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Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETH
CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 632 82 78
CH 8001 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone +41 44 251 23 61
Born: September 20, 1964, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Swiss citizen, place of origin: Thusis (GR)
Parents: Beat Wild, Dipl. Arch. ETH and Trudi Wild-Epple (Dipl. piano teacher)
1990 Diploma ETH, Faculty of Natural Sciences (X), with specialisation in climatology and atmospheric sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland.
1990-1996 Research assistant Climate Sciences ETH Zurich (Prof. A. Ohmura) in a joint global climate modeling project with the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg.
1990-1993 Intense training in global climate modeling at leading climate modeling centers (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Hamburg; Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Boulder Colorado; European Center for Medium Range Forecasting (ECMWF), Reading, UK).
1996 Dr. sc. nat. ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland. PhD Thesis: "The heat balance of the Earth in general circulation model simulations of present and future climates”.
1997-2007 Teamleader of 'global climate modeling group' at Climate Sciences ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
2007 Promotion to Senior Scientist and permanent position, ETH Zurich, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IACETH)
2010 Promotion to adjoint Professor of ETH
1990 Initiate a joint global climate modeling project between ETH Zurich and Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg
1990-2006 Numerous extended stays at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg. Concentrated phase of stays 1990-1993, with continuation of frequent visits up to present day (total of 22 stays).
1991 Visiting scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Climate and Global Dynamics Division, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
1992 Visiting scientist, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK.
1992 Introduce the first General Circulation Model (GCM) in Switzerland at ETH.
1993 Initiate worldwide first multiyear GCM integration at 1.1° resolution globally, previously restricted to weather forecasting with short integration periods, carried out at ETH/CSCS, Switzerland.
1996-1999 Responsible investigator Swiss contribution in EU project SIDDACLICH (Simulation, Detection and Diagnosis of Anthropo¬genic Climate Change) and EU project HIRETYCS (High Resolution Ten Year Climate Simulation).
1997, 1999 Visiting scientist (2 stays), CSIRO Division for Atmospheric Research, Melbourne, Australia.
1997-1999 Visiting scientist (3 stays), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Center for Global Change Sciences, Boston, MA, USA
1998 Visiting scientist, Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokio, Japan
1998-2006 Invitations to the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS/NASA), New York, Dr. J. Hansen (1998); Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Bracknell, UK, Dr. A. Slingo (2000); Seoul National University, Korea, Dr. I.S. Kang (2001); Australian National University, Canberra, Prof. G. Faquhar (2004); NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton VA, USA, Drs. B. Wielicki, P. Stackhouse (2006).
2001-2005 Co-Principal Investigator Center of Competence in Climate Research (NCCR Climate) Phase I: Project “global climate modeling”.
2005 Visiting scientist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Center for Atmospheric Sciences, La Jolla, California, USA (Prof. V. Ramanathan).
2005-2009 Principal Investigator Center of Competence in Climate Research (NCCR Climate) Phase II: Project “global climate processes and scenarios (GLOBCLIM)”
2009-2012 Principal Investigator Center of Competence in Climate Research (NCCR Climate) Phase III: Project “Intensification of the water cycle: Scenarios, processes and extremes (HyClim)”
• Principal Investigator Swiss Center of Competence in Climate Research (NCCR Climate): Project “global climate processes and scenarios (GLOBCLIM)"
• Principal Investigator Swiss Center of Competence in Climate Research (NCCR Climate): Project “Intensification of the water cycle: Scenarios, processes and extremes (HyClim)"
• Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR)
• Lead Author Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) 5th assessment report (AR5)
• Chair, International Radiation Commission (IRC) Working Group on the Global Energy Balance
• Project leader Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP II) No. 32: “surface and atmospheric radiative fluxes”, and IPCC AR4 climate model evaluation program.
• Responsible investigator Swiss contribution in EU projects SIDDACLICH and HIRETYCS, Co-PI in several NF and ETH projects, and the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS).
• Convener (session organizer): European Geophysical Union General Assembly (regular sessions on surface radiation budgets, radiative forcing and climate change); American Geophysical Union General Assembly (session on decadal variability in clouds and radiation), Global Dimming and Brightening Workshop Ein Gedi, Israel; International Radiation Symposium Berlin (Session Radiation Budget & Forcing)
• Frequent reviewer for the following journals: Journal of Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, EOS, Boundary Layer Meteorology, Climate Research, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Journal of Hydrology, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Reviewer of research proposals for the American National Science Foundation, H.v. Helmholtz Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren, Natural Environment Research Council UK, Israel Science Foundation.
• American Geophysical Union (AGU) Award for excellence in refereeing
• Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): contributing author and reviewer of 3rd and 4th assessment reports.
• Glonal Energy Balance Archive (GEBA): management and administration.
• Active participation and paper presentations at more than 100 international conferences and workshops.
see seperate list
(source ISI Web of Science, November 2011)
• 103 peer-reviewed publications (3 of them in Science and Nature)
• 5 papers awarded with American Geophysical Union (AGU) Highlight
• Total number of citations : 3000
• h-value: 28
• Best cited paper: Wild et al. 2005 Science: 300 citations
• Journals preferably used for publications: J. Geophys. Res. (12
publications), J. Climate (9) , Geophys. Res. Lett. (9), Climate
Dynamics (8), Science (2), Nature (1)
• Lead Author Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) 5th assessment report (AR5). Contributing author IPCC 3rd assessment report (TAR) 2001 (4 Chapters) and 4th assessment report (AR4) 2007 (2 Chapters).
• Lecture course: Radiation and Climate Change, 2h per week (since 2007).
• Lecture course: Numerische Simulation von Wetter und Klima, 3 h per week, jointly with Prof. C. Schaer (1999-2007).
• Lecture course: Klimasysteme, 2 h per week, jointly with Drs. C. Appenzeller and P. Calanca (1999).
• Lecture course: Grundzüge und Methoden der Klimamodellierung, 2h per week, jointly with Profs. C. Schär und K. Steffen (1998).
• Lecture course: Atmospheric Radiation and Climate, 2h per week, jointly with Prof. U. Lohmann (planned for 2007).
• Lecturer, NCCR Climate summer school, Monte Verita, Ascona (2008).
• Responsible for workshop in climate modeling for PhD and postdoctoral students at NCCR Climate summer school, Monte Verita, Ascona (2004).
• Responsible for several workshops on the topic of climate change carried out for high school classes (Schwerpunktswochen Kantonsschulen Zug, Pfäffikon SZ).
• Supervision of several semester, diploma, and PhD Theses (Co-examiner).
• Numerous public lectures as well as podium discussions related to climate change issues (Organized i.a., by EnergieSchweiz, Proclim (Global Change Day), Sanu - Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung, Umweltministerium Baden Würtenberg, Voralbergische Landeskammer, verschiedene Kantonsschulen).
• Radio interviews (i.a., US National Public Radio, BBC World Service, Australian National Radio, ORF, SWR), and interviews for newspapers and magazines (i.a., The New York Times, The Economist, The Independent, Spiegel Online, NZZ, Tages Anzeiger, Le Temps, New Scientist).
• Parlamentarische Gruppe Klimaänderung (Rapporteur).
Nov. 22, 2004 Invited lecture “Recent evidence on global solar radiation”, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (Prof. G. Farquhar).
April 7, 2005 Invited lecture “Solar dimming versus greenhouse warming – key elements of global change”, 6th Swiss Global Change Day, Bern, Switzerland.
July 1, 2005 Invited seminar ”Climate models and hydrological cycle”, EAWAG, Switzerland.
Sept. 30, 2005 Invited talk ”Global climate model scenarios”, Workshop on Climate Change Scenarios, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Nov. 7, 2005 Invited seminar “Decadal changes in surface solar radiation“, Scripps Institution of Oceangraphy, La Jolla, California, USA (Prof. V. Ramanathan).
Nov. 30, 2005 Invited seminar “Effects of variations in solar forcing on climate change”, California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), Pasadena, California, USA (Prof. J. Seinfeld).
Dec. 6, 2005 Invited talk “From solar dimming to solar brightening: observations, modelling, impacts” at AGU fall meeting, San Francisco, USA.
Dec. 7, 2005 Invited talk “Changes in surface radiation and associated effects on climate” at AGU fall meeting, San Francisco, USA.
Feb. 22, 2006 Invited talk “Assessment of surface radiative fluxes in GCMs”, GEWEX radiative flux assessment second workshop, Williamsburg, VA, USA (Dr. B. Wielicki).
April 27, 2006 Overview talk (session convenor) “Means and trends in surface radiation budgets: GCM simulations, observations, impacts”, 3rd assembly European Geophysical Union, Vienna, Austria
Mai 30, 2006 Invited talk “Surface radiation budgets as simulated in Global Climate Models and observed at BSRN sites”, 9th BSRN Scientific Review and Workshop, Lindenberg, Germany.
June 27, 2006 Invited seminar “Earth radiation balance, radiative forcing and climate change”, Seminar on Climate Physics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
July 25, 2006 Invited talk “Variations in surface radiation and associated effects on climate”, workshop on Climate Variability and Extremes During the Past 100 Years Gwatt, Switzerland.
July 5, 2007 Keynote lecture “Decadal variations in surface solar radiation”. IUGG Perugia, Italy.
Dec 14, 2007 Invited seminar “Global Dimming” und “Global Warming”: Klimawirksame Veränderungen im Strahlungshaushalt der Erde”, Physikalisches Institut Universität Heidelberg. Germany.
Jan 14, 2008 Invited talk (British Embassy) “Global dimming and brightening: variations in solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface”, Earthshine Workshop Lund, Sweden.
Feb 12, 2008 Invited talk “Global Dimming and Brightening: Observations, GCM Modelling, Impacts“,Global Dimming/Brightening Workshop Ein Gedi, Israel.
April 17, 2008 Solicited lecture "Update on global dimming and brightening", European Geophysical Union (EGU) General Assembly 2008, Vienna, Austria.
July 10, 2008 Invited talk “Decadal changes in surface radiative fluxes”. BSRN Scientific and Review Workshop, KNMI in DeBilt, The Netherlands.
July 11, 2008 Invited seminar, “Global Dimming and Greenhouse Warming: key elements of recent climate change”, University of Bonn, Physics Department, Bonn, Germany.
August 6, 2008 Invited keynote “Decadal changes in surface radiative fluxes” International Radiation Symposium (IRS2008), Iguacu, Brazil.
Sept 1, 2008 Invited lecture “Radiation in the climate system”, NCCR Summer School Monte Verita, Ascona, Switzerland.
Oct 9, 2008 Invited Talk ”Global Dimming and Brightening: Observations and Modelling”, Aerocom meeting, Rejkiavik, Island.
March 10, 2009 Invited keynote opening lecture “Interaction between Global Dimming/Brightening and Climate Change Temperature and Radiation Balance Effects”, COST 725 final symposium, Geisenheim, Germany
March 19, 2009 Invited keynote lecture “Decadal Variations in Surface Radiative Fluxes“, Int. Conf. on Land Surf ace Radiation and Energy Budgets, March 19, 2009, Beijing, China
April 23, 2009 Overview talk "Global dimming and brightening studies at ETH Zurich", European Geophysical Union (EGU) General Assembly 2008, Vienna, Austria.
May 27, 2009 Invited Talk “Decadal Changes in Surface Radiative Fluxes”, AGU spring Joint assembly 2009, Toronto, Canada.
July 27, 2009 Invited Talk “Proposal for a new working group on the Global Energy Balance, International Radiation Commission (IRC) business meeting", MOCA-09, Montreal, Canada.
2009-1012 NCCR Climate Phase III Project “Intensification of the water cycle: Scenarios, processes and extremes” (Principal Investigator), sFr. 500’000
2005-2009 NCCR Climate Phase II Project “Global climate processes and scenarios” (Principal Investigator), sFr. 500’000
2004-2006 NF Project “Changes in radiation and heat budget of the Earth since IGY” (Co-PI), sFr. 96’ 000
2001-2005 NCCR Climate Phase I Project (Co-PI), sFr. 510’000
2001-2004 NF Project “Radiation and energy budget over Switzerland” (Co-PI), sFr.77’000
2000-2003 NF Project “Dynamic thermodynamic sea ice model with granular flow rheology: coupling with atmosphere-ocean global climate models” (Co-PI), sFr.105’000
1999-2006 NF Project ”The climate of dry snow zone in Greenland” (Co-PI), sFr.784’000
1998-2001 NF Project “Validation of GCMs and Re-Analysis with in-situ observations and its application for the new evaluation of the global energy balance of the Climate system” (Principal-Investigator), sFr. 82’000
1997-2000 NF Project “Numerical and Observational studies of Climate Variability and Processes in the Vicinity of the Alps (Climate 2000)” (Co-PI), sFr.45’000
1996-1999 EU project SIDDACLICH “Simulation, Detection and Diagnosis of Anthropo¬genic Climate Change” (Principal-Investigator), sFr. 103’000
1996-1998 EU project HIRETYCS: “High Resolution Ten Year Climate Simulation” (Principal-Investigator), sFr. 270’000
June 1991 Joint Climate Modelling Planning Workshop, Hamburg, Germany.
Oct 1991 Global Forcing and Regional Interactions Workshop, Pingree Park, Colorado, USA
Dec 1991 Workshop on Supercomputing Requirements in Climate Research, Lugano, Switzerland
April 1992 European Geophysical Society (EGS), XVII Assembly, Edinburgh, UK
Aug. 1993 Workshop on the Validation of the Global Hydrological Cycle, Hamburg, Germany
July 1994 European Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle, London, UK
Sept 1994 3th BSRN science and review workshop, Zurich, Switzerland
July 1995 International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy (IUGG) XXI General Assembly, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Sept. 1995 3. Int. Conference on Modelling of Global Climate Change and Variability, Hamburg, Germany
June 1996 Workshop on High-Resolution Climate Simulations, Toulouse, France
July 1996 ECMWF Re-Analysis Workshop, London, UK
Sept. 1996 Workshop on High-Resolution Climate Modelling, Wengen, Switzerland
Oct. 1996 Symposium Climate and Global Change: Facts and Processes, Zurich, Switzerland
July 1997 Joint Assemblies of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS): Earth - Ocean - Atmosphere forces for changes, Melbourne, Australia
March 1997 Workshop EU project HIRETYCS, Toulouse, France
Sept. 1997 ETH-MIT-UT Workshop on Climate Change, Zurich, Switzerland
Oct. 1997 First International Conference on Reanalyses, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
March 1998 EISMINT workshop on climate and ice sheet modelling, Aussois, France
March 1998 Final symposium EU project HIRETYCS, Bologna, Italy
April 1998 European Geophysical Society, XXIII General Assembly, Nice, France
May 1998 5th BSRN science and review workshop, Budapest, Hungary
July 1998 Alliance for Global Sustainability workshop on climate modelling, Tokyo, Japan
Sept 1998 Workshop on 'biomass burning and its inter-relationship with the climate system', Wengen, Switzerland
Oct 1998 Final symposium EU project SIDDACLICH, Bracknell, England
Dec. 1998 International CLIVAR conference, UNESCO Headquaters, Paris, France (member of Swiss delegation)
April 1999 European Geophysical Society, XXIV General Assembly, The Hague, Netherlands
May 1999 Invited Seminar on GCM radiation modelling (Dr. J. Hansen), Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS/NASA), New York, USA
June 1999 3th International Conference on the global energy and water cycle, Beijing, China
July 1999 Alliance for Global Sustainability workshop on climate modelling, MIT, Boston, USA
Aug. 1999 Second International Conference on Reanalyses, Mortimer, Reading, UK
Sept. 1999 4th Int. Conference on Modelling of Global Climate Change and Variability, Hamburg, Germany
Sept. 1999 Workshop on satellite remote sensing and climate simulation, Les Diablerets, Switzerland
April 2000 European Geophysical Society, XXV General Assembly, Nice, France
July 2000 International Radiation Symposium (IRS2000), St. Petersburg, Russia
Oct. 2000 BMRC workshop on systematic model errors, Melbourne, Australia
Nov, 2000 Invited Seminar, CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Australia
May 2001 European Geophysical Society, XXVI General Assembly, Nice, France
July 2001 Workshop for Alliance of Global Sustainability: Climate Modelling, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea (Invited).
Aug. 2001 Chapman Conference on atmospheric absorption of solar radiation, Estes Park, Colorado, USA (Session Chair).
April 2002 European Geophysical Society, XXVII General Assembly, Nice, France
May 2002 7th BSRN science and review workshop, Regina, Canada
July 2002 European Surface Radiation Budget (ESRB) Project Meeting, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
July 2002 GEWEX Radiation Panel Meeting, Zurich, Switzerland
Nov. 2002 AMIP II Conference, MétéoFrance, Toulouse, France
Jan 2003 Invited Seminar, Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Switzerland
April 2003 EGS-AGU-EUG joint Assembly, Nice, France
May 2003 First Workshop on Community Earth System Models (COSMOS), Hamburg, Germany
July 2003 International Union of Geophysics and Geodesy (IUGG) XXIII General Assembly, Sapporo, Japan (session chair)
Sept. 2003 International Conference on Earth System Modelling, Hamburg, Germany
Sept. 2003 European Surface Radiation Budget (ESRB) Project workshop, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Feb 2004 2nd Workshop on Community Earth System Models (COSMOS), Hamburg, Germany
March 2004 Regional Climate modeling workshop, Lund, Sweden
April 2004 European Geophysical Union, 1st General Assembly, Nice, France
Mai 2004 AGU spring meeting, global dimming session, Montreal, Canada
August 2004 8th BSRN science and review workshop, Exeter, UK
August 2004 NCCR Climate summer school Monte Vertia, Ascona, Sweitzerland (workshop organizer)
Sept. 2004 EU Project PRUDENCE final meeting, Toledo, Spain
Nov. 2004 Invited lecture at Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
March 2005 IPCC workshop on AR4 model assessment, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
April 2005 Invited lecture at Swiss Global Change Day, Bern, Switzerland
April 2005 European Geophysical Union, second General Assembly, Vienna, Austria
May 2005 2nd Workshop on Community Earth System Models (COSMOS), Hamburg, Germany
Juli 2005 Invited seminar at EAWAG, Duebendorf, Switzerland
Sept. 2005 ETH-MPI exchange workshop, St. Gerold, Austria
Sept. 2005 Invited talk, Workshop on Climate Change Scenarios, ETH Zurich
Nov. 2005 Invited seminar at Scripps Institution of Oceangraphy, Prof. V. Ramanathan La Jolla, California, USA
Nov 2005 Invited seminar, California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), Prof. Seinfield, Pasadena, California, USA
Dec. 2005 Invited talks in two sessions, Convenor in a third Session at AGU fall meeting, San Francisco, USA
Feb.2006 Invited talk, GEWEX Radiative Flux Assessment Second Workshop, Williamsburg, VA, USA
March 2006 Session Convenor, European Geophysical Union, third General Assembly, Vienna, Austria
April 2007 Session Convenor, European Geophysical Union, fourth General Assembly, Vienna, Austria
My research interests focus on the global climate system and its variations over time, with emphasis on the Earth radiation and energy balance. I am working with Global Climate Models (GCMs) as well as comprehensive observational datasets. I believe that only such an integral approach, combining direct observations, reanalyses, and models, can lead to fundamental progress in our understanding of the Earth climate system. It is my intention to merge these elements for an integrated assessment of the radiative forcings and their impacts on global climate.
Global climate modeling
During my studies in the late 1980s I gained interest in GCMs as major tools for diagnosing the climate system and projecting its potential change. Since expertise in global climate modeling was lacking in Switzerland at that time, I went through an intensive training at leading global climate modeling centers (Max Planck Institute Hamburg, NCCR Boulder, ECMWF Reading, CSIRO Melbourne, CCSR Tokyo). In 1992, I initiated the installation of the first GCM in Switzerland. Thereafter I was able to position ETH at the forefront of high resolution global climate modeling (e.g., Wild et al. 1995a,b, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004, Ohmura et al. 1996a,b, van den Broecke et al. 1998, IPCC TAR 2001, Huybrechts et al. 2004, Wild and Roeckner 2006). I was instrumental in realizing the worldwide first multi-annual GCM simulation at a resolution of 1.1° globally, carried out at ETH/CSCS in Switzerland, a resolution prior restricted to weather prediction models with short integration periods. The high resolution experiments enable, i.a., an improved simulation of topo¬graphically induced precipitation. This allowed unprecedented assessments of the mass balance changes of the polar ice sheets and their contribution to sea level rise (Ohmura et al. 1996a,b, Wild and Ohmura 2000, Wild et al. 2003, Huybrechts et al. 2004), as well as improved estimates of contributions from the worldwide mountain glaciers (van de Wal and Wild 2000). The ETH high resolution scenarios form the basis for estimating the contributions of polar ice sheets to sea level in the 3rd and 4th IPCC assessment reports. I also support the application of the ETH scenarios in various multi-disciplinary studies within ETH, and in national and international collaborations, as well as for nesting regional climate models (e.g., Schneeberger et al. 2003, Pohlmann et al. 2004, Déqué et al. 2005, Calanca et al. 2006, Raible et al. 2006). I am convinced that the relevance of GCMs as crucial tools in global environmental sciences will continue to increase, particularly with the trend towards integrated Earth system models.
Radiation and surface energy balance of the globe
My major long term research interests and expertise are related to the radiation and surface energy balances of the Earth, and their representation in GCMs. These balances fundamentally determine the genesis of climate on our planet, and variations in these balances are the key drivers of climate change. Despite their importance, considerable gaps still exist in our knowledge and understanding of theses fundamental balances and their variations. Accordingly, the radiation and energy balances in global climate models are afflicted with intolerably large uncertainties. I am leading international projects in the Atmospheric Model Intercomparsion (AMIPII) and the IPCC AR4 model evaluation programs which focus on the radiation budgets in GCMs. They show that current GCMs are still far away from a consensus in their radiation budgets and differ, for example in the case of shortwave absorption in the atmosphere, by up to 40% (Wild 2005, Wild et al. 2006). Uncertainties in the simulation of energy fluxes at the interfaces between the different subcomponents of the climate system also become a critical issue in the emerging generation of Earth system models. I am involved in a European Earth system model development initiative led by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (COSMOS-Community Earth System Model) to address these issues (Wild and Roeckner 2006).
Observational data analyses
As much as I believe in the future of climate and Earth system models as primary tools for diagnosing and predicting the Earth climate, I am convinced that their success critically depends on the availability of adequate observations. To constrain the abovementioned uncertainties and improve our understanding of the radiative forcings and their changes, I have been engaged in a major effort of ETH to build up a unique data center for worldwide measured surface radiative and energy fluxes. I made extensive use of the information contained in these data in investigations on the global radiation and surface energy budgets and their representation in GCMs and reanalyses (e.g., Wild et al. 1995a,b, 1996, 1997, 1998a,b, 2001, 2006, Wild 1999, 2000, 2005). As an example, I found the atmosphere to be substantially more absorbing for solar radiation than assumed in climate models, a phenomenon that has become known as “anomalous atmospheric absorption”. This has major implications for the simulated climate and surface processes, as well as for the prediction of their changes.
With the high precision surface radiation records at ETH we now reach a point where we can go beyond the analysis of the mean state of the Earth radiation and energy balances, and start to address their decadal variations. I led a study recently published in Science, showing that after decades of dimming, sunlight at the earth surface recovered since the mid 1980s. The increasing greenhouse effect thus became fully apparent during the past two decades, as it has no longer been masked by solar dimming (Wild et al. 2005). I am particularly interested in investigating the links between the variations in surface radiation and the changes in hydro¬sphere, biosphere and cryosphere, in collaboration with the respective groups inside and outside the ETH domain. This will require both advanced Earth system modeling efforts as well as observational data analyses.
We can expect that the investments into the ETH radiation data center will pay off considerably more in the coming years, as the imprints of anthropogenic interferences with climate become increasingly evident in these datasets. The ETH surface observations together with recently launched major satellite programs (CERES/GERB) can finally provide the long missing high quality observations of the radiation balance as seen from both space and surface. This will open unprecedented possibilities in the coming years to diagnose and quantify radiative forcings and their role in climate change, and provide stringent tests and guidelines for Earth System Model development. At ETH we are in an excellent position to take a lead in these promising investigations.
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