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Dr. Sujoy B. Roy Discusses Modeling and Analysis to Assess Future Climate Change Impacts

Headshot of Dr. Sujoy B. Roy

Sujoy B. Roy, PhD, a principal engineer in Tetra Tech’s Lafayette, California, office, has more than 25 years of experience in large water-related modeling projects.

“我被气候变化所吸引,是因为这个问题的规模和后果。. Roy. In looking at longer-term infrastructure and future water supply studies, 气候方面的考虑很少被视为一门单独的学科,而更多地被纳入正在进行的长期分析.

Dr. Roy leads several major interdisciplinary studies related to water resources, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions from water sector projects, and sea level rise impacts, with a particular focus on future growth and climate change. 他的几项重要研究包括气候变化对洛杉矶渡槽供水的影响, a national study on the role of climate change on future water withdrawals, 以及一项正在进行的全球最大体育平台加州圣华金河谷农业适应潜在气候变化的研究.

Dr. Roy served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board from 2009 to 2015. 他还在国家科学院的密苏里河流域恢复小组和密西西比流域清洁水法实施小组任职. 他拥有卡内基梅隆大学土木与环境工程博士学位和硕士学位,以及印度理工学院德里土木工程学士学位.


How did you get involved in modeling related to climate change?

我一直以两种方式参与建模:从环境中有机碳的循环来看,从对全球最大体育平台类系统和基础设施的影响来看. I’ve been involved in climate-related studies since the mid-1990s. Some of my early work involved looking at carbon cycling on a large scale, and more recently, I’ve been doing studies looking at impacts to specific areas, like water resources or water quality.

我认为气候变化一直是着眼于长期影响的项目的一部分. For example, how might climate change affect future water supply scenarios? 这在长期水质规划或生态系统规划中非常典型,以评估未来气候的影响, especially recently. 它很少被视为一门独立的学科,而更多地被视为正在进行的长期分析的组成部分.



我非常感兴趣的一个领域是,在我自己与水相关的研究领域中,极端行为将如何改变. What will happen to long-term droughts? What will happen to extreme high temperature events, and what will happen to extreme precipitation events? 在这些时期,天气影响会对全球最大体育平台类和自然系统产生重大影响. As the climate gets warmer, 极端炎热天气的发生率或可能导致洪水的极端暴雨的发生率是多少?

我们着眼于气候变化的长期影响,以评估拟议基础设施的适用性. If you’re building a road near the coast, 重要的是要了解未来几十年的洪水或风暴潮会是什么样子. 你正在研究对基础设施的具体影响,以及如何使其更能适应更多变的气候. And it’s not just how the averages are changing. People talk about climate change as warmer temperatures, but it’s not just those averages we need to worry about. It’s also the extremes that could be changing, 我认为大多数对系统的破坏都发生在那些极端时期. The 100-year flood is of great concern to us. 有没有信息表明这种极端事件正变得越来越普遍? That’s the focus of our kind of analysis. That’s what my team does at Tetra Tech.



Despite a lot of research, 我们仍然没有很好地了解不同地区的降水等情况会发生什么. 可能会有更多的极端潮湿时期,同时我们可能会担心干旱. The challenge is as a society how do we plan for it? 如果我们知道会有更多的干旱,我们就会以某种方式做出反应. If we were expecting more floods, we would be responding a different way. I think both of those extremes can happen, and it’s the breadth of future scenarios that is the big challenge. 例如,以加州为例,模型显示未来的气候可能更湿润或更干燥. 根据它的发展方向,我们可能不得不进行非常不同的投资.



Presently, the approach we take is to try to communicate that uncertainty. Even though climate change is one of the most actively researched topics today, our confidence in describing conditions 20 to 30 years ahead is quite limited. I think it’s an education process. I would like people to be aware of the potential risks for future planning. I recognize there’s a wide range of scenarios out there. 加强防洪或加强供水所需的一些投资是巨大的. Sometimes these climate impacts and investments may span generations. 我们能为客户提供的最佳建议是告知他们各种可能性,并尝试更好地了解他们系统中的弱点,以便我们能够专注于最有效的行动.



Absolutely. I think every year—or certainly every few years—the type of data we collect, and the efficiency and cost with how we collect the data, improves. 我们对我们的自然系统有了更好的了解,这种资源的价值对社会来说也越来越明显. The tools we are using for modeling will expand as we get more and more data, especially temporally detailed data on the systems that we’re modeling. 这种改善的发生是因为更便宜的技术和我们更好地理解这些系统的价值.



Society would like us to provide more credible future scenarios to respond to. 曾经有一段时间,气候变化本身是一个概念,许多全球最大体育平台不同意,或者认为它太遥远了. 我认为我们已经过去了,我们的客户现在正试图对基础设施的长期可持续性做出合理的决定. 如果我们承认气候变化将会发生,下一个问题是我们应该为此做些什么. I think modeling advancements will provide better insight in years to come. 做出基础设施投资决策的全球最大体育平台应该对他们计划应对的未来环境更有信心.

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