The evidence for anthropogenic global warming is now well established, but the pace and amplitude of future change remain uncertain, particularly on a regional scale. The southwestern U.S., a semiarid region where population growth is most rapid in the U.S., is especially vulnerable to climate variability and change (potential long-term drought for instance).

The research on climate and hydrometeorology at The University of Arizona (UA) is highly recognized nationally and internationally. This interdisciplinary program is strong not only in basic research (for example, surface water, land-atmosphere coupled climate modeling, paleoclimate, and remote sensing) but also in applications (for example, climate assessment and extension).

The UA's research strengths in hydrometeorology and climate, however, are currently distributed in more than 10 academic units across five colleges. Therefore, the Climate Dynamics and Hydrometeorology Center (CDHC) was established in 2008 to capitalize on these strengths by:

  • facilitating interdisciplinary interaction;
  • coordinating the pursuit of a cooperative institute with federal agencies and major interdisciplinary projects;
  • attracting outstanding students and researchers to the UA; and
  • assisting the exchange of hydrometeorology and climate knowledge with stakeholders, including bringing stakeholder concerns to the attention of researchers.

These CDHC activities help position the UA for distinguished leadership in the overall area of hydrometeorology and climate. For instance, UA was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 2 globally in the area of water resources in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities by academic subjects.