ScicomP12 ~ SP-XXL
July 17-21, 2006

ScicomP12 Keynote Speaker

Dr. William D. Collins
Scientist III
Climate & Global Dynamics Division

Bill Collins studies atmospheric radiation (absorption and reflection of energy), including modeling and measurement of the water-vapor greenhouse effect, the direct radiative influence of aerosols (tiny airborne particles), and the effects of clouds on the radiative energy budget of the surface and atmosphere. His work also includes computer modeling and experimental studies of enhanced cloud absorption. He has developed one of the first techniques for integrating aerosol data into global climate models. Collins has participated in national and international field programs and is active in research involving satellite observation of aerosols.

Keynote Address

"Modeling the Changing Earth System: Prospects and Challenges"

"In the last forty years, climate models have evolved from their academic origins into critical tools for international policy planning.  Three emerging trends will stimulate the further evolution of climate models in conjunction with the rapid development of petascale computers.  First, many labs are developing comprehensive Earth System Models (ESMs) that simulate the coupled interactions among physical, chemical, and biogeochemical processes in the climate system.  ESMs will play a central role in studies of carbon sequestration and other mitigation strategies.  Second, in the next ten years ESMs will have sufficient spatial discretization to resolve many key processes in the climate system, including mixing by ocean eddies and the life-cycle of clouds.  This enhancement will help eliminate some of the key uncertainties in our projections of climate change.  Third, the community of policy makers are beginning to request probabilistic projections of climate change on scales as small as individual cities and counties.  Thus, it is likely we will need to run large ensembles of ultra-high-resolution simulations for periods as short as 50 years.  Meeting these challenges will require close collaborations among physical and computational scientists, computer vendors, and the policy community."

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