Crawford Family Forum at the Mohn Broadcast Center
KPCC 89.3 | Southern California Public Radio
Dr. Ben Santer
Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
Dr. Benjamin Santer is an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). His research focuses on such topics as climate model evaluation, the use of statistical methods in climate science, and identification of natural and anthropogenic “fingerprints” in observed climate records. Dr. Santer’s early research on the climatic effects of combined changes in greenhouse gases (GHGs) and sulfate aerosols contributed to the historic “discernible human influence” conclusion of the 1995 Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He spent much of the last decade addressing the contentious issue of whether model-simulated changes in tropospheric temperature are in accord with satellite-based temperature measurements. His recent work has attempted to identify anthropogenic fingerprints in a number of different climate variables, such as tropopause height, atmospheric water vapor, the temperature of the stratosphere and troposphere, and ocean surface temperatures in hurricane formation regions.
Dr. Santer holds a Ph.D. in Climatology from the University of East Anglia, England, where he studied under Professor Tom Wigley. After completion of his Ph.D. in 1987, he spent five years at the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, and worked with Professor Klaus Hasselmann on the development and application of climate fingerprinting methods. In 1992, Dr. Santer joined Professor Larry Gates at LLNL’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison.
Dr. Santer served as convening lead author of the climate-change detection and attribution chapter of the 1995 IPCC report. More recently, he was the convening lead author of a key chapter of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program’s report on “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere”. His awards include the Norbert Gerbierâ€“MUMM International Award (1998), a MacArthur Fellowship (1998), the U.S. Department of Energy's E.O. Lawrence Award (2002), and a Distinguished Scientist Fellowship from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (2005). He and his son Nicholas live in San Ramon, and enjoy rock-climbing and exploring California.
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