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TUESDAY FEBRUARY 6 - DR. WARREN WASHINGTON
I've talked a lot about climate change and climate research in these Franklin Facts,
and tonight I wanted to introduce you to one of the leading scientists in the game.
To find him, we head to Boulder Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric
Research. The head of the Climate Change Section there is
Dr. Warren Washington.
Dr. Washington specializes in computer modeling of the earth's climate. His
book "An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling" is a standard reference
on how to make a computer mimic the globe's climate, including the atmosphere,
oceans, and ice-covered portions. At last month's American Meteorological Society
conference, Dr. Washington gave a presentation on what are called "ensemble
simulations." This means running a computer model several times with slightly
different starting conditions, and then comparing the results to see how the
small difference at the beginning changes the computer's result. This is a
clever way of evaluating the reliability of the computer model forecasts.
Dr. Washington's contributions to climate change research are so respected that
he was just recently reappointed by the president to a six-year term on the
National Science Board, which helps oversee the National Science Foundation
and advises the President and Congress on science-related matters.