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Science Briefing

Two hundred years have gone by in a mere six months for NCAR's climate systems model. The CSM successfully completed a 200-year simulation of global climate last month, the most extensive run yet for NCAR's newest community climate model. "I don't think the CCM2 was ever run for longer than 20 years," says CSM cochair Byron Boville (CGD).

Although a few simulations of this magnitude have been performed at other institutions using earth-systems models, they all have included artificial constraints on the solution to prevent it from drifting far fromthe real climate. "From its beginning," says Byron, "the CSM project has focused on simulating the present climate without imposing constraints on the model." The CSM includes ocean/atmosphere coupling as well as interactions with land surface, vegetation, and sea ice. "We're hoping to get a stable climate that resembles the earth's, with reasonable levels of interannual and interdecadal variability," says Byron. "So far, the results look good."

The model run began in August on an NCAR CRAY Y-MP supercomputer at a rate of around one simulated year per day. Once the new CRAY C-90 was up and running in December, the pace quicked to five years per day. The completed 200-year run will serve as a benchmark for future use of the CSM. Byron and colleagues are now working on papers detailing the initial results.

Kathy Miller

After 17 years, Mickey Glantz--one of NCAR's longest-serving program directors--is stepping down as head of the Environmental and Societal Impacts Group. As the head of ESIG, Mickey steered the group into a role of international prominence in research and applications involving the societal aspects of climate and weather. At the same time, he wrote and/or edited almost a score of books and numerous papers and organized 20 workshops on such topics as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), extreme meteorological events, the notion of usable science, and the concept of forecasting weather and climate impacts by analogy. A political scientist, Mickey joined NCAR in 1974 as a postdoctoral researcher.

Kathy Miller, an economist in ESIG since 1985, will serve as interim director beginning 27 March. Mickey will continue his ongoing research as a senior scientist within the group.


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Prepared by Jacque Marshall, jacque@ucar.edu