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Elias C. Massoud
,
Forrest Hoffman
,
Zheng Shi
,
Jinyun Tang
,
Elie Alhajjar
,
Mallory Barnes
,
Renato K. Braghiere
,
Zoe Cardon
,
Nathan Collier
,
Octavia Crompton
,
P. James Dennedy-Frank
,
Sagar Gautam
,
Miquel A. Gonzalez-Meler
,
Julia K. Green
,
Charles Koven
,
Paul Levine
,
Natasha MacBean
,
Jiafu Mao
,
Richard Tran Mills
,
Umakant Mishra
,
Maruti Mudunuru
,
Alexandre A. Renchon
,
Sarah Scott
,
Erica R. Siirila-Woodburn
,
Matthias Sprenger
,
Christina Tague
,
Yaoping Wang
,
Chonggang Xu
, and
Claire Zarakas

Abstract

In November 2021, the Artificial Intelligence for Earth System Predictability (AI4ESP) workshop was held, which involved hundreds of researchers from dozens of institutions. There were 17 sessions held at the workshop, including one on ecohydrology. The ecohydrology session included various breakout rooms that addressed specific topics, including 1) soils and belowground areas; 2) watersheds; 3) hydrology; 4) ecophysiology and plant hydraulics; 5) ecology; 6) extremes, disturbance and fire, and land-use and land-cover change; and 7) uncertainty quantification methods and techniques. In this paper, we investigate and report on the potential application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in ecohydrology, highlight outcomes of the ecohydrology session at the AI4ESP workshop, and provide visionary perspectives for future research in this area.

Open access
Douglas Schuster
and
Michael Friedman
Open access
Lily-belle Sweet
,
Christoph Müller
,
Mohit Anand
, and
Jakob Zscheischler

Abstract

Machine learning algorithms are able to capture complex, nonlinear, interacting relationships and are increasingly used to predict agricultural yield variability at regional and national scales. Using explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) methods applied to such algorithms may enable better scientific understanding of drivers of yield variability. However, XAI methods may provide misleading results when applied to spatiotemporal correlated datasets. In this study, machine learning models are trained to predict simulated crop yield from climate indices, and the impact of cross-validation strategy on the interpretation and performance of the resulting models is assessed. Using data from a process-based crop model allows us to then comment on the plausibility of the “explanations” provided by XAI methods. Our results show that the choice of evaluation strategy has an impact on (i) interpretations of the model and (ii) model skill on held-out years and regions, after the evaluation strategy is used for hyperparameter tuning and feature selection. We find that use of a cross-validation strategy based on clustering in feature space achieves the most plausible interpretations as well as the best model performance on held-out years and regions. Our results provide the first steps toward identifying domain-specific “best practices” for the use of XAI tools on spatiotemporal agricultural or climatic data.

Significance Statement

“Explainable” or “interpretable” machine learning (XAI) methods have been increasingly used in scientific research to study complex relationships between climatic and biogeoscientific variables (such as crop yield). However, these methods can return contradictory, implausible, or ambiguous results. In this study, we train machine learning models to predict maize yield anomalies and vary the model evaluation method used. We find that the evaluation (cross validation) method used has an effect on model interpretation results and on the skill of resulting models in held-out years and regions. These results have implications for the methodological design of studies that aim to use XAI tools to identify drivers of, for example, crop yield variability.

Open access
Linsey S. Passarella
and
Salil Mahajan

Abstract

We construct a novel multi-input multioutput autoencoder (MIMO-AE) to capture the nonlinear relationship of Southern California precipitation and tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature. The MIMO-AE is trained on both monthly tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (TP-SST) and Southern California precipitation (SC-PRECIP) anomalies simultaneously. The covariability of the two fields in the MIMO-AE shared nonlinear latent space can be condensed into an index, termed the MIMO-AE index. We use a transfer learning approach to train a MIMO-AE on the combined dataset of 100 yr of output from a historical simulation with the Energy Exascale Earth Systems Model, version 1, and a segment of observational data. We further use long short-term memory networks to assess subseasonal predictability of SC-PRECIP using the MIMO-AE index. We find that the MIMO-AE index provides enhanced predictability of SC-PRECIP for a lead time of up to 4 months as compared with the Niño-3.4 index and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation longitudinal index.

Significance Statement

Traditional El Niño–Southern Oscillation indices, like the Niño-3.4 index, although well predicted themselves, fail to offer reliable subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions of western U.S. precipitation. Here, we use a machine learning approach called a multi-input, multioutput autoencoder to capture the relationship between tropical Pacific Ocean and Southern California precipitation and project it onto a new index, which we call the MIMO-AE index. Using machine learning–based time series predictions, we find that the MIMO-AE index offers enhanced predictability of Southern California precipitation up to a lead time of 4 months as compared with other ENSO indices.

Open access
Cristiana Stan
and
Rama Sesha Sridhar Mantripragada

Abstract

This paper presents a novel application of convolutional neural network (CNN) models for filtering the intraseasonal variability of the tropical atmosphere. In this deep learning filter, two convolutional layers are applied sequentially in a supervised machine learning framework to extract the intraseasonal signal from the total daily anomalies. The CNN-based filter can be tailored for each field similarly to fast Fourier transform filtering methods. When applied to two different fields (zonal wind stress and outgoing longwave radiation), the index of agreement between the filtered signal obtained using the CNN-based filter and a conventional weight-based filter is between 95% and 99%. The advantage of the CNN-based filter over the conventional filters is its applicability to time series with the length comparable to the period of the signal being extracted.

Significance Statement

This study proposes a new method for discovering hidden connections in data representative of tropical atmosphere variability. The method makes use of an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that combines a mathematical operation known as convolution with a mathematical model built to reflect the behavior of the human brain known as artificial neural network. Our results show that the filtered data produced by the AI-based method are consistent with the results obtained using conventional mathematical algorithms. The advantage of the AI-based method is that it can be applied to cases for which the conventional methods have limitations, such as forecast (hindcast) data or real-time monitoring of tropical variability in the 20–100-day range.

Open access
Robert C. Jackson
,
Bhupendra A. Raut
,
Dario Dematties
,
Scott M. Collis
,
Nicola Ferrier
,
Pete Beckman
,
Rajesh Sankaran
,
Yongho Kim
,
Seongha Park
,
Sean Shahkarami
, and
Rob Newsom

Abstract

There is a need for long-term observations of cloud and precipitation fall speeds in validating and improving rainfall forecasts from climate models. To this end, the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) site at Lamont, Oklahoma, hosts five ARM Doppler lidars that can measure cloud and aerosol properties. In particular, the ARM Doppler lidars record Doppler spectra that contain information about the fall speeds of cloud and precipitation particles. However, due to bandwidth and storage constraints, the Doppler spectra are not routinely stored. This calls for the automation of cloud and rain detection in ARM Doppler lidar data so that the spectral data in clouds can be selectively saved and further analyzed. During the ARMing the Edge field experiment, a Waggle node capable of performing machine learning applications in situ was deployed at the ARM SGP site for this purpose. In this paper, we develop and test four algorithms for the Waggle node to automatically classify ARM Doppler lidar data. We demonstrate that supervised learning using a ResNet50-based classifier will classify 97.6% of the clear-air images and 94.7% of cloudy images correctly, outperforming traditional peak detection methods. We also show that a convolutional autoencoder paired with k-means clustering identifies 10 clusters in the ARM Doppler lidar data. Three clusters correspond to mostly clear conditions with scattered high clouds, and seven others correspond to cloudy conditions with varying cloud-base heights.

Open access
Benjamin Scarino
,
Kyle Itterly
,
Kristopher Bedka
,
Cameron R. Homeyer
,
John Allen
,
Sarah Bang
, and
Daniel Cecil

Abstract

Geostationary satellite imagers provide historical and near-real-time observations of cloud-top patterns that are commonly associated with severe convection. Environmental conditions favorable for severe weather are thought to be represented well by reanalyses. Predicting exactly where convection and costly storm hazards like hail will occur using models or satellite imagery alone, however, is extremely challenging. The multivariate combination of satellite-observed cloud patterns with reanalysis environmental parameters, linked to Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD) estimated maximum expected size of hail (MESH) using a deep neural network (DNN), enables estimation of potentially severe hail likelihood for any observed storm cell. These estimates are made where satellites observe cold clouds, indicative of convection, located in favorable storm environments. We seek an approach that can be used to estimate climatological hailstorm frequency and risk throughout the historical satellite data record. Statistical distributions of convective parameters from satellite and reanalysis show separation between nonsevere and severe hailstorm classes for predictors that include overshooting cloud-top temperature and area characteristics, vertical wind shear, and convective inhibition. These complex, multivariate predictor relationships are exploited within a DNN to produce a likelihood estimate with a critical success index of 0.511 and Heidke skill score of 0.407, which is exceptional among analogous hail studies. Furthermore, applications of the DNN to case studies demonstrate good qualitative agreement between hail likelihood and MESH. These hail classifications are aggregated across an 11-yr Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) image database from GOES-12/13 to derive a hail frequency and severity climatology, which denotes the central Great Plains, the Midwest, and northwestern Mexico as being the most hail-prone regions within the domain studied.

Open access
AMS Publications Commission AMS Publications Commission
Open access
Maria J. Molina
,
Travis A. O’Brien
,
Gemma Anderson
,
Moetasim Ashfaq
,
Katrina E. Bennett
,
William D. Collins
,
Katherine Dagon
,
Juan M. Restrepo
, and
Paul A. Ullrich

Abstract

Climate variability and weather phenomena can cause extremes and pose significant risk to society and ecosystems, making continued advances in our physical understanding of such events of utmost importance for regional and global security. Advances in machine learning (ML) have been leveraged for applications in climate variability and weather, empowering scientists to approach questions using big data in new ways. Growing interest across the scientific community in these areas has motivated coordination between the physical and computer science disciplines to further advance the state of the science and tackle pressing challenges. During a recently held workshop that had participants across academia, private industry, and research laboratories, it became clear that a comprehensive review of recent and emerging ML applications for climate variability and weather phenomena that can cause extremes was needed. This article aims to fulfill this need by discussing recent advances, challenges, and research priorities in the following topics: sources of predictability for modes of climate variability, feature detection, extreme weather and climate prediction and precursors, observation–model integration, downscaling, and bias correction. This article provides a review for domain scientists seeking to incorporate ML into their research. It also provides a review for those with some ML experience seeking to broaden their knowledge of ML applications for climate variability and weather.

Open access
Free access