First Advisor

Christopher Butenhoff

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Science and University Honors




Greenhouse gases -- Oregon -- Portland -- Measurement, Weather forecasting -- Statistical methods -- Evaluation, Atmospheric greenhouse effect, Greenhouse gas mitigation -- Planning




Global climate change is starting to destabilize earth's ecosystems. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide(N2O) can trap heat in the atmosphere via the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect occurs when light energy in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum from the sun is absorbed by earth's surface (i.e. rocks, soil, trees and water) and is re-emitted as infrared radiation. This radiation is absorbed by greenhouse gases warming the atmosphere which radiates part of the energy back down to earth’s surface. Carbon dioxide is one of the most abundant greenhouse gases. The Weather Research and Forecast model (WRF) can model carbon dioxide and predict future emission levels. By building and validating WRF using top-down modeling, a process where measured emissions are compared with WRF-generated emissions, more can be learned about the movement of carbon dioxide through the atmosphere. This helps in formulating mitigation strategies to reduce carbon dioxide. In this study a default case for Hurricane Katrina is used to validate that WRF is a working model, and a case on July 1, 2013 is studied to produce emission data to compare to actual data. The main goal of this research is to build and run the WRF model.


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