Barry Saltzman and the Theory of Climate

TitleBarry Saltzman and the Theory of Climate
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMaasch, KA, Oglesby, RJ, Fournier, A
JournalJournal of Climate
Pagination2141 - 2150
Date PublishedJan-07-2005

Barry Saltzman was a giant in the fields of meteorology and climate science. A leading figure in the study of weather and climate for over 40 yr, he has frequently been referred to as the “father of modern climate theory.” Ahead of his time in many ways, Saltzman made significant contributions to our understanding of the general circulation and spectral energetics budget of the atmosphere, as well as climate change across a wide spectrum of time scales. In his endeavor to develop a unified theory of how the climate system works, he played a role in the development of energy balance models, statistical dynamical models, and paleoclimate dynamical models. He was a pioneer in developing meteorologically motivated dynamical systems, including the progenitor of Lorenz’s famous chaos model. In applying his own dynamical-systems approach to long-term climate change, he recognized the potential for using atmospheric general circulation models in a complimentary way. In 1998, he was awarded the Carl-Gustaf Rossby medal, the highest honor of the American Meteorological Society “for his life-long contributions to the study of the global circulation and the evolution of the earth’s climate.” In this paper, the authors summarize and place into perspective some of the most significant contributions that Barry Saltzman made during his long and distinguished career. This short review also serves as an introduction to the papers in this special issue of the Journal of Climate dedicated to Barry’s memory.

Short TitleJ. Climate