer from the data we have for last 20 years.
Week 5:
Thanks to Wimbledon finals and Fourth of July, I was not able to do much work this week. (And yay, Murray won!!) I managed to color the polygons on the globe I mentioned earlier with a range of colors representing the change of temperature in each station. I also separated out the data for last 20 years from the gigantic data files I had; now I just need to feed them to a shell script and the results will follow very soon.
Week 6:
The results turned out to be consistent with the article. Global warming has indeed been passive for last 15-20 years (Praise the almighty!). Another surprising result that I got is that there had been a global cooling instead of global warming during the mid 20th century. As it turns out, that period is referred to as a little ice age! These "cool" results have slightly changed the plans for rest of the program.


Additional Information