In 1967, Manabe used a one-dimensional model to test what would happen if the level of CO2 changed. He targeted the climate's "sensitivity," a feature that would eventually become a central preoccupation of modelers. Together with his group, he set out to calculate how much the variation of incoming and outgoing radiation would alter temperature. The answer they reached was that if the levels of CO2 doubled by the end of the century, as seemed possible, global temperature would rise roughly 3-4 degrees F (around 2 degrees C). This was the first time a greenhouse warming calculation included enough of the essential factors, including the correct estimate for water vapor feedback, to seem reasonable to many scientists. Many of them who were to play an influential role in global warming debates, such as Wallace Broecker, recalled that it was these data that made them embrace research into the phenomenon.
In 1968, Smagorinsky and Manabe's group, which had been renamed the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in 1963, moved from the Washington, D.C., area to Princeton, and it eventually came under the wing of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Manabe continued to work, together with fellow meteorologists, on general circulation models of the atmosphere, trying to make them more complex and comprehensive. In 1967, he and Richard Wetherald demonstrated that increasing atmospheric CO2 absorptions would increase the height at which the Earth radiated heat to space. In 1969, Manabe and Kirk Bryan published the first simulations of the climate which combined ocean and atmosphere models. This was the first time that the role of oceanic heat transport was taken into account in determining global climate. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Manabe's research group published influential papers using these models to explore the sensitivity of the Earth's climate to the variations of greenhouse gas concentrations. These papers formed a major part of the first global assessments of climate change, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1988.
From 1997 to 2001, Manbe went back to Japan at the Frontier Research System for Global Change serving as Director of the Global Warming Research Division. In 2002, he returned to Princeton University as a visiting research collaborator at the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. During his dis tinguished career, Manabe has received many honors and awards. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign member of Academia Europaea and the Royal Society of Canada. In 1992, he was the first recipient of the Blue Planet Prize of the Asahi Foundation. In 1997, Manabe was awarded the Volvo Environmental Prize from the Volvo Foundation. Manabe has also been awarded the American Meteorological Society's Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the American Geophysical Union's Revelle Medal, and the Milutin Milankovitch Medal from the European Geophysical Society.
sEE ALsO: Arakawa, Akio; Computer models; Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory; Global Warming; Historical Development of Climate Models; Japan; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
bibliography. T.R. Knutson and S. Manabe, "Model Assessment of Decadal Variability and Trends in the Tropical Pacific Ocean," Journal of Climate (v.11/9, 1998); S. Manabe, et al., "Exploring Natural and Anthropogenic Variation of Climate," Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society (v.127/571, 2001); S. Manabe, P.C.D. Milly, and R.T. Wetherald, "Simulated, Long-Term Change in River Discharge and Soil Moisture Due to Global Warming," Hydrological Science Journal (v.49/4, 2004); S. Manabe and R.J. Stouffer, "The Role of Thermohaline Circulation in Climate," Tellus (v.51/1, 1999); R.J. Stouffer and S. Manabe, "Equilibrium Response of Thermohaine Circulation to Large Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Concentration," Climate Dynamics (v.20/7-8, 2003).
LUCA PRONO University of Nottingham
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