Interview With Bob Simpson In The Financial Times On Weather Modification

I was alerted to an informative interview with Bob Simpson  [h/t to Neal Dorst and Joe Golden].  Bob Simpson, among numerous other outstanding accomplishments (including the establishment of the Mana Loa Observatory and the measurement of atmospheric CO2, as chronicled in the book by Forrest Mims III

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory: Fifty Years of Monitoring the Atmosphere

which I posted on in

New Book “Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory: Fifty Years Of Monitoring The Atmosphere” By Forrest M Mims III

He also was Director of the National Hurricane Center and introduced (along with Herb Shafir) the famous Safir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity [for a guest post by Herb Safir see Comments By Herbert S. Saffir On Hurricane Katrina].

The article by George Pendle is in the Financial Times focuses on weather modification as a science.  The rise and fall of weather modification was a major theme is our book

Cotton, W.R. and R.A. Pielke, 2007: Human impacts on weather and climate, Cambridge University Press, 330 pp

where we discussed the overselling of weather modification and how the human role in the climate system is being misrepresented today.

The Financial Times article is headlined

The rainmakers

and starts with the text

For more than 60 years, humans have been trying to change the weather. But does cloud seeding really work?

An excerpt from the news article reads

Now, at the age of 99, Simpson can lay claim to being the grand old man of  American meteorology. As the founder of the National Hurricane Research Project  in 1955, he flew into the eye of hurricanes in unarmoured planes. That’s his  name on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, by which hurricane strength is  classed from category one (“large branches of trees will snap”) to category five  (“total roof failure and wall collapse”). But it was through his appointment in  1962 as the first director of Project Stormfury, the US government’s  two-decade-long quest to subdue hurricanes, that Simpson partook in his most  intriguing endeavour, as the man who oversaw the boom and bust of the American  dream to change the weather.

Bob Simpson is one of the giants of the scientific community on whose shoulders many of my colleagues and I were able to grow from.  This Financial Times article addresses just one aspect of a remarkable career.

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