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April 1, 2010 | Research funding could get a major boost from a regional shopping center, the Mesomall at The Mesomall Gardens, opening later this year at the Marshall Field Site near Superior. NCAR concluded that the acres of open space that surround the site’s radar and other observing equipment could be leveraged by packing in as many revenue-raising activities as possible.
“We need to maximize our funding streams," says UCAR president Rick Anthes. "Our business consultants tell us that studying the atmosphere's not enough, so we're exploring ways to market, market, market!" Some of the consultants' recommendations include special promotions such as “buy two dropsondes, get the third one free.”
The flagship store at the Mesomall will be an outlet of Chicago’s renowned Marshall Field department store. The spectacular new building (see photo) will include a rooftop lounge, where patrons can sip hurricanes and enjoy funnel cakes while watching the skies to the north and east.
Other potential franchises at the shopping center include
• BOMEX, BAMEX, and Beyond
• The Seatainer Store
• Build-a-Lidar Workshop
• Rocky Mountain Instrument Factory
• Biomass and Bog Works
Scientists from ACD will use the site and its new center for conducting research on urban heat islands, and MMM researchers are planning to study the effect of acres of parking on flash floods. “Instead of traveling around the world to study the effects of megacities, we can simulate their impacts right here at home,” says Rick.
As a side benefit, the broad corridors inside the mall will serve as home for the new Around-the-Mall race, which replaces the former Up-the-Hill race. “With the aging of our workforce, we figured this was a more pleasant option than slogging up the mesa on a hot afternoon,” says Rick. “Plus, you’ll be able to stop and get a mocha latte every 100 meters or so.”
A model-able feast
Inspired by the NCAR Library’s Edible Book Festival, scientists in CGD decided to create something new: an edible model. The Community Climate System Model version 3.1415926 was released in late March. “Before releasing CCSM 4.0 to the community this spring, we thought we’d celebrate with some ‘pi’,” said CCSM Steering Committee chair Jim Hurrell. CCSM developers held numerous after-lunch meetings to validate the new model’s quality, including its surface characteristics and the robustness of the filling/crust interface. Only the finest ingredients were assimilated. “We had to sink our teeth into this new formulation to make sure it was up to our high standards,” says CGD’s Sam Levis. “So far it’s been quite tasty.” The model was deemed operational on Pi Day, March 14, with the addition of apple, cherry, and elderberry modules. This version of the CCSM can be used with or without interactive ice cream, which melts long before the year 2050.
Mat Rothstein and Sam Levis (CGD) prepare for another test of the model.
Your alchemical forecast
By Diviner Holistickly and Rubric Henchman
Our recent inquiries into the four alchemical elements (Earth, Air Fire, and Water) suggest they may not be sufficient for future prognostication. Here we introduce 12 additional materials and the surprising influences you can expect them to provoke in the coming days, weeks, and months.
To find your prognostication, choose one or more materials that strongly speak to you. Just remember: the more materials you choose to identify and interact with and the finer spatial scales you specify, the more uncertain your future will be.
Methane: For a long time now, you’ve kept your feelings underground. Your heart yearns to let it all out and share the love, but your brain wants to stay locked in a deep freeze. As tempting as it sounds to get out more, take your time before reaching a decision. Your actions may have more consequences than you realize.
Sea level rise: This is your moment to think about travel and possibilities. You may find yourself journeying to destinations you never thought within your reach. London? Bangkok? Alexandria? The possibilities are enticing. Don’t be surprised to find yourself embarking on a period of more growth than you ever thought possible.
Precipitation: You’re feeling more and more intense lately. But is that a good thing? Your emotions can become like a flood and overwhelm your friends. You may seem like a stranger to those who thought they could always predict you. Try to lighten up a little and return to old patterns, which had worked just fine.
Sea ice: As much as you enjoy lying out in the warm sun, you’re beginning to feel that you’re just melting away. Sometimes it seems that familiar friends no longer view you as a stable presence. In your more insecure moments, you even have secret fears that the world could move on without you. This is a good time for some reflection and growth.
Aerosols: The dual nature of your personality is leading you into difficult choices. While your head sometimes signals chilliness, your heart is more focused on radiating warmth to those in your life. Should you worry about a tendency to raise the temperature too much? Sweep away those dusty old habits and strike a balance in your approach.
Permafrost: Even though people tend to walk all over you, they're grateful for your support. But your world is changing now and you're thinking about letting your feelings flow more freely, whatever the consequences. Will you share the warmth of your passion and heat up some of your relationships? It might change the entire landscape.
Hurricanes: Even the people who know you best can't figure out what lies in your future. Those calm, clear eyes of yours have been shrouded by clouds of uncertainty, and you've wrapped your heart in a violent sheath of turbulence that keeps others at bay. If only you could make long-term plans that were a bit more predictable, your loved ones might be able to adjust to your occasional ups and downs.
Geoengineering: You want so badly to solve the problems of the world. But is that always wise? Even if your intentions are good, you may inadvertently tip things out of balance. Your friends need to stop venting so much and come up with solutions.
Ice sheets: In all the time spent trying to get hold of your emotions and stabilize yourself, you’re beginning to wonder if you’re moving too slowly. You can’t resist the powerful forces that are crying out for you to glide on to a new situation. But is it always wise to go with the flow? You could wind up making a bigger splash than you had anticipated.
Carbon dioxide: Your warm personality is famous far and wide. But are you spending enough time for yourself? Perhaps you should think about getting away from it all for a while. There are lovely forests to hide out in, perhaps even underground retreats. It’s okay to let yourself be taken out of circulation for a while.
Land cover: You’ve been so angry lately, taking a slash-and-burn approach to your problems. Wouldn’t it be a better use of your energy to focus on just breathing and relaxing? This is a good moment to think about future growth. You may be surprised at how much difference it can make to plant a few seeds and begin spreading the love.
The Sun: You’ve always thought the whole world revolves around you. So it’s coming as something of a shock to see others getting so much attention for their contributions. Your reaction has been to withdraw into yourself lately and become unusually quiet. But is that healthy? You need to continue on your natural cycle and begin expressing yourself again, even if that leads to a few eruptions.
Previous Staff Notes April 1 features