Technology has propelled the atmospheric sciences from a fledgling discipline to a global enterprise. Findings in this field shape a broad spectrum of decisions - what to wear outdoors, whether aircraft should fly, how to deal with the issue of climate change, and more. This book presents a comprehensive assessment of the atmospheric sciences and offers a vision for the future and a range of recommendations for federal authorities, the scientific community, and education administrators. How does atmospheric science contribute to national well-being? In the context of this question, the panel identifies imperatives in scientific observation, recommends directions for modeling and forecasting research, and examines management issues, including the growing problem of weather data availability. Five subdisciplines - physics, chemistry, dynamics and weather forecasting, upper atmosphere and near-earth space physics, climate and climate change - and their status as the science enters the twenty-first century are examined in detail, including recommendations for research. This readable book will be of interest to public-sector policy framers and private-sector decisionmakers as well as researchers, educators, and students in the atmospheric sciences.
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