An atmospheric scientist (or climatologist) studies the scientific and mathematical aspects of the earth's atmosphere, climate and weather. They develop reports, forecasts, and climate change research from their analysis of weather and climate data. Most atmospheric scientists work indoors in weather stations, offices, or laboratories. Occasionally, they do fieldwork, which means working outdoors to examine the weather.
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An atmospheric scientist typically does the following:
An atmospheric scientist uses highly developed instruments and computer programs to do their jobs. For example, they use weather balloons, radar systems, satellites, and sensors to monitor the weather and collect data. The data they collect and analyze are critical to understanding air pollution, drought, loss of the ozone layer, and other problems. They also use graphics software to illustrate their forecasts and reports.
Many atmospheric scientists work with scientists and professionals in other fields to help solve problems in areas such as commerce, energy, transportation, agriculture, and the environment. For example, some work on teams with other scientists and engineers to find the best locations for new wind farms, which are groups of wind turbines used to generate electricity. Others work closely with hydrologists to monitor the impact climate change has on water supplies and to manage water resources.
Atmospheric scientists involved in research often work in offices and laboratories, but they may travel frequently to collect data in the field and to observe weather events, such as tornadoes, up close. They watch actual weather conditions from the ground or from an aircraft. Atmospheric scientists who work in private industry may have to travel to meet with clients or to gather information in the field. For example, forensic meteorologists may need to collect information from the scene of an accident as part of their investigation.
A professor of atmospheric science, Knupp leads the university’s severe weather research group, studying lightning, tornadoes, thunderstorms, gust fronts, dry lines, land-falling hurricanes, topographic effects, blizzards and other such things.
Studying atmosphere, the blanket of air that covers the Earth, means that atmospheric and space scientists may learn how to forecast weather as well as interpret and understand trends in weather and climate. Atmospheric and space scientists can also use these skills to analyze air-pollution, agriculture, ozone depletion or global warming.
Atmospheric scientists and meteorologists have the answer to one of the most asked questions in day-to-day life: What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? What’s more, atmospheric scientists and meteorologists understand why storms and other weather patterns come our way.
Bill Nichols is an Atmospheric Scientist employed with the National Weather Service (NWS) for the past 18 years.
Anyah was drawn to the study of climate science as a way to create understanding between the effects of weather and society.
Using their knowledge of climate theory, mathematics, and physics, atmospheric and space scientists create complex computer models to study climate phenomena and provide meteorlogical predictions.
An atmospheric scientist is an individual who studies the Earth's atmosphere, which is the layer of gases that surrounds the planet and is essential for the existence of all life on Earth.