Date of Award:

5-2017

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mathematics and Statistics

Committee

Luis F. Gordillo

Committee

Brynja Kohler

Committee

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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