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OU receives $4.5 million grant to study climate extremes

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A local university recently received a grant to help researchers study the impact of climate phenomenons.

The University of Oklahoma was awarded a $4.5 million grant to study climate extremes like droughts, floods, and heatwaves. Officials say the funding allows the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center to continue to operate on the OU Norman campus for the next five years.

“We have seen devastating wildfires, extraordinary drought conditions, extensive flooding, and other climate-related disasters just in the past five years across our region,” says Renee McPherson, director of the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center and OU associate professor of geography and environmental sustainability. “We know that the costs and damages of these disasters are rising. Now is the time to build resilience in our communities, water resources, coastal environments, forests, and other landscapes. The Climate Adaptation Science Center gathers many of the top scientists in the south-central United States and targets their work on science that helps us combat these climate extremes.”

In the past, researchers mapped the likelihood of wildfires to help fire managers prepare for wildfire events.

By identifying how climate extremes are likely to affect the south-central United States in the coming decades, the science team can help resource managers build resilience in their national or state parks, wildlife refuges, tribes, and communities.

The Center also produces a series of short videos titled Managing for a Changing Climate through funding from the U.S. Geological Survey, OU and the Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Consortium. The videos explain climate impact on ecosystems and various sectors of society, and techniques to help adapt to climate extremes.

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