NOAA Researchers Honored for Outstanding Scientific Publications

2009 Awards Presented to Five Princeton Scientists

October 13, 2009

Five researchers from NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research laboratory in Princeton, N.J., have received the organization’s 2009 Outstanding Scientific Paper Award for a study that provides new insights on climate change.

Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research, and Alexander E. MacDonald, Ph.D., NOAA deputy assistant administrator for Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes, announced the awards in a recent organization-wide meeting. The five Princeton-area recipients conduct research in the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

“Their paper reflects the pre-eminence, the vision and the passion of NOAA researchers,” Spinrad said. “Their work provides a strong foundation for understanding the complex oceanic and atmospheric systems that govern our planet.”

The recipients include Hiram Levy, II, M. Daniel Schwarzkopf, Larry Horowitz, V. Ramaswamy, and Kirsten Findell.

Most recent climate change studies have focused on the influence of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. The NOAA scientists showed that projected changes in emissions of short-lived pollutants such as soot and sulfate could substantially influence climate in the 21st century.

Their study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, showed that the projected changes in Asian pollution emissions would produce significant increases in surface temperature and less summer rainfall in the United States throughout the second half of the 21st century. This would also result in significant reductions in late summer soil moisture over the central United States.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.