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International climate change researchers meet, review latest findings

College Park, Md. Top international climate scientists are meeting this week at the University of Maryland to lay the groundwork for improving regionalized climate change forecasts and for developing the advanced computing models needed to make these projections, says the chair and host, UM's Antonio Busalacchi.

The Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme sponsored by the United Nations and other international organizations is chaired by UM's Busalacchi. It's the first time in a decade that a U.S. scientist has headed the group. They're meeting at M-Square, UM's research park. It's also the first time the group has met in Maryland.

The World Climate Research Programme has two overarching objectives: to determine the predictability of climate as well as the effect of human activities on climate, Busalacchi adds. Its Joint Scientific Committee meets annually to develop a research agenda for the coming decade.

"In the long run, our goal is to develop projects that will meet social needs and give decision-makers the kind of tailored information that will help them devise more effective adaptation strategies," Busalacchi says. "At this stage, we need to develop better tools that will make our climate change predictions, assessments and research more useful."

Though the working sessions are closed to the public and media, principal researchers from several countries will be available to the media for interviews and informal background on Wednesday evening April 8 and Thursday afternoon, April 9.

The meeting is hosted this year by the University of Maryland-based Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC), and various federal agencies (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; NASA; National Science Foundation; and the Department of Energy). ;


Media Availability: The World Climate Research Programme's Joint Scientific Committee, a working group of top international scientists, is meeting for four days to assess current research and put together a recommended agenda for the next decade of climate research. There will be two opportunities for media interviews and background summaries by participants from the committee and host organizations.

A meeting agenda is available online:


Among some of the international participants available for informal interviews:

Ghassem Asrar, newly appointed director of the World Climate Change Research Programme, and former NASA associate administrator of the Office of Earth Science deputy associate administrator for the NASA Science Directorate.

Antonio Busalacchi, committee chair and director of the UM-based ESSIC research center and an oceanographer whose research focuses on the role of tropical ocean circulation in the climate system.

Gregory Flato, a Canadian scientist who specialty is climate modeling.

B.N. Goswami, director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, whose research focuses on climate modeling and the impact of climate change on crops.

Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, whose research focuses on the role of the large-scale ocean circulation in climate and climate change.

Ilana Wainer, a meteorologist at the Universade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, whose research includes modeling of the South Atlantic Ocean and climate change.

Guoxiong Wu, a meteorologist and member of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences who specializes in weather dynamics.


Media availability 1: Wednesday, April 8, 6 p.m. at University of Maryland Research Park (near the College Park Metro station), ESSIC headquarters, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 4001, M-Square Research Park.

Media availability 2: Thursday, April 9, 1 p.m. at University of Maryland Research Park (near the College Park Metro station), ESSIC headquarters, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 4001, M-Square Research Park.


Contact: Lee Tune
University of Maryland

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