Advances in Global Climate Modeling for Scientific Understanding and Predictability

Friday, October 7, 2011, Noon
Building 50 Auditorium
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

YouTube Video

The Earth's climate system presents an array of complex scientific challenges that range from unresolved gaps in knowledge to uncertainties in the understanding of the past, present, and future changes in the system. Additionally, there are demands to advance the frontiers of climate modeling and science arising from the needs of several sectors to obtain trusted information on Earth's climate. These needs include information about regional and local climate, robust explanations of observed phenomena, quantified trends in key climate variables, and determining the predictability of the climate system from the seasonal to the centennial timescales, including extremes. The consequences of a growing world population, the associated energy demands and accompanying societal concerns regarding atmospheric composition, pollution, and climate make it necessary that climate modeling provide a credible scientific underpinning for understanding past climate changes and enabling reliable predictions. In this talk, we will explore central aspects of the climate challenges and examine the prospects offered by recent developments in climate modeling research and applications.

Venkatachalam 'Ram' Ramaswamy

Venkatachalam 'Ram' Ramaswamy

Director, NOAA/ Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)
Lecturer with rank of Professor, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University

Ram received his doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Albany and was a Fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado prior to joining GFDL in 1986, where he has been Director since 2008. Ram's research has focused on atmospheric physics and numerical modeling of the climate system, ranging from understanding of the mechanisms governing forcings and feedbacks in the system, to modeling climate variations and change due to greenhouse gases, aerosols and clouds. This has included the use of observations together with models to diagnose the roles of different factors in climate change. Ram has been a Coordinating Lead Author on the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Ozone Assessments and Global Climate Research Program Assessments. He is a Fellow and a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Henry Houghton Award, and is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional and is a two-time recipient of the WMO Norbert-Gerbier MUMM International Award.