Taken near the base of NCAR’s Mesa Laboratory, this image is an icon for the challenges and relevance of our research. The complex topography and ecological diversity in this image suggest the many physical processes that determine our local environment and climate. A challenge to computational science, applied mathematics and statistics is to identify these processes from often irregular and heterogeneous observations and to account for these processes in numerical simulations at many different scales. The Pacific Ocean is approximately 1,500 km away, but South Boulder’s climate is inextricably linked to the long-term dynamics of the oceans, and in general to climate processes that operate at global scales. Equally important is to quantify the uncertainty in models for climate and weather so that their information can be used for making decisions and formulating policy.
Photo credit Everett Nychka