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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Tackling Human-Relevant Climate Change
22 March 2010 1:54 pm
Three federal agencies announced the launch Monday of a joint program to predict climate change and its impacts on local scales over a few decades, information that decision makers will need to adapt to the inevitable. Obtaining such detail is an ambitious goal; computer models today yield seemingly reliable predictions of temperature and precipitation on continent-spanning scales at best. Under the Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction Using Earth System Models (EaSM) program, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy will kick in a total of $50 million a year for 5 years.
"People live in regions, not on the global mean," said NSF Director Arden Bement in announcing the initiative. "Our experience of climate change is always local." To move from the continent- and century-scale to the Midwest- or Northwest-scale and decade-scale, scientists from computer specialists to geoscientists to biologists will draw on the "petaflop" calculating power of current supercomputers, said Bement. At the same time, understanding of climate change, especially the chronic problem of the role of clouds and aerosols, must be improved as well, he conceded.