NOAA 2003-R217
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Thomas R. Karl, director of the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, in Asheville, N.C., has been awarded the 2003 Verner E. Suomi Award by the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the nation's leading professional society for scientists in the atmospheric and related sciences. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Karl was recognized "for leadership to improve the integrity of the climate record and dedication to building a reliable climate observing system.” The Suomi Award is given to individuals in recognition of highly significant technological achievement in the atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences. The award was presented on February 12, at the AMS 83rd Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

Karl holds a master’s degree in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin. He is a fellow of the AMS and the American Geophysical Union and past chair of the National Academy of Sciences Climate Research Committee. He is also an associate member of the National Academies. He has received numerous awards for his scholarly work on climate, including the Helmut Landsberg Award, the Climate Institute’s Outstanding Scientific Achievements Award, three Department of Commerce Gold Medals, a Bronze Medal, and the NOAA Administrator’s Award. He recently received the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive Award, presented to senior federal executives committed to excellence in public service. On December 18, 2002, Karl was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Karl is currently an associate editor for Climatic Change and has been an editor for the AMS Journal of Climate. He has been a lead author on several Intergovernmental Panel Assessments of Climate Change since 1990, and was the co-chair of the U.S. National Assessment of Climate Variability and Change. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, been co-author or co-editor on numerous texts, and published over 200 technical reports and atlases. He has been called upon by the Congress and the White House to testify and brief on matters related to climate variability and change and chairs NOAA Council on Long-term Climate Monitoring.

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center is part of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellites and Information), the nation’s primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. NOAA Satellites and Information operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring and sea surface temperature measurements.

NOAA Satellites and Information also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand weather and climate-related events and to manage wisely our nation's coastal and marine resources.

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