Jule Gregory Charney played a pivotal role in the development of modern meteorology.
Born in San Francisco in 1917, he studied physics at UCLA, where he earned a PhD in 1946. In the early 1950’s, he worked with John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, where they conducted pioneering research in numerical weather prediction using early computers.
Charney also formulated a set of equations (the quasigeostrophic set) for calculating the large-scale motions of planetary-scale waves. He gave the first convincing physical explanation for the development of mid-latitude cyclones known as the Baroclinic Instability theory.
From 1956 until his death in 1981, Jule Charney was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1979 Charney chaired an "ad hoc study group on carbon dioxide and climate" for the National Research Council. The resulting report, "Carbon dioxide and climate: A scientific assessment", is one of the earliest modern scientific assessments of global warming.