Date of Award:

Summer 5-2017

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mathematics and Statistics

Advisor/Chair:

Luis F. Gordillo

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Brynja Kohler

Third Advisor:

Patrick Belmont

Abstract

Current climate change trends are affecting the magnitude and recurrence of extreme weather events. In particular, several semi-arid regions around the planet are confronting more intense and prolonged lack of precipitation, slowly transforming these regions into deserts. In this thesis we present a stochastic (meso-scale) model for vegetation-precipitation interactions for semi-arid landscapes. Extensive simulations with the model suggest that persistence in current trends of precipitation decline in semi-arid landscapes may expedite desertification processes by up to several decades.

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