Continuing progress in Earth science will depend heavily on improvement to the computational infrastructure, including the development of community models that can function as virtual laboratories for the study of complex geosystems. EAR should be particularly aggressive in fostering substantive partnerships between Earth and computer scientists through the multiagency initiative on Information Technology for the Twenty-First Century and other programs.
The committee’s recommendations, taken together, lay out a basis for the manner in which the EAR Division can respond to major Earth science challenges and opportunities in the next decade. The committee estimates that the new funding needed to implement these recommendations would increase the EAR budget by about two-thirds. This increase would help to offset the recent decline in federal support of basic Earth science and would substantially strengthen the national effort in this important area of fundamental research.