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Suggested Citation:"Final Thoughts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. The Future of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observing, Understanding, and Modeling: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25138.
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Final Thoughts

Broader utilization of emerging observation techniques and technologies could greatly increase understanding of the BL. Collaboration and coordination were overarching themes that emerged from workshop discussions. Many participants highlighted the need for researchers to work together with modelers and engineers in the early stages of experiment design to maximize the effectiveness of the project and to ensure that the results are well suited for improved prediction. Designing field experiments to include models, simulations, and observations helps to develop, improve, validate, and use the models. The models could then provide better forecasts for many important applications such as air pollution measurements, wind energy, weather forecasts, and predictions of climate change. Modeling teams could also benefit from working together and aiming for integrated and collaborative relationships.

Emerging technologies can be utilized and leveraged to connect remote sensing and in situ measurements, expanding coverage in both space and time. Lidar technologies and adaptation of existing weather radars for BL research appear to be particularly promising. Precise measurements of chemical species and trace gases, with high frequency and spatial resolution, can also be especially helpful in characterizing the BL. Platforms such as Saildrone, UAS tethered balloon systems, and altitude-controlled balloons have a number of distinct measurement capabilities and advantages, especially in hard-to-access areas. Utilizing “swarms” or “flocks” of autonomous platforms may be an advantageous method to achieve improved measurements. Similarly, a wide range of surface- and space-based remote sensing architectures (e.g., CubeSats, smaller constellations of satellites, and other remote sensing techniques) could be employed to significantly improve future BL measurements and prediction capabilities.

Suggested Citation:"Final Thoughts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. The Future of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observing, Understanding, and Modeling: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25138.
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Suggested Citation:"Final Thoughts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. The Future of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observing, Understanding, and Modeling: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25138.
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Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Final Thoughts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. The Future of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observing, Understanding, and Modeling: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25138.
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Page 32
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Improved observations of the atmospheric boundary layer (BL) and its interactions with the ocean, land, and ice surfaces have great potential to advance science on a number of fronts, from improving forecasts of severe storms and air quality to constraining estimates of trace gas emissions and transport. Understanding the BL is a crucial component of model advancements, and increased societal demands for extended weather impact forecasts (from hours to months and beyond) highlight the need to advance Earth system modeling and prediction. New observing technologies and approaches (including in situ and ground-based, airborne, and satellite remote sensing) have the potential to radically increase the density of observations and allow new types of variables to be measured within the BL, which will have broad scientific and societal benefits.

In October 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to explore the future of BL observations and their role in improving modeling and forecasting capabilities. Workshop participants discussed the science and applications drivers for BL observation, emerging technology to improve observation capabilities, and strategies for the future. This publication summarizes presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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