I thought I'd take a moment to report three items of interest making news this past week.
1. Quantum Leap. First, as discussed at the Capital Weather Gang, a major infusion of computer power is in the works for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), which is receiving support from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (a.k.a., the Sandy Supplemental) to increase their computer capacity from 213 teraflops to 2,600 teraflops by the 2015 fiscal year. The Capital Weather Gang called it a game changer, so I'll call it a quantum leap. No matter what it is called, it is a badly needed infusion of computer power that will hopefully be leveraged to produce a significant advance in weather prediction capabilities for the nature.
2. Strategic Planning. Curiously, as NCEP gets this infusion of computer power, this week also saw the release of Forecast for the Future: Assuring the Capacity of the National Weather Service, a report from the National Academy of Public Administration. I gave it a quick skim, however, and didn't see anything too earth shattering. Given that the NWS is still living off the vapors of the Modernization effort of the 1990s, lets go after a quantum leap not just in terms of NCEP computing but across the agency. Such an investment would not only benefit the public, but also a growing private-sector weather enterprise.
3. 97% again. As reported in the Guardian, another study has come out showing that ~97% of climate scientists/climate papers/climate abstracts conclude that climate change is caused by human activity. More specifically, the latest study by Cook et al. (2013) finds that "among abstracts expressing a position on [anthropogenic global warming], 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming." I find it remarkable that 97% keeps coming up in these surveys. There must be a conspiracy...