The experts at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) have made significant contributions to the understanding of the way the Earth works as a dynamic system. Our studies include interactions among components of the Earth’s system, especially those related to momentum, energy, and moisture.
Our scientists have developed models and comprehensive data sets that advance research throughout the world and also address interests of specific clients in government and industry.
Sea level, ice and gravity
Our scientists continue to study the interaction of land ice and the hydrological cycle with variability in sea level at a variety of time scales. As land ice melts or as drought affects a large river basin, the loading of the solid Earth and its local gravitational field changes, which can lead to corresponding variations in sea level, either through changes in the ocean bottom or in the gravitational forces felt by the ocean. Scientists at AER are busy understanding how these coupled ocean-solid Earth processes can impact coastal regions that are vulnerable to sea level change.
Scientists at AER have organized and studied major portions of global weather analyses as well as run and analyzed ocean models. Results have been used to diagnose the global angular momentum budget, involving momentum exchanges between the atmosphere, oceans, and solid Earth. The work demonstrates that an especially close link exists between variations in the overall strength of atmospheric winds and small but measurable changes in Earth's rate of rotation. We supply relevant data via a formal data center, the Special Bureau for the Atmosphere of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Frames Service (SBA/IERS). Other aspects of Earth motions and orientation are closely related to a combination of atmospheric and oceanic influences. In particular, AER researchers have found that changes in ocean bottom pressure also contribute to the Earth's wobbling motions.
Observing and Understanding Earth Rotation
Effects of climate change scenarios on wind regimes and atmospheric mass distribution, and consequent atmospheric angular momentum effects
Potential accumulation of a CFC-replacement degradation product in seasonal wetlands
Global and regional axial ocean angular momentum signals and length-of-day variations
De-aliasing of global high frequency barotropic motions in altimeter observations
Role of ocean currents and bottom pressure variability on seasonal polar motion
Regional Sources of Mountain Torque Variability and High-Frequency Fluctuations in Atmospheric Angular Momentum
Angular momentum and torques in a simulation of the atmosphere's response to the 1982-1983 El Niño
The Sub-bureau for Atmospheric Angular Momentum of the International Earth Rotation Service: A Meteorological Data Center with Geodetic Applications
The Madden-Julian Oscillation and the Angular Momentum Balance in a Barotropic Ocean Model
Exchange of Momentum Among Atmosphere, Ocean, and Solid Earth Associated With the Madden‐Julian Oscillation
Variations in Atmospheric Angular Momentum on Global and Regional Scales and the Length of Day