Cambridge-based Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. (AER) has been awarded a grant to study and more accurately predict the effects of atmospheric radiation on the earth's climate and changes in climate. The $933,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs will fund the study up until 2001.
"Over 1,500 scientists have concluded that if we do nothing to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the earth will likely heat up by two to six and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years. Temperature changes of this magnitude will have potentially debilitating effects on many sectors of the economy, our infrastructure, coastal communities, agriculture, and human health," said Senator John F. Kerry. "The quality research being done at AER will help us to understand the extent of the problem."
A 30-year veteran of radiative transfer modeling research, Principal Research Scientist Shepard A. Clough applied for the grant to further his studies on improving climate prediction models through more accurate calculations of the radiation in the atmosphere. Older methods of calculating the atmosphere's radiation have produced less accurate climate predictions.
"We are excited to continue our Department of Energy research," said Clough. "Our studies will assist in answering many questions that have been posed concerning Earth's climate now and in the future."
Recently, Mr. Clough presented a paper about climate prediction to the American Meteorological Society. Entitled "Effects of a Validated Longwave Radiation Scheme on Climate Prediction Modeling," the paper discusses initial studies of the effects of improved radiation models on climate prediction.
Founded in 1977, Atmospheric and Environmental Research is an environmental research and consulting company. AER is an award-winning company with demonstrated expertise in remote sensing, satellite meteorology, numerical weather prediction, climatology, circulation diagnostics, atmospheric chemistry, air quality and risk assessment, mathematical modeling, planetary sciences, and system engineering. In addition to its Cambridge, MA headquarters, AER has offices in Bedford, MA; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco, CA; Hong Kong, and Beijing.