The weather and the atmosphere have a tremendous impact on business and industry, governments, and societies, and researchers in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science aim to better understand this dynamic set of systems. From modeling the intricacies of snowfall to understanding how tornadoes and hurricanes take shape to detailing the atmospheric chemistry of the rainforest, researchers cover the gamut of the interactions between the atmosphere and the land.
Never has the world been better positioned to predict and respond to natural disasters. The stream of data at our fingertips is seemingly endless. But the size of this mounting trove of information in itself poses a problem. For example, running flood calculations for a city facing heavy rains using a century of data is highly accurate. But the calculation is useless if it takes days or weeks to compute.
David W. Titley, professor of practice in meteorology, professor of international affairs, founding director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Penn State and retired rear admiral, U.S. Navy, was appointed chairman of the advisory committee for the National Academies' new Climate Communications Initiative.
Too much of a good thing. That's the situation many scientists face in this age of Big Data. Thanks to a new data center at Penn State, researchers can now analyze huge amounts of information and complex models that were grindingly slow or impossible to handle before.
One day a polar bear shows up at Sophia's house asking if it can come inside. Its habitat melted and the bear needs a new home. So starts "The Tantrum that Saved the World," a new children's book about climate change's effects on creatures and communities around the world, by Penn State researcher Michael Mann and author and illustrator Megan Herbert.