Land/lake/ocean-atmosphere interactions
Land-atmosphere interactions:
Research on land-atmosphere interaction has long but shallow roots, with a limited intuitive understanding of the impact of land on climate. I believe, to date, we as climate modelers and field scientists are not capturing surface energy and water budgets. It is sensible that instrumentation can only give a sense of possible budget for a regional domain. However, research needs to be done to improve modeling techniques for better understanding of near-surface energy budget where plants/vegetation and humans live. Land-atmosphere interactions are critical for modulating variations in climate on temporal (diurnal to seasonal to centennial) and spatial scales (local to regional to global). My research aims to improve understanding of land-surface interactions by better capturing fluxes using modeling and instrumentation.
Lake/ocean-atmosphere interactions:
I have been working in the Great Lakes region, and a part of my research has focused on better quantifying fluxes of moisture and energy at the water surface for regional climate modeling using the Great Lakes as an example. Regional simulations with other thermodynamic sources such as lakes are crucial for determining local climate extremes, and hence they are imperative for climate change planning for human and natural systems. I beleive that including the dynamic and thermodynamic effects of lakes is expected to change regional and local predictions of over-lake evaporation and precipitation, lake-effect snow, and extreme convective storms in summer. I have research interests to improve lake models that will enhance understanding of currents, hydrodynamic mixing and transport of fluxes and nutrients.
Hydrometeorological extremes
I study long-term climate related impacts to human and natural systems that are frequently associated with changes in hydrometeorological extremes. Many urban regions are particularly vulnerable to changing extremes in a number of key areas including: design and construction of buildings, structures, airfields, and roads; flood mitigation and storm water management; water supply and water treatment infrastructure; ecosystem and species management; land, air and water transportation systems; public safety and emergency management procedures. Thus, the quantitative assessment of non-stationary hydrometeorological extremes in a changing climate is important in the context of providing inputs for long-term planning, design standards for infrastructure, and support for management and day-to-day operations.
Land surface modeling
With growing urbanization, global landcover is changing quickly. There is a huge heterogeneity in the land cover that is currently not well captured in physical modeling for global and regional models (due to both model resolution and available land cover data). Related to land cover sub-grid scale variability especially in urban and sub-urban areas, modeling exercises should use a mosaic approach by including the influence of different land use categories within a grid box for better representation of surface characteristics.
Microscale modeling
Urban sustainability is a hyper-local phenomenon and thus urban sustainability solutions need to be crafted at the local scale. These neighborhood-scale solutions can then be up-scaled to create a regional comprehensive framework. [Conry and Sharma et al 2014].
Climate adaptation and mitigation
One of my research objective is to inform stakeholders and managers based on high-resolution climate models outputs, and work with them to translate climate information into mitigation and adaptation strategies. My research investigates how interactions among social and ecological systems influence resilience of urban socio-ecological systems to extreme heat across geographic and decision scales in a context of changing climate and social change [Sharma et al 2013; 2014b]. The following are some topics and questions that I plan to pursue in translational and interdisciplinary research:

1. How does evolving urbanization, climate change and social processes affect ecological footprint and resilience of ecological systems to extreme heat?

2. Urban ecological systems: community gardens, green roofs, low impact development areas, parks, green spaces, wilderness areas.

3. Interactions between urban land cover/use of varying scales with climate (sensitivity experiments: interactions between urban ecology and the urban heat island, with a particular emphasis on urban gardens and other green spaces and how they might reduce the UHI for a variety of green space and urban density configurations).

4. Design of urban stormwater management systems in response to changing precipitation and storm characteristics.

209, Innovation Park at Notre Dame (IPND) // // +1 (574) 217-4061
Postal: 1400 East Angela Boulevard, Unit 117, South Bend, Indiana 46617. map
(C) Ashish Sharma, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556