Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 11:45 AM
Extending Atmospheric Forecasts beyond Weather: The History of Climate Prediction
Climate studies in the U.S. evolved from the early (17th century) speculations on climate change based on anecdotal evidence to the 19th century documentation of climate through observation, and eventually to a serious science in the late 20th century. The burgeoning interest in climate over recent decades has helped fuel major changes in climate studies. One can trace the modern-day development of larger scale climate interpretation and prediction to the 1920's and the work of Sir Gilbert Walker and Professor Hurd Willett, and later the experimental long-range prediction efforts by the U.S. Weather Bureau under Jerome Namias. Further developments in climate science, administrative and scientific, are summarized, including the passing of the National Climate Program Act and some its consequences.