break out one summary corell


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Summary from the Breakout Session on 'Emerging Climate Science Issues'


Climate Change Science Program Elements Salon 2 - Marriott Wardman Park Hotel 2:00 - 4:00 P.M. December 3, 2002 Breakout Group 1. Emerging Climate Science Issues Moderator: Robert Corell (Harvard, AMS) Rapporteurs: Dr. Margaret McCalla (NOAA), and Dr. Claire Parkinson (NASA) OVERVIEW: Dr. Alexander MacDonald (NOAA) PANELISTS: Dr. Warren Washington (NCAR) Dr. V. Ramanathan (Univ. of California) Dr. Michael Schlesinger (Univ. of Illinois) Dr. Brian Flannery (Exxon Mobil)


Overview of Chapter Two (McDonald -NOAA): 1. What aerosols are contributing factors to climate change and what is their relative contribution? 2. What are the magnitudes and distributions of North American sources and sinks, and what are the processes controlling their dynamics? 3. How much of the expected climate change is the consequence of feedback processes?


Overview of Chapter Two: McDonald concluded that: Combination of Research, Observations, and Modeling will bring us closer to a better climate assessment.


Dr. Warren M. Washington (NCAR): Models have problems but they still come close to reproducing the global average temperature record from the late 1800’s to the present. He provided a list of specific problems and gaps in Chapter 2, e.g., to understand the carbon cycle will take more than 2-4 years, the feedbacks from polar regions needs a substantial integrated observation field program, there is some recent evidence that indirect aerosol effect is smaller than previously estimated. 1st Panelist:


2nd Panelist: Dr. V. (Ram) Ramanathan (SIO and UCSD): Major focus on aerosols emphasizing the regional nature and the importance of Asia, Africa, and the Amazon region. Need increased focus on the hydrological cycle, particularly water vapor and water budgets


3rd Panelist: Dr. Michael E. Schlesinger (Univ. of Ill.): To reduce the uncertainty in the estimated value of the climate sensitivity, we must reduce the uncertainty in radiative forcing. To reduce the uncertainty in the estimated value of the climate sensitivity, we must continue to observe and analyze the earth’s surface temperature.


4th Panelist: Dr. Brian P. Flannery (Exxon-Mobil): Focused research programs that address specific, significant, known scientific uncertainties and assign an agency responsibilities for quantifying the existing levels and nature of uncertainties. Need for an enhanced technical and management capability. Remains essential to also continue to fund basic research that may lead to unanticipated insights, results, and breakthroughs.


Discussion: Wide range of constructive comments, suggestions, and questions to the Panel. They were urged to submit their suggestions to the website.

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