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David J. Farnham

David J. Farnham
Carnegie Institution of Science · Global Ecology

PhD Earth and Environmental Engineering

About

34
Publications
5,047
Reads
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187
Citations

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
Wind and solar photovoltaic generators are projected to play important roles in achieving a net-zero-carbon electricity system that meets current and future energy needs. Here, we show potential advantages of long-term site planning of wind and solar power plants in deeply decarbonized electricity systems using a macro-scale energy model. With weak...
Article
Full-text available
We develop and present a k-nearest neighbor space-time simulator that accounts for the spatiotemporal dependence in high-dimensional hydroclimatic fields (e.g., wind and solar) and can simulate synthetic realizations of arbitrary length. We illustrate how this statistical simulation tool can be used in the context of regional power system planning...
Poster
Full-text available
Wind and solar photovoltaic are projected to play important roles in achieving a net-zero-carbon electricity system that meets current and future energy needs. Here, we show potential advantages of long-term site planning of wind and solar power plants in deep decarbonization scenarios for electricity systems. We use a macro-scale energy model to f...
Article
Electric sector capacity expansion models are widely used by academic, government, and industry researchers for policy analysis and planning. Many models overlap in their capabilities, spatial and temporal resolutions, and research purposes, but yield diverse results due to both parametric and structural differences. Previous work has attempted to...
Conference Paper
Hundreds of gigawatts of renewable technologies, such as wind and solar, need to be installed to reach a zero-carbon electricity system that meets current and future energy needs. Locations of new installations are typically chosen based on wind and solar availability to maximize facilities’ capacity factors. Here, we show that this is not always t...
Article
Full-text available
If future net-zero emissions energy systems rely heavily on solar and wind resources, spatial and temporal mismatches between resource availability and electricity demand may challenge system reliability. Using 39 years of hourly reanalysis data (1980–2018), we analyze the ability of solar and wind resources to meet electricity demand in 42 countri...
Article
Full-text available
Wind and solar electricity generation is projected to expand substantially over the next several decades due both to rapid cost declines as well as regulation designed to achieve climate targets. With increasing reliance on wind and solar generation, future energy systems may be vulnerable to previously underappreciated synoptic-scale variations ch...
Article
The validation of numerical models for large lakes is difficult because of sparse field observations. In this study, a Froude-Rossby scaled physical model of Lake Ontario, North America, is used to support numerical simulations. Experimental data are consistent with available field observations and provide a more comprehensive view of lake-wide fea...
Article
Full-text available
Winter storm Uri brought severe cold to the southern United States in February 2021, causing a cascading failure of interdependent systems in Texas where infrastructure was not adequately prepared for such cold. In particular, the failure of interconnected energy systems restricted electricity supply just as demand for heating spiked, leaving milli...
Preprint
Full-text available
Wind and solar electricity generation is projected to expand substantially over the next several decades due both to rapid cost declines as well as regulation designed to achieve climate targets. With increasing reliance on wind and solar generation, future energy systems may be vulnerable to previously underappreciated synoptic-scale variations ch...
Preprint
Full-text available
This preprint (open access at the link above) contextualizes the February 2021 cold snap that caused widespread failures of the electricity and energy systems in Texas within the historical temperature record. We find that previously recorded storms, including one in 1989, were at least as cold.
Article
Full-text available
Electricity usage (demand) data are used by utilities, governments, and academics to model electric grids for a variety of planning (e.g., capacity expansion and system operation) purposes. The U.S. Energy Information Administration collects hourly demand data from all balancing authorities (BAs) in the contiguous United States. As of September 201...
Article
Full-text available
This paper illustrates the potential for seasonal prediction of wind and solar energy resources through a case study in the Yangtze River estuary. Sea surface temperature and geopotential height-based climate predictors, each with high correlation to ensuing seasonal wind speed and solar radiation at the Baoshan weather observing station, are ident...
Article
The property damaged and the lives disrupted by recent hurricanes, floods, droughts, and water quality violations highlight the inadequacy of water infrastructure in the United States and around the world. Decisions about managing these infrastructure systems are strongly informed by societal perceptions of risk, which in turn are shaped through na...
Poster
Full-text available
Wind and solar energy technologies are, by their nature, variable. Variations in resource availability, based on weather patterns, occur on intra-day to inter-annual time scales. Many energy system models optimize over a single year of input weather and electricity demand data. Energy system planners need increased understanding of the variability...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment and implementation of structural or financial instruments for climate risk mitigation requires projections of future climate risk over the operational life of each proposed instrument. A point often neglected in the climate adaptation literature is that the physical sources of predictability differ between projects with long and shor...
Presentation
Full-text available
Evaluating and optimizing investments in climate adaptation requires projecting future climate risk over the operational life of each proposed investment. While many studies have considered that different climate change scenarios may emerge over the course of this M-year future period, adaptation policies remain vulnerable to the temporal and spati...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this study is to investigate the uncertainty of an urban sewer system’s response under various rainfall and infrastructure scenarios by applying a recently developed nonparametric copula-based simulation approach to extreme rainfall fields. The approach allows for Monte Carlo simulation of multiple variables with differing marginal dist...
Data
Supporting Information for "Regional extreme precipitation events: robust inference from credibly simulated GCM variables"
Article
Full-text available
General Circulation Models (GCMs) have been demonstrated to produce estimates of precipitation, including the frequency of extreme precipitation, with substantial bias and uncertainty relative to their representation of other fields. Thus, while theory predicts changes in the hydrologic cycle under anthropogenic warming, there is generally low con...
Article
Full-text available
Data collection or generation is the primary way that the majority of volunteers advance the scientific goals of citizen science projects, but other activities such as data consumption also may influence learning, civic, and conservation outcomes. Project designers and managers balance goals for multiple outcomes and thus need to consider the influ...
Poster
Full-text available
Zonal wind indices to reconstruct United States winter precipitation during El Niño
Article
The prediction of near surface wind speed is becoming increasingly vital for the operation of electrical energy grids as the capacity of installed wind power grows. The majority of predictive wind speed modeling has focused on point-based time-series forecasting. Effectively balancing demand and supply in the presence of distributed wind turbine el...
Presentation
Full-text available
Climate exhibits organized low-frequency and regime-like variability at multiple time scales, causing the risk associated with climate extremes such as floods and droughts to vary in time. Despite broad recognition of this nonstationarity, there has been little theoretical development of ideas for the design and operation of infrastructure consider...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal precipitation forecasts over the contiguous United States (CONUS) during the 2015-16 El Niño exhibited significant bias over many regions, especially in the Western United States where seasonal information is particularly valuable for reservoir operation. Diagnosing the origin of this bias requires understanding the empirical signal from t...
Conference Paper
The 2015/2016 El Niño has provided an unprecedented opportunity to analyze the dissemination of specific climate event information from a range of providers, its potential, and realized impacts. In this effort, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) has partnered with the Columbia University Data Science Institute (DSI)...
Poster
Full-text available
Regional-scale extreme rainfall and flooding are temporally and spatially associated with the occurrence of tropical moisture exports (TMEs) in the Ohio River Basin (ORB). TMEs are related to but not synonymous with atmospheric rivers, which refer to specific filiamentary organizational processes. TMEs to the ORB may be driven by strong, persistent...
Poster
Full-text available
The impacts of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), especially in the USA, are well studied. Given the past success at forecasting El Niño events and identifying their teleconnections to different parts of the country, there is a relatively well-publicized understanding of the potential impacts, and the possible directions of management response. C...
Poster
Full-text available
A Web-based Climate Teleconnection Module for Undergraduate and Graduate Water Engineering Students
Article
Although the relationships between meteorological conditions and waterway bacterial contamination are being better understood, statistical models capable of fully leveraging these links have not been developed for highly urbanized settings. We present a hierarchical Bayesian regression model for predicting transient fecal indicator bacteria contami...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
Wind and solar resources are highly variable in space and time and not always available when needed to meet electricity demand. Although they have some degree of complementarity that helps mitigate and smooth their variability, reliable power systems mostly based on variable energy sources require effective grid management, backup power systems, and energy storage capacity. I am investigating strategies for optimal and long-term planning of distributed wind generation in increasingly decarbonized electricity systems. I am using use a macro energy system model to reveal and disentangle system-level relationships and characteristics of optimal siting of distributed wind and solar generation in a decarbonized electricity system.
Project
We are cleaning and analyzing EIA's hourly electricity demand data for the lower 48 states with a goal of providing clean, validated data for ourselves and others to use in energy systems models. EIA data is gathered from utilities and often contains a variety of reporting irregularities which could impact the results of energy models. Original EIA data here: https://www.eia.gov/opendata/qb.php?category=2122628
Project
Work on the impacts of El Niño and how the anticipated and realized impacts are communicated by the media.