Will we ever
control the ferocious forces unleashed by wildfires? Or can we learn
to live with the natural cycle of burning and regrowth? To develop
tools for coexistence, the Wildland Fire Research and Development
Collaboratory is tackling tough questions at the intersection of science
find more and more planets orbiting distant stars, an NCAR scientist
and his colleagues have for the first time detected the atmosphere
of an extrasolar planet. Now they plan to analyze the atmosphere in
more depth, which may offer clues about the formations of solar systemsand
possibly provide a method for finding life on other worlds.
hardest of the atmospheres basic ingredients to measure, water
vapor was the quarry in spring 2002 for one of the continents
biggest-ever weather studies. Measurements from ground sites, vehicles,
and aircraft painted a three-dimensional portrait of water vapor that
will improve understanding and prediction of thunderstorms and their
hazardsespecially flash floods, our most lethal weather risk.
hole is just one of the surprises to emerge from the little-explored
atmosphere at the upper end of balloon and aircraft range. Upcoming
satellites and a high-altitude jet promise to yield newly comprehensive
detail on the chemistry and dynamics that rule our planets atmosphere
above ten miles and influence life at the surface.
Via the Internet,
two ambitious projects are helping to organize educational communities
and improve access to learning materials in the geosciences and other
scientific realms. Behind these scenes is an unusual blend of educators,
librarians, technical innovators, and subject expertsall working
to put interactive tools, animations, data sets, and other digital
resources at a users fingertips.
Some of the
hardest pieces to place in our planets jigsaw of climate include
forests, crops, and pavement. A new tool for studying land-atmosphere
exchange is bolstering NCARs flagship climate model and providing
fresh views of the global atmosphere well experience in the
century to come.
weather-forecasting models keep an eye on the jet stream and other
continent-scale factors, thunderstorms, blizzards, and other localized
hazards can sneak through to cause havoc. A smaller-scale weather-forecast
model nourished through an NCAR-university partnership is now used
worldwide for commerce, defense, and basic research.