Climatology Pioneers

Several key figures emerged in the academic world as the regard for meteorology and climatology increased. Carl-Gustav Rossby created the Department of Meteorology at the University of Chicago in 1942, and there, with a team of researchers, developed the first physical climate models that viewed the entire planet as an integrated physical whole, or system. Reid Bryson, a World War II military meteorologist, left the geography department at the University of

Wisconsin, Madison to form a meteorology department there, and then established, in 1962, a climate research center at Madison, after receiving National Science Foundation funding. Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician and meteorologist Edward N. Lorenz, also a World War II military meteorologist, began applying chaos theory to the atmosphere in the 1960s, and his theories were integrated into the increasingly-complex atmospheric-modeling relegated to computers. Despite these advances, the U.S. Weather Bureau continued to view climatology only as a tool for forecasting.

Concurrent with this growth of meteorology and climatology as academic disciples, was the development of geophysics, the physics of the Earth and its environment. When the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics was founded in 1919, geophysics encompassed such disparate fields as geology, geodesy, meteorology, oceanography, seismology, and terrestrial magnetism. Though interdisciplinary in the breadth of the fields of study, geophysics was not interdisciplinary in the integration of the knowledge bases into a coherent whole.

The weapons of World War II, such as the atomic bomb, demonstrated the need for the collaboration of various scientific disciplines. This led to the creation (in 1946) of interdisciplinary projects, such as the U.S. Air Force's Cambridge Research Center Geophysics Research Directorate and the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories.

This interdisciplinary spirit was boosted 1957-58, when the International Geophysical Year encouraged the interdisciplinary collaboration on subjects such as climatology. The creation (in 1970) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), integrating oceanographic and meteorological studies was in recognition of the growing need for interdisciplinary science in the study of climate. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) followed suit and orbited satellites designed to enhance these interdisciplinary studies by creating an Earth system science.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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