1996-6 -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 1996
Roble's citation from the NAS cites his "indispensable contributions to understanding the effects of variable solar inputs on the earth's atmosphere and ionosphere by powerful global modeling techniques."
Over the past two decades, Roble and his colleagues have refined and expanded a computer model that simulates the circulation, temperature, and compositional structure of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere-the region around 80 to 500 kilometers (km) above the earth. They have used this thermosphere-ionosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model to study the response in upper atmospheric regions to variations in the radiation and plasma emitted by the sun. Roble's model has been used by more than 100 university scientists and students to study the chemistry and physics of the upper atmo-sphere and ionosphere and to determine their response to solar and auroral variability.
Among Roble's current activities are the linking of his model to NCAR's community climate model of the lower atmosphere and eventually to a new climate system model. The result will be a major global climate model that spans the entire atmosphere from ground level to 500 km. Roble will use the model to investigate how deeply into the atmosphere solar and auroral effects penetrate and how processes in the lower atmosphere affect the upper atmosphere and ionosphere.
A native of Michigan, Roble completed his doctorate in aeronomy (the study of the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere) at the University of Michigan in 1969. Shortly afterward, he joined NCAR as a postdoctoral researcher and began work on the computer model that has become his crowning achievement. He became an NCAR senior scientist in 1978 and heads the HAO section that studies terrestrial impacts of solar output.
Roble's wide range of professional affiliations has included membership on a number of NAS panels and committees. A Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, he has written over 250 scientific papers.
Among the past recipients of the Arctowski Medal are former HAO scientist John Eddy, Thomas Donahue of the University of Michigan, William Gordon of Rice University, Francis Johnson of the University of Texas at Dallas, and Eugene Parker of the University of Chicago.
"I'm very, very pleased," says Roble on receiving the Arctowski Medal. "It is certainly an honor for me as well as for HAO, NCAR, and UCAR." NCAR is operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.