The Atmospheric Sciences Entering the Twenty-First Century

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources
National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C. 1998



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The Atmospheric Sciences Entering the Twenty-First Century Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1998

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Page ii National Academy Press · 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. · Washington, DC 20418 Notice: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Naval Research of the Department of Defense, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ATM-9526208. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the above-mentioned agencies. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The atmospheric sciences: entering the twenty-first century / Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources, National Research Council. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-06415-5 1. Atmospheric physics. 2. Atmospheric chemistry. 3. Atmospheric physics—Research—United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. QC861.2 .A88 1998 551.5—ddc21                    98-40083 The Atmospheric Sciences Entering the Twenty-First Century is available from the National Academy Press. 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Box 285, Washington, DC 20418 (1-800-624-624; http://www.nap.edu). Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Page iii Current Board On Atmospheric Sciences and Climate ERIC J. BARRON, (Co-chair), Pennsylvania State University, University Park JAMES R. MAHONEY, (Co-chair), International Technology Corporation, Washington, D.C. SUSAN K. AVERY, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York, Albany MARVIN A. GELLER, State University of New York, Stony Brook DONALD M. HUNTEN, University of Arizona, Tucson JOHN IMBRIE, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island CHARLES E. KOLB, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts THOMAS J. LENNON, Weather Services International Corp., Billerica, Massachusetts MARK R. SCHOEBERL, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland JOANNE SIMPSON, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland NIEN DAK SZE, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts Staff ELBERT W. (JOE) FRIDAY, JR., Director H. FRANK EDEN, Senior Program Officer LOWELL SMITH, Senior Program Officer DAVID H. SLADE, Senior Program Officer LAURIE GELLER, Staff Officer PETER SCHULTZ, Staff Officer TENECIA A. BROWN, Senior Program Assistant DIANE GUSTAFSON, Administrative Assistant

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Page iv Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate That Prepared This Report JOHN A. DUTTON (Chair). Pennsylvania State University, University Park ERIC J. BARRON, Pennsylvania State University, University Park WILLIAM L. CHAMEIDES, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta CRAIG E. DORMAN, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia FRANCO EINAUDI, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland MARVIN A. GELLER, State University of New York, Stony Brook PETER V. HOBBS, University of Washington, Seattle WITOLD F. KRAJEWSKI, The University of Iowa, Iowa City MARGARET A. LEMONE, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado DOUGLAS K. LILLY, University of Oklahoma, Norman RICHARD S. LINDZEN,* Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge GERALD R. NORTH, Texas A&M University, College Station EUGENE M. RASMUSSON, University of Maryland, College Park ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado Staff DAVID H. SLADE, Senior Program Officer and Study Director DORIS BOUADJEMI,† Administrative Assistant GREGORY H. SYMMES, Acting Director WILLIAM A. SPRIGG,† Director H. FRANK EDEN, Senior Program Officer KENT L. GRONINGER,† Senior Program Officer PETER SCHULTZ, Staff Officer LAURIE S. GELLER, Staff Officer ELLEN F. RICE, Reports Officer TENECIA A. BROWN, Senior Program Assistant KELLY NORSINGLE,† Senior Project Assistant ANDREW E. EVANS,† Program Summer Intern * Did not participate in the preparation of this report. † Denotes past staff members who were active during the preparation of this report.

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Page v Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (Chair), University of Virginia, Charlottesville PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle B. JOHN GARRICK, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California THOMAS E. GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut DEBRA S. KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. HUGH C. MORRIS, Canadian Global Change Program, Delta, British Columbia RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario H. RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE A. SPOON, Administrative Officer SANDI S. FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA S. SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

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Page vi The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Page vii PREFACE The atmospheric sciences have progressed in the twentieth century from a fledgling discipline to a global enterprise providing considerable benefits to individuals, businesses, and governments. Through research and applications, the atmospheric sciences provide information that contributes to protection of life and property, agriculture, economic and industrial vitality, management of air quality, battlefield decisions, and national policies concerning energy and environment. This report sets forth recommendations intended to strengthen atmospheric science and services and to enhance benefits to the nation. It is thus intended for those who share the responsibility for maintaining the pace of improvement in the atmospheric sciences, including leaders and policy makers in the public sector, such as legislators and executives of the relevant federal agencies; decision makers in the private sector of the atmospheric sciences; executives of other economic endeavors whose activities are dependent on atmospheric information, and of course, university departments that include atmospheric science. Today the activities of the atmospheric sciences extend from the search for fundamental understanding to a wide range of specific applications in weather, climate, air quality, and other environmental issues. Moreover, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) believes that new alliances between government, the private sector, and academe are developing rapidly and will advance the atmospheric sciences and services. Nevertheless, the federal government has a key and continuing role in supporting research to ensure that weather forecasts and warnings will improve, that uncertainties about a changing climate or air quality will be reduced, and that future atmospheric impacts and benefits will be identified early enough to ensure the safety and vitality of the nation. This study was supported by the Department of Agriculture, the Department

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Page viii of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation. It began with a poll of leaders in science and engineering to obtain their views of issues and priorities for the atmospheric sciences. The Board then requested its continuing committees for chemistry, solar-terrestrial, and climate research and two ad hoc teams of experts in atmospheric physics and dynamics/weather forecasting to assess for BASC the scientific challenges facing their disciplines, each discipline's contribution to the national well-being, and the research needed to face the challenges. These five technical reports, called "Disciplinary Assessments," were prepared for consideration by BASC. They are published here because they contain valuable ideas and suggestions that could interest research workers and federal agencies. BASC then used the Disciplinary Assessments, together with input received from a variety of scientific sources as the basis for its appraisal of the major changes facing the atmospheric sciences as a whole. Some remarkably consistent themes emerged across the five Disciplinary Assessments, themes that permitted BASC to develop its vision of the future for the atmospheric sciences. Thus, the Board's conclusions and recommendations for atmospheric sciences and services are a summary and a synthesis of the Disciplinary Assessments and recommendations and are presented as Part I of this report. In Part I the Board also points out some opportunities and challenges that derive from its own broad survey of the state and future of the atmospheric sciences. Although the major part of this report focuses on science issues, Part I points to other key elements of a national agenda for atmospheric sciences and services. Part II, "Disciplinary Assessments," contains the five assessments, each devoted to a major research area within the atmospheric sciences. These areas and the chairs of the study groups follow: Atmospheric Physics, William A. Cooper; Chemistry, William Chameides; Dynamics and Weather Forecasting, Kerry Emanuel; Upper Atmosphere and Near-Earth Space, Marvin Geller; and Climate and Climate Change, Eric J. Barron. The Board is indebted to all who contributed to this study. Their names appear in the appropriate chapters of Part II. Portions of the Disciplinary Assessments included in Part II of this report have been abstracted and used as input to a forthcoming NRC report Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade. The Twenty-First Century report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative

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Page ix process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Bruce Albrecht, University of Miami Richard A. Anthes, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Eugene W. Bierly, American Geophysical Union John S. Chipman. Department of Economics, University of Minnesota Ralph J. Cicerone, University of California, Irvine Paul J. Crutzen, Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie Richard M. Goody, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology Thomas E. Graedel, Yale University John Hallet, Desert Research Institute Dennis L. Hartmann, University of Washington D.A. Henderson, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University James R. Holton, University of Washington Donald Hornig, Harvard School of Public Health (emeritus) Donald R. Johnson, University of Wisconsin Richard S. Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Syukuro Manabe, Institute for Global Change Research Program, Tokyo. Japan Marcia M. Neugebauer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. California Institute of Technology Edward S. Sarachik, University of Washington Joanne Simpson, Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration George Siscoe, retired Robert M. White, President, Washington Advisory Group Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC. The Board and I are grateful to David H. Slade, Senior Program Officer and Study Director, whose acumen and energy contributed much to the organization and writing of this report, and to Doris Bouadjemi, Administrative Assistant, who directed its publication with skill and dedication. The Board and I are also grateful to William A. Sprigg. former director of BASC, whose energy. dedication and innovation contributed much to the work of the Board and to its achievements in recent years. JOHN A. DUTTON CHAIR

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Page xi CONTENTS Summary 1 Part I   1 Introduction 13 Four Centuries of Progress 14 The Atmospheric Sciences and Other Disciplines 14 Looking Forward to the Twenty-First Century 15 2 Contributions of the Atmospheric Sciences to the National Well-Being 17 Protection of Life and Property 17 Need for Forecasts and Warnings 18 Progress in Weather Services 21 Maintaining Environmental Quality 22 Chlorofluorocarbons and Ozone 22 Greenhouse Gases and Global Change 22 Aerosols 23 Role of Atmospheric Sciences in Environmental Issues 23 Enhancing National Economic Vitality 24 Benefits of Weather and Climate Information 24 Strengthening Fundamental Understanding 26

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Page xii 3 Scientific Imperatives and Recommendations For the Decades Ahead 28 Atmospheric Science Imperative 1: Optimize and Integrate Observation Capabilities 29 New Observing Opportunities 30 Requirements for Optimizing and Integrating Observing Systems 31 Observing System Simulation Experiments 33 Atmospheric Science Imperative 2: Develop New Observation Capabilities 33 Water in the Atmosphere 34 Wind Observations 35 Observations in the Stratosphere 36 Observations in Near-Earth Space 37 Atmospheric Research Recommendation 1: Resolve Interactions at Atmospheric Boundaries and Among Different Scales of Flow 37 Surface Properties 38 Long-Term Interactios with the Oceans 38 Clouds and Their Consequences 39 Aerosols and Atmospheric Chemistry 40 The Fundamental Problem of Nonlinearity 40 Atmospheric Research Recommendation 2: Extend a Disciplined Forecast Process to New Areas 41 Atmospheric Research Recommendation 3: Initiate Studies of Emerging Issues 43 Climate, Weather and Health 44 Water Resources 44 Rapidly Increasing Emissions to the Atmosphere 45 4 Leadership and Management Challenges in the Decades Ahead 46 Leadership and Management Recommendation 1: Develop a Strategy for Providing Atmospheric Information 46 A Changing System for Providing Weather Services 47 Prospects for Atmospheric Information 48 Implications of Distributed Atmospheric Information Services 49 Leadership and Management Recommendation 2: Ensure Access to Atmospheric Information 50 Leadership and Management Recommendation 3: Assess Benefits and Costs 51 Federal Funding of Atmospheric Research and Services 52 Leadership and Management Planning 58

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Page xiii Part II Disciplinary Assessmets   1 Atmospheric Physics Research Entering the Twenty-First Century 63 Summary 63 Major Scientific Goals and Challenges 63 Key Components of the Scientific Strategy 64 Initiatives to Support the Strategies 65 Expected Benefits and Contributions to the National Well-Being 65 Recommended Atmospheric Physics Research 66 Introduction 68 Mission 68 Major Research Themes and Past Accomplishments 69 Perspective for the Future 70 Scientific Challenges and Questions 71 Atmospheric Radiation 71 Cloud Physics 74 Atmospheric Electricity 77 Boundary Layer Meteorology 79 Small-Scale Atmospheric Dynamics 81 Disciplinary Research Challenges 83 Contributions to National Goals 106 2 Atmospheric Chemistry Research Entering the Twenty-First Century 107 Summary 107 Major Scientific Questions and Challenge 108 Overarching Research Challenges 109 Disciplinary Research Challenges 110 Infrastructural Initiatives 110 Expected Benefits and Contribution to the National Well-Being 111 Introduction and Overview 111 The Mission 112 Insights of the Twentieth Century 114 Disciplinary Research Challenges 121 Overarching Research Challenges 132 Infrastructural Initiatives 135 Conclusion 140 The Environmentally Important Atmospheric Species: Scientific Questions and Research Strategies 140

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Page xiv Stratospheric Ozone 140 Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases 147 Photochemical Oxidants 157 Atmospheric Aerosols 162 Toxics and Nutrient 166 3 Atmospheric Dynamics and Weather Forecasting Research Entering the Twenty-First Century 169 Summary 169 Emerging Research Opportunities 170 Key Recommendations 173 Introduction 175 Basic Research Foci 175 Technique Developments 187 Technological Developments 193 Conclusion 197 4 Upper Atmospheric and Near-Earth Space Research Entering the Twenty-First Century 199 Summary 199 Major Scientific Goals and Challenges 200 Key Components of the Scientific Strategy 200 Scientific Requirements for the Coming Decade(s) 200 Expected Benefits and Contributions to the National Well-Being 202 Upper-Atmosphere and Near-Earth Space Research Tasks 202 Introduction 204 The Sun 204 Interplanetary Space 204 The Magnetosphere 205 The Ionosphere-Upper Atmosphere 206 The Middle Atmosphere 206 Cosmic Rays 208 Research Priorities 208 Stratospheric Processes Important for Climate and the Biosphere 211 Stratospheric Ozone 213 Volcanic Effects 218 Solar Effects 219 Quasi-Biennial Oscillation Effects 220 Atmospheric Effects of Aircraft 220 The Role of the Stratosphere in Climate and Weather Prediction 223

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Page xv Key Initatives 223 Measures of Success 225 Space Weather 225 Scientific Background 228 Critical Science Questions 237 History and Current Research Activities 241 Key Initiatives 242 Middle-Upper Atmosphere Global Change 245 Scientific Background 245 Critical Science Questions 249 Key Initiatives 250 Contributions to the Solution of Societal Problems 254 Measures of Success 255 Solar Influences 256 Solar Energy Output over a Solar Cycle 257 Separating Solar and Anthropogenic Effects 259 Solar Influences on the Earth's Upper and Middle Atmosphere 263 Physical Basis of the Solar Activity Cycle 265 Long-Term Changes in Solar Behavior: Solar-Type Stars 268 Key Initiatives 270 Contributions to the Solution of Societal Problems 271 5 Climate and Climate Change Research Entering the Twenty-First Century 272 Summary 272 Introduction 276 Mission Statement 278 Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century 279 Insights of the Twentieth Century 279 The Scientific Questions 296 Key Drivers for Research in the Twenty-First Century 297 Objectives and Requirements for Climate Research 302 Objective 1 302 Objective 2 307 Objective 3 309 Objective 4 310 Objective 5 311 Objective 6 314 Objective 7 316 Priorities for Climate Research 318 Build a Permanent Climate Observing System 319 Extend the Instrumented Climate Record Through Development of Integrated Historical and Proxy Data Sets 320

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Page xvi Continue and Expand Diagnostic Efforts and Process Study Research to Elucidate Key Climate Variability and Change Processes 320 Construct and Evaluate Climate Models That Are Increasingly Comprehensive, Incorporating All Major Components of the Climate System 321 Cross-Cutting Requirements 322 Education 322 Institutional Arrangements 323 Contributions to National Goals and Needs 324 References 325 Appendix A Acronyms and Abbreviations 341 Appendix B Listing of Reports by the Committee on Atmospheric Sciences and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Since 1958 346 Index 349

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Tine At~spLe~c Sciences Entering iLe Twenty~t Century

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