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Transcript
Research and Careers
in Atmospheric
Sciences
UW Atmospheric Sciences Outreach
Weather vs. Climate
Weather
 Time scales up to 10 – 14 days
Climate
 Time scales of 2 weeks – hundreds of years
 Think of climate as “average weather” over long periods of
time
The Greenhouse Effect
 Trace gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon
dioxide, ozone, etc) absorb infrared radiation and reemit it toward the surface.
 As a results, the surface warms.
 Increasing the amount of these greenhouse gases
increases the temperature at the Earth’s surface.
4
Careers in Atmospheric Sciences
Government
Policy
Public Relations
Teaching
Software development
Analysis
Research
Field Work / Obs
Forecasting
Consulting
Broadcasting
Academia
Industry
04/26/10
Careers in Research
 Can conduct research at
 Universities
 Government Agencies
 Private Companies
There are many topics in atmospheric science that
people research and apply including…
7
Research topic: Climate
 Climatology
 Variability and patterns of
climate
 Climate modeling
 Paleoclimate
 Climate change (e.g.
feedbacks and sensitivity)
 Global warming
 Impacts (how different
regions will be affected)
 Geoengineering
Research topic: Planetary
Atmospheres
 Study of atmospheres on
other planets
Research topics: Dynamics
 Physics (equations of motion)
 Global circulation
 Mid-latitude cyclones
 Monsoons
 Planetary boundary layer (PBL)
 Air-Sea interations
Research topic: Atmospheric
Chemistry
 Air quality (air pollution)
 Aerosols
 Anthropogenic emissions
 Ozone
 Paleoclimate proxies
 Instrumentation
Research topic: Atmospheric
Radiation
 Energy balance of the
atmosphere
 Remote sensing
(satellites)
 Planetary boundary
layer (PBL)
 Absorption /
scattering / reflection
/ emission
Research topic: Clouds
 Cloud dynamics
 Storms
 Precipitation processes
 Aerosol interactions
Research topic:
Mesoscale Meteorology
 Hurricanes/ Tropical storms /
depressions
 Convection
 Tornadoes/Supercells /
Thunderstorms/Lightning
 Mesoscale Convective Systems
 Influence of topography on
weather
 Land and sea breeze circulations
 Small-scale weather
 Precipitation bands
Careers in Government:
Examples of Government Agencies
 National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
 National Weather Service (NWS)
 Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
 National Center for Atmospheric
Research (NCAR)
 Military
 National Aeronautic and Space
Administration (NASA)
 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
What does the government do?
 Air quality
 Aviation weather
 Fire weather
 Marine weather
 Severe weather
 Weather forecasting
 Hydrology
 Climate monitoring and
prediction
 Satellite design /operation
 Data collection
 Natural resource
management
 Emergency Management
 Space weather
 Research
Weather Forecasting
 Forecasters use weather models generated by the
government and other sources to predict the weather
 Many different people have careers in forecasting
 TV, radio, and newspaper weathermen
 National Weather Service
 Private companies (Accuweather, Intellicast, etc)
17
Broadcast Meteorology
 The “weather person” you see on TV news
 Local TV and radio stations, national networks (ie: ABC,
NBC)
 Local TV weather often write the weather forecast for
newspapers as well
 Cable channels like The Weather Channel
 Skills in communication, public speaking and on-air
presence are key!
Broadcast Meteorology
Private Forecasting
 Many industries depend on accurate, targeted and specific weather
forecasting for their economic success
 Airlines and other transportation
 Shipping companies
 Agriculture
 Outdoor recreation (ski resorts, etc)
 Operations in extreme environments such as Antarctica
 Any business that must comply with environmental protection laws
dealing with air or water pollution (ex: construction, manufacturing,
energy) - many have their own meteorologist or hire one from a
private consulting firm on a project-by-project basis
Wind Energy
 Wind energy is an important emerging sector of
atmospheric sciences as more emphasis is put on
alternative energy
 Meteorologists help select a site that is best for a wind
farm – somewhere with steady, strong winds
 Once the wind farm is built, meteorologists must provide
accurate, real-time forecasts of wind speed and direction
so that transfer to the power grid goes smoothly.
Wind Energy
Consulting
 Many different companies require the services of an
atmospheric scientist.
 Work ranges from technical to policy consulting
23
Science Policy
 Governments need scientists to
interpret scientific results and apply it
to laws and policies.
 Many different political topics require
the expertise of atmospheric
scientists:
 Global warming
 Pollution
 Environmental protection
 Ocean acidification
 All levels of government (federal,
state, local) have opportunities for
those who want to bridge the policy
and science divide.
 NGOs (non-governmental
organizations) also help shape policy
and require the expertise of scientists.
24
Science Journalism and Writing
 Communication of science to the public is important
 Science writers interpret and report scientific results for
the public
 Science Communicators who have brought atmospheric
science to the public:
 Carl Sagan (Astronomer)
 Al Gore (Politician)
 James Balog (Photographer)
 Andrew Revkin (Journalist)
25
How to Prepare
 In high school:
 Strengthen your math, science, computer and writing skills
 If your school offers an environmental science or weather
class, consider taking it
 In college:
 Atmos. Sci. is broad, so a range of skills can make you
successful – math, science, computer programming,
communications, physics, oceanography, geography,
political science – you get the idea!
 There are many paid and unpaid internship opportunities
available – NOAA, NWS, NCAR, Nat'l Labs, TV stations, local
agencies (air quality, etc), private companies, DoE
General Tips
 Take EVERY advantage of opportunities to meet people
you are interested in working for
 Internships help you get experience, and help you decide
if the field is right for you
 It is your definition of success that matters, because it is
your happiness
Shameless Plug
UW non-major course offerings in atmospheric sciences
 101: Introduction to weather
 111: Global warming
 211: Climate and climate change
 212: Air pollution
Questions?
Thank You!