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.

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