More than 300 scientists representing 30 countries, including members of government, scientific and international organizations, are expected to attend the "Second International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle" at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. , on June 17-21.

Under the auspices of the National Research Council's Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Panel and the World Climate Research Programme, the conference will bring together scientists involved in the study of measurements, modeling and theory of processes affecting Earths energy and water cycle from small to global scales.

The key to all climate problems is the redistribution of the Sun's energy over the Earth and its loss into space, said Dr. Moustafa T. Chahine, chief scientist at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory and chair of the GEWEX Scientific Steering Group. Energy cannot be separated from water in Earth's climate system.

While major uncertainties in scientists understanding of Earths hydrological cycle still remain, progress is being made.

The prediction of precipitation and fresh water resources is of the utmost importance in terms of its impact on human beings, Chahine emphasized. This is a major goal of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment effort.

Topics to be covered during the conference include:

Flood and Drought Prediction: Global modeling of the coupled land-atmosphere system. Impact on regional precipitation and the water cycle.

Regional Water Resources and Climate: Use of climate information for managing water resources. Determining continental-scale water budgets, runoff, precipitation and land surface characteristics.

Cloud, Water Vapor, Aerosol and Precipitation Interactions: Measurement and modeling of the cloud and radiative elements contributing to climate variation.

The Water and Carbon Cycle Connection: Influence of precipitation and radiation on the biogeochemical processes affecting climate.

Ocean-Atmosphere-Ice Exchanges: Measurement and incorporation of ocean, snow and sea ice characteristics into energy and water budget studies.

Results from field experiments, new developments in theory, modeling and observational capability are expected to be reported. Particular emphasis will be given to linking disciplines such as coupled atmospheric and land-surface models or cross disciplinary studies connecting the water and carbon cycle. Advances in scientific knowledge will provide scientists with new information to assess the impact of these processes on water resource management. The conference will focus on GEWEX scientific interests involving the climate feedback associated with cloud, radiation and hydrological processes.

The conference will conclude with a panel discussion entitled Direction of Research on the Global Energy and Water Cycle, and the Impact of Space Systems/Measurements. Panelists will include agency heads from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the American Meteorological Society, the World Climate Research Program and Japan.

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