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Gary Sharp, scientific director for the Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study in Salinas, California, introduces this lecture on climate change by Joseph Fletcher, Ph.D.
Dr. Fletcher, who died on July 6, 2008, had a storied career in public service and science. He served as NOAA Assistant Administrator for Ocean and Atmospheric Research; director of National Science Foundation Polar Programs; Rand Corporation Climate Scientist consultant; and as a member of the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired in 1963 after 23 years of flying in Polar environments. Fletcher was the first person to fly and land an airplane on both the North and South Poles.
Dr. Fletcher provided a uniquely cogent review of present climate insights, and he offered a projection into the next century. His hypothesis is based on the likelihood that past processes are cyclic and will repeat themselves with a period of 170 to 180 years.
There is much to learn from historical records, and much of it would be missed were it not for Dr. Fletcher’s more than 50 years as a professional, applied weather and climate observer. His advocacy for implementing and maintaining global observation systems has made him one of the principals in global climate research. His interests, advocacy and energy have provided an important legacy for the future of climatology, and humanity.
Visit Gary Sharp’s Joseph Fletcher Forecast page for more about Dr. Fletcher’s work.