Friday, October 28, 2011

The big unknowns in clouds and their influence on climate



Have you ever travelled back in time?  We at GESTAR/Goddard did when Warren Wiscombe gave the inaugural GESTAR 'Maniac Talk' on October 26th, 2011. Warren lead us down his memory lanes showing us several exciting milestones of his career. Starting from the days when  size distribution of rain drops was measured by collecting raindrops on special materials and actually counting drops of different sizes to the largest global change research program, called Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program and the currently proposed IRIDIUM constellation, Warren narrated the successes and failures of several scientific ideas over the past decades. He talked about current issues in the field and said that The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is one example of how ideas can materialize even after a decade! The talk was very inspiring and as advice to young scientists, Warren offered the suggestion that taking risks can lead to unexpected scientific rewards, although you should not expect to meet with success every time. Warren is a world-renowned expert and leader in many aspects of radiative transfer, clouds physics and climate modeling and we were very pleased to have him as a speaker.The intent of the Maniac talks is to provide an informal overview of some scientific topic related to the research work we do and to discuss the fundamental principles of the underlying science. 
(Andy and Falguni)