the joint institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) was founded in 1977, for the purpose of fostering research collaboration between the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington. The administrative units most directly connected with JISAO are NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) and the University's Department of Atmospheric Science and College of Ocean and Fisheries Science (COFS).
JISAO is governed by 36 Senior Fellows, almost evenly divided between University faculty and NOAA/ PMEL staff, who hold affiliate faculty appointments in the University. JISAO provides funding and administrative support for postdoctoral fellows and senior visitors on leave from their academic institutions.
four core research areas
The Institute has four core research areas: climate, global environmental chemistry, marine ecosystems and coastal oceanography. The study of global warming represents a big part of the Institute's activities. Within JISAO is the Center for Science in the Earth System (CSES). CSES carries out integrated research on the impacts of climate on the U.S. Pacific Northwest by taking into account climate dynamics, ecological dynamics, hydrologic dynamics, and institutional and policy analysis. The CSES is divided into three groups: the Climate Impacts Group, the Climate Dynamics Group, and the Office of the Washington State Climatologist.
The Climate Impacts Group (CIG) is an interdisciplinary team researching the impacts of natural climate variability and global climate change phenomena, such as global warming on the Pacific Northwest. The CIG conducts research to understand the consequences of climate fluctuations for the Pacific Northwest, and works with local planners and policy makers to make this information relevant for regional decision-making processes. The research of the group centers on four key sectors of the Pacific Northwest environment: water resources, aquatic ecosystems, forests, and coasts. In addition to scientific research, the group also works to make such research available to policymakers and the general public. Thus, the CIG aims to establish a productive dialogue between decision-makers and the research community, to encourage planning for climate impacts. The CIG also aims to improve the skills of other research teams in the United States and abroad to carry out regional integrated climate impacts assessment and outreach. The group tries to reach these ambitious aims by periodically hosting meetings and workshops to discuss the most recent developments in research and methodologies in climate impacts.
Examples of these workshops include annual climate and water forecast meetings (held near the beginning of the water year) and policy meetings on how to prepare for climate change. CIG researchers also give lectures and presentations at conferences, public meetings, and special events. The group also works closely with the local media to disseminate ideas on climate, climate science, and climate impact. The CIG has also got its own media. It launched a quarterly electronic newsletter and list-serve in January 2005 to supply regular updates on Pacific Northwest (PNW) climate, climate research, meetings, and other information related to planning for climate variability and change in the PNW. As CIG and JISAO are part of the University of Washington, researchers of CIG develop and teach courses at the graduate level at the
University concerning Pacific Northwest climate, climate impacts, and the use of climate information and the role of uncertainty in decision-making. The team holds weekly seminars during the academic year for faculty, staff, students at Washington University which are also open to the public.
The Climate Dynamics Research Group (CDG) studies the physical dynamics of climate variability and climate change over the Pacific, especially as it affects the United States and the Pacific Northwest area. The group focuses, in particular, on the dynamics of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and their atmospheric effects both in the region and in distant areas. The areas of expertise of CDG members include atmosphere, ocean, and coupled modeling; the diagnostics of the atmosphere and ocean; and the analytic description of the climate system. CDG members are involved in the formulation of national and international climate programs.
The office of the Washington State Climatologist collects and disseminates weather data for the state, thus providing an authoritative source for local policy-makers and agencies working on different aspects of climate change. These data are also available to the public.
SEE ALSo: Atmospheric Absorption of Solar Radiation; Atmospheric Boundary Layer; Clouds, Cumulus; Clouds, Stratus; Convection; National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); University of Washington.
BIBLIoGRAPHY. Michael Garstang and David R. Fitzjarrald,
Observations of Surface-to-Atmosphere Interactions in the Tropics (Oxford University Press, 1999); National Ocean-ographic and Atmospheric Administration, www.noaa. gov (cited January 2008); University of Washington, www. washington.edu (cited October 2007).
Luca Prono University of Nottingham
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