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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Community Input Gathering." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
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APPENDIX B

Community Input Gathering

The Committee obtained a broad swath of input, guidance, and suggestions from the atmospheric chemistry community on important potential research topic and programmatic priorities for the coming decade. Six public town hall meetings were held throughout 2015 in several locations across the United States: Boulder, CO (March), Boston, MA (April), Washington, DC (April), Irvine, CA (May), Atlanta, GA (June), and Waterville Valley, NH (August). In addition, an online “virtual town hall”1 was established to solicit input from those who could not attend an in-person meeting. In all, more than 250 atmospheric chemistry research community members provided input to this study, either at one of the in-person meetings or via the website.

Participants were asked to provide feedback for the following five questions:

  1. What are the important areas of scientific research that could transform the understanding of atmospheric chemistry over the coming decade?
  2. What research linkages of atmospheric chemistry with other disciplines as well as with national or international research portfolios could produce transformational science over the next decade?
  3. How can advances in atmospheric chemistry, either alone or in tandem with other disciplines, play a critical role in addressing major societal challenges over the next decade?
  4. What infrastructure, new approaches, or other community capabilities, need to be maintained or developed to support advances in these topics? (You might consider shared models, facilities, platforms, instrumentation, or computing, but are not limited to these.)
  5. Do you have other comments pertinent to the Committee’s Statement of Task?

Input received by the Committee to these five questions formed the basis for the Committee’s discussions of future priorities in atmospheric chemistry research. The Committee sifted through this input, categorized it, and ultimately developed its own list of priority areas for research, as discussed in Chapter 5.1.

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1 The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research Virtual Town Hall: http://nas-sites.org/atmchem.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Community Input Gathering." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Community Input Gathering." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
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Page 201
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Community Input Gathering." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
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Our world is changing at an accelerating rate. The global human population has grown from 6.1 billion to 7.1 billion in the last 15 years and is projected to reach 11.2 billion by the end of the century. The distribution of humans across the globe has also shifted, with more than 50 percent of the global population now living in urban areas, compared to 29 percent in 1950. Along with these trends, increasing energy demands, expanding industrial activities, and intensification of agricultural activities worldwide have in turn led to changes in emissions that have altered the composition of the atmosphere.

These changes have led to major challenges for society, including deleterious impacts on climate, human and ecosystem health. Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing society today. Air pollution is a major threat to human health, as one out of eight deaths globally is caused by air pollution. And, future food production and global food security are vulnerable to both global change and air pollution. Atmospheric chemistry research is a key part of understanding and responding to these challenges.

The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow summarizes the rationale and need for supporting a comprehensive U.S. research program in atmospheric chemistry; comments on the broad trends in laboratory, field, satellite, and modeling studies of atmospheric chemistry; determines the priority areas of research for advancing the basic science of atmospheric chemistry; and identifies the highest priority needs for improvements in the research infrastructure to address those priority research topics. This report describes the scientific advances over the past decade in six core areas of atmospheric chemistry: emissions, chemical transformation, oxidants, atmospheric dynamics and circulation, aerosol particles and clouds, and biogeochemical cycles and deposition. This material was developed for the NSF’s Atmospheric Chemistry Program; however, the findings will be of interest to other agencies and programs that support atmospheric chemistry research.

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