Monday, June 5, 2017

A method for determining optimal observations for prediction

This is the seminar given in Trento on May 30th by Henk Dijkstra (GS). Henk is mainly an oceanographer but the methods he illustrates, especially the Bayesian tools he develops towards the end of his presentation can be useful also in hydrological cases, so I am very happy to host his talk here.
The discussion that followed is here:



The slides of the talk are here. And here is the paper by Kramer et al. (JPO 2012), Measuring the Impact of Observations on the Predictability of the Kuroshio Extension in a Shallow-Water Model.





Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to misinterpret photosynthesis measurements and develop incorrect ecosystem models

At recent EGU General Assembly in Wien, I saw an interesting presentation by Professor Ian Colin Prentice (GS) entitled: How to misinterpret photosynthesis measurements and develop incorrect ecosystem models. I believe I already cited some of his papers (in our Precise proposal and “Can we trust Climate models?”), however, I did not faced his thinking directly. I would lie if I said that I understood his point. I am far too ignorant of the Carbon cycle and the way to measure it to understand. However, I accept the challenge to to start somewhere, because understanding the carbon cycle helps certainly to understand evapotranspiration
Please find below some relevant picture of his slides and, just after the paper(s) he cited. Probably reading those papers can be a starting point to understand.
I. C. Prentice, X. Liang, B. E. Medlyn , and Y.-P. Wang, Reliable, robust and realistic: the three R’s of next-generation land-surface modelling, ACP, 2015 
Hoffman, F. M., J. T. Randerson, V. K. Arora, Q. Bao, P. Cadule, D. Ji, C. D. Jones, M. Kawamiya, S. Khatiwala, K. Lindsay, A. Obata, E. Shevliakova, K. D. Six, J. F. Tjiputra, E. M. Volodin, and T. Wu (2014), Causes and implications of persistent atmospheric carbon dioxide biases in Earth System Models, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 119, 141–162, doi:10.1002/2013JG002381.
H. D. Graven, R. F. Keeling, S. C. Pipe, P. K. Patra, B. B. Stephens, S. C. Wofsy, L. R. Welp, C. Sweeney, P. P. Tans, J. J. Kelley, B. C. Daube, E. A. Kort, G. W. Santoni, J. D. Bent Enhanced Seasonal Exchange of CO2 by Northern Ecosystems Since 1960, Science 2013
Wenzel, S., P. M. Cox, V. Eyring, andP. Friedlingstein (2014), Emergent constraints on climate-carbon cycle feedbacks in the CMIP5 Earth system models, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 119,794–807, doi:10.1002/2013JG002591 
Ainsworth EA1, Long SP, What have we learned from 15 years of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE)? A meta-analytic review of the responses of photosynthesis, canopy properties and plant production to rising CO2., New Phytol. 2005 Feb;165(2):351-71.
Ning Dong, Iain Colin Prentice, Bradley J. Evans , Stefan Caddy-Retalic, Andrew J. Lowe, and Ian J. Wright, Leaf nitrogen from first principles: field evidence for adaptive variation with climate, Biogeosciences, 14, 481–495, 2017 doi:10.5194/bg-14-481-2017 
Zaehle, S., Medlyn, B. E., De Kauwe, M. G., Walker, A. P., Dietze, M. C., Hickler, T., Luo, Y., Wang, Y.-P., El-Masri, B., Thornton, P., Jain, A., Wang, S., Warlind, D., Weng, E., Parton, W., Iversen, C. M., Gallet-Budynek, A., McCarthy, H., Finzi, A., Hanson, P. J., Prentice, I. C., Oren, R. and Norby, R. J. (2014), Evaluation of 11 terrestrial carbon–nitrogen cycle models against observations from two temperate Free-Air CO2 Enrichment studies. New Phytol, 202: 803–822. doi:10.1111/nph.12697 

César Terrer, Sara Vicca,Bruce A. Hungate,Richard P. Phillips,I. Colin Prentice, Mycorrhizal association as a primary control of the CO2 fertilization effect, Science 2016 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


This video presents part of the so called “Hazard Map” of Trentino Province in Italy. This is a work started in 2004 that aimed to substitute and simplify previous hazard maps. these maps are used for a variety of scopes that goes from urban and regional planning to civil protection scopes.
As reported in the Province website relative to the Hazard map, the following hazards are mapped:

Hydrological and geological hazards about:
  •  rivers; 
  •  torrents; 
  •  hillslope; 
  •  snow avalanches. 
Other hazards:
  • sismicity; 
  • unexploded bombs (after second world war); 
  • forest fires
The seminar was part of a short course held by Ing. Claudio Bortolotti, a former director of Civil Protection in Trentino, entitled: Integrated Civil Protection Systems.

The speakers were: dott. Mauro Zambotto, directory of Trento province Geological Service (TPGS), dott. Franco Daminato, and dott. Riccardo Campana, geologists at TPGS

I think that the seminar was interesting and highlight the practical use of many tools that I try to popularize to my students.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

ARS-AGEs is finally public

That is a news that I was waiting since a long time. AGEs is one of the other models that is based on the Object Modelling System infrastructure, and therefore a possible source of available components in our modelling based on GEOframe and JGrass-NewAGE tools.  I always beg for they to do this step, in order to have a clear basis on which to start collaborations and convergences. Finally they did.
Please, click on the image above for accessing the Bitbucket public repository.  They write:

"The Agricultural Ecosystem Services (AgES) model is a modular, Java-based spatially distributed environmental model which implements hydrologic/water quality simulation components under the Java Connection Framework (JCF) environmental modeling framework."

Actually, I do not like the word "JCF" which I do not know what exactly means, but is, anyway, a step forward openess that I appreciate.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dolle's Water by Andrea Zanzotto

Now to console me 
with a long visit 
comes the water of Dolle 
that brought ten hills to the town 
fled among bees and their keen castles 
touched the sensitive shapes 
of an island of pure sand, 
now comes this water I long for 
because it shines through your 
twin limbs; 
because it lingered 
a long time in the shadowed coffer 
where the fig-tree stands guard 
and the sun no longer makes moss or fern, 
where the sky’s festive scenes 
are already open. 
Water ignorant of clay 
that already flows from its tangles, 
proud of the momentary red 
of flowers celebrated by this hour, 
you go lightly touching and probing 
the shyest solitudes: 
let it stay mine, 
for my snail’s lamp 
for the garden the dwarf sharecrops, 
water from the thickest alphabet 
water with its messages 
of noble invasion 
of stars returning from alps 
now heavy with silver, 
water promising 
a night cool as a tomorrow

(Translation form Italian from here)

Ora viene a consolarmi
con una lunga visita
l’acqua di Dolle
che portò dieci colline al paese
sfuggì tra le api e i lor castelli di acume
toccò le forme sensitive
di un’isola di pura sabbia,
ora viene quest’acqua ch’io sospiro
perché traspare dalle tue
membra gemelle;
perché a lungo
indugiò nello scrigno d’ombra
dove il fico s’affaccia guardiano
e il sole non fa più musco né felce,
dove sono già aperte
le scene da festa del cielo.
Acqua ignara della creta
che già fuoriesce dai suoi viluppi,
fiera del rosso momentaneo
dei fiori celebrati da quest’ora,
tu vai dovunque lambendo e tentando
le più ritrose solitudini:
lasciatemela mia,
per la mia lampadina di chiocciola
per l’orto di che il nano è mezzadro,
lei dal fittissimo alfabeto
lei che ha i messaggi
di nobili invasioni
degli astri che ritornano dalle alpi
ormai pingui d’argento,
lei che va promettendo
una notte fresca come un domani.