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Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Hurricans and Tropical Storms_NASA_070522A
[NASA - Two hurricanes and two tropical storms in the Atlantic basin on September 4, 2019 as seen from the GOES-16 satellite.]

- Overview

Understanding the past and present to guide the future. 

Atmospheric Science is the study of weather analysis and predictability, climate and global change, the circulation of the atmosphere relating to weather systems and their impact on the Earth, air quality, and other atmospheric processes that affect us. 

Discovery and understanding in Atmospheric Science is critical to our resiliency, and preparedness ­so that we may meet the most pressing challenges of our atmosphere-dependent systems. 

Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history. Earth science encompasses four main branches of study, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere, each of which is further broken down into more specialized fields. 


- Earth Science

Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science related to the planet Earth. This is a branch of science dealing with the physical, chemical, and biological complex constitutions and synergistic linkages of Earth's four spheres, namely biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and geosphere. 

There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth sciences. It is also the study of Earth and its neighbors in space. Some Earth scientists use their knowledge of the planet to locate and develop energy and mineral resources. Others study the impact of human activity on Earth's environment, and design methods to protect the planet. 

Some use their knowledge about Earth processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes to plan communities that will not expose people to these dangerous events.  


- Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric science is the study of the Earth's atmosphere and its physical processes. It can be considered a subdiscipline of environmental science. 

Atmospheric science is traditionally divided into three topical areas:

  • Meteorology: The study and forecasting of weather
  • Climatology: The study of long-term atmospheric patterns and their influences
  • Aeronomy: The study of the physics and chemistry of the upper atmosphere

Atmospheric science also includes:

  • Weather analysis and forecasting
  • Climate and global change
  • The circulation of the atmosphere about weather systems and their impact on Earth
  • Air quality

Atmospheric science uses experimental instruments such as: Satellites, Rocketsondes, Radiosondes, Weather balloons, Radars, Lasers.

Some examples of atmospheric science include:

  • Depletion of ozone in the stratosphere
  • Degradation of air quality in many urban areas
  • The continuing increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases

[More to come ...]


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