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An eye on the sky for Texas

Thanks to its most intense drought in state history, John Nielsen-Gammon is well known in Texas.  Outside of Texas, few people know that he is  the state climatologist.  Or that 48 states have state climatologists; only Rhode Island and Tennessee do not.  And very few people know that they have their own professional organization, the American Association of State Climatologists.  Dr. Nielsen-Gammon has held his post for more than 10 years; he devotes about 60% of his time to it, up from 10% before the drought.  A professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M, his state duties and his teaching schedule leave him little time for his own research.  He responds to the  skeptics he occasionally meets that global temperatures are rising, greenhouse gases are driving the trend, and if the trend continues there will be serious consequences.  Dr. Nielsen-Gammon plans to stay in his job a few more years to continue raising awareness about climate issues.

GR

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