The Effects of Altered Vegetation on Local Climate Change with Respect to the Glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro

Show full item record

Title: The Effects of Altered Vegetation on Local Climate Change with Respect to the Glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro
Author: Heuser, Sean
Advisors: Dr. Frederick Semazzi, Committee Chair
Dr. Gary Lackmann, Committee Member
Dr. Adel Hanna, Committee Member
Abstract: HEUSER, SEAN PATRICK. The Effects of Altered Vegetation on Local Climate Change with Respect to Glaciers atop Mount Kilimanjaro. (Under the direction of Dr. Fredrick H.M. Semazzi) The objective of this study is to determine how changes in vegetation around the region of Mount Kilimanjaro effect the glaciers atop the mountain. Using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) Advanced Research WRF (ARW) model, we are able to alter albedo, roughness length, and vegetation for a given area around the mountain during the June, July, August season of 2000. These simulations are also done for the March, April, May season of 2000 to determine lag effects of vegetation in comparison to soil moisture for the region. We use the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to determine the severity of vegetation change for the region. For this study, we are comparing temperature, precipitation, as well as radiation balances to infer whether glaciers will thrive or decline in a changed environment. Using this information, we make inferences on what should be happening atop Mount Kilimanjaro. Our study concludes that the albedo plays a larger role in changing temperatures with roughness length playing a larger role in terms of affecting precipitation. Changing vegetation from grasslands to savanna show more change to the glacier than when being altered to cropland. Furthermore, the changes made in this study conclude that the glacier itself may actually decline in an environment with more cropland than with more savanna. This is due to the decrease in orographic effects which dominate the precipitation patterns in the region.
Date: 2010-04-28
Degree: MS
Discipline: Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6314


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
etd.pdf 9.421Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record