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NCAR News Release
2002-2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2002

National Academy of Engineering Taps NCAR Climate Modeler

Contact:
David Hosansky
UCAR Communications
P.O. Box 3000
Boulder, CO 80307-3000
Telephone: (303) 497-8611
Fax: (303) 497-8610
E-mail: hosansky@ucar.edu

BOULDER—The National Academy of Engineering has elected Warren Washington, a climate modeler at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, to its membership, NAE President William A. Wulf announced today. Washington, who heads NCAR's Climate Change Research Section, was honored with membership to the prestigious society "for pioneering the development of coupled climate models, their use on parallel supercomputing architectures, and their interpretation."

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is one of the highest professional distinctions that can be accorded an engineer, states the NAE announcement. Academy membership honors those who have made important contributions to engineering theory and practice and those who have demonstrated unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.

"All of us at NCAR are honored by the NAE's election of Warren Washington to its membership," says NCAR director Timothy Killeen. "Washington's groundbreaking work in the area of global climate modeling helped pave the way toward our current understanding of the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the earth's climate."

For over 20 years Washington's group at NCAR has used coupled climate models to estimate the effects of increasing greenhouse gases. The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation funded the research.

"At the beginning of this effort, the components of the climate models were fairly simple, compared to today's state-of-the-art climate models," says Washington. To keep up with the models' increasing complexity and growing need for computing speed, Washington has more recently led an effort to apply parallel supercomputing architectures, in which multiple processors perform many calculations simultaneously, to climate change projections.

Besides developing the models, Washington has participated in major international efforts to assess the role of greenhouse gases in climate change. He is currently serving on the National Board of Science under appointment by former president Clinton. Over the decades, the Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations called upon his expertise as a scientific adviser.

Washington is a fellow and past president of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and a fellow and past board member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2000 Washington was honored by the AMS as the inaugural recipient of its Charles Anderson Award for pioneering efforts to foster diversity in the atmospheric sciences. Other honors include the 1999 National Weather Service Modernization Award; the Le Verrier Medal of the Meteorological Society of France; induction into the National Academy of Sciences' Portrait Collection of African Americans in Science, Engineering, and Medicine; and the Exceptional Service Award for Atmospheric Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy's Biological and Environmental Research Program.

Washington earned a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in meteorology from Oregon State University. He completed a Ph.D. in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University in 1963 and joined the NCAR staff as a research scientist that year.

Former NCAR director Robert Serafin was elected to NAE membership in 1994, and senior scientist Margaret LeMone in 1997.

The NAE's membership includes 1,857 U.S. active members, 250 members emeriti, and 158 foreign associates, including the new members and associates announced today.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under primary sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.

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