Two University of Washington atmospheric scientists have been elected as fellows of the American Geophysical Union. The scientific group recognizes only one in 1,000 members each year for major scientific work and sustained impact. The UW honorees are among 62 new 2014 fellows from U.S. and international institutions.
David Battisti, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences, was recognized for his work on climate variability. Battisti earned his doctorate in atmospheric sciences at the UW in 1988, then went to the University of Wisconsin before returning to the UW as a faculty member in 1990.
Battisti’s research looks at how interactions between the ocean, air, land and sea ice can affect the climate on timescales from seasons to decades. His more recent research has looked at how climate change is likely to affect global food production. Battisti directed the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean from 1997 to 2003, and co-chaired the science steering committee for the U.S. climate research program from 1998 to 2002. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and has twice received distinguished teaching awards.
Qiang Fu, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences, was elected for his work on atmospheric radiation and climate change. Fu earned his doctorate at the University of Utah in 1991 and was on the faculty at Canada’s Dalhousie University before joining the UW in 2000.
Fu’s research concerns how the atmosphere and clouds interact with sunlight, and how satellites measure Earth variables. His work on tropospheric temperature trends from satellite observations established consistency in climate warming in the atmosphere and at Earth’s surface. He also discovered a shift toward the poles of subtropical jets in a warming climate, indicating a widening of the tropics. Fu is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and holds an affiliate faculty position at China’s Lanzhou University.
Also elected this year was Michael McPhaden, a UW affiliate professor of oceanography and scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle. His research concerns ocean circulation near the equator, the frequency of extreme El Niños under greenhouse warming, and the connection between winds and climate change.