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Dr. Daniel R. Cayan

Research Meteorologist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego

FIRST SURPRISE: THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS PRODUCING ASYMMETRIC TEMPERATURES IN WINE COUNTRY. Sea Surface Temperature at 35º N Latitude increased by 0.72ºC from 1951 to 2000. Growing Season Temperature increased 0.79ºC in St. Helena over the same period (18.5 to 19.3ºC). It is not surprising that most of the change occurred at night — increasing by 1.4°C (9.1ºC to 10.5ºC). What is the effect of asymmetric change on phenology: bud break, florasion, verasion and harvest?

Research Interests

Cayan’s work is aimed at understanding climate variability and changes over the Pacific Ocean and North America and how they affect the water cycle and related sectors over western North America. He has specific interests in regional climate in California and has played a leading role in a series of California climate vulnerability and adaptation assessments.

Cayan directs the California Applications Program, a National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration-sponsored effort to improve climate information for decisionmakers in the California region, and also directs the Scripps component of California Climate Change Center (CCCC), a multi-investigator effort sponsored by the California Energy Commission to assess potential climate change effects in California. In 2006, the CCCC released the report “Our Changing Climate — Assessing the Risks to California”, and is currently beginning work to release a follow-up report in 2008.

He is alsoInvolved with programs to deliver improved climate information to decision makers: the California Nevada Applications Program (CNAP), sponsored by the NOAA RISA Program and the Southwest Climate Science Center, sponsored by the US Geological Survey, Department of Interior.

Cayan received a BSc and an MSc in physical oceanography from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received a second MSc in atmospheric sciences from the University of California, Davis. He received a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.

He is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union.

  • Seasonal – interdecadal climate variations
  • Climate change
  • Climate impacts on water, wildfire, health, and agriculture in California and western North America

For additional information, visit: http://tenaya.ucsd.edu/~cayan/index.html, http://cnap.ucsd.edu