Jonathan Winter

Intense Rainfall More Common in last 20 Years

Intense rainfall events, like the one that triggered flash floods throughout the region and a mudslide in southern Vermont on Monday, have become much more common in the last 20 years, according to researchers at Dartmouth College.

Though the jury is still out on whether climate change is behind the trend, the findings, which were published last month, do suggest that what we think of as 100-year flood events might actually be much more likely to happen than conventional wisdom suggests, said Jonathan Winter, who joined Dartmouth colleagues Huanping Huang and Erich Osterberg on the research team.

Winter found that intense rainfalls — generally thought of as 2 or more inches of precipitation in a 24-hour period — are 53 percent more likely to happen than they were before the mid-1990s.

And current conditions in the Upper Valley are likely to increase the impact of those heavy rains.

Dartmouth Research Adds Detail to the Climate Picture

Anyone who travels on the highways of Northern New England is well aware of how much temperature and precipitation can vary from hilltop to valley. Now a Dartmouth-led research team has scaled down global climate models to create a sharper picture of this kind of local climate. . . (read more)

Impacts of Climate Change on Lake Champlain Basin

This summer Jonathan Winter received additional funding to support his research assessing the impacts of climate change on the Lake Champlain Basin.  This work is part of a broader NSF project led by the University of Vermont to create policy-relevant information on land use and management strategies to reduce algal blooms in Lake Champlain, which are caused by nutrient pollution and are toxic to humans, now and in the future.  

Studying Places Where Climate Change and Society Overlap

When a farmer and a climate scientist talk about the weather, they’re not just passing time—it’s serious business.

Climate change, including shifts in average temperature and precipitation as well as the probability of extreme events such as drought, floods, and heat waves, are not abstract political questions to the farmer; they are matters of economic life and death.

This is a reality climate scientist Jonathan Winter knows well. He did his post-doctoral work in hydroclimatology at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University with agronomist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a pioneer in the study of climate change and agriculture. The Department of Geography hired Winter this month as an assistant professor.

“We’re thrilled that Jonathan Winter will be joining the geography department,” says department chair Susanne Freidberg. “Besides working at the cutting edge of one of the key areas of climate change modeling, he’ll be teaching courses related to agriculture, which are in high demand at Dartmouth.”