In 1988, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), a nonprofit scientific society of 10 000 members, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of 59 North American universities with major programs in the atmospheric and related sciences, prepared The Changing Atmosphere—Challenges and Opportunities. This document outlined the importance to society of understanding and predicting weather and climate, and identified actions to be taken for the benefit of society—protecting life and property through improved weather forecasts and warnings and preparing for potential dramatic changes in the climate. It declared that addressing these challenges would decrease the risks to society of adverse effects from climate change and severe weather, and through strategic planning would create economic advantages while sustaining a healthy atmospheric environment. Four years have elapsed since this 1988 report, and these two issues have become even more important to the present and future well-being of the nation. The current document updates the earlier report by summarizing some of the most important recent scientific findings, assessing the progress made in reducing risks and exploiting opportunities, and identifying new challenges and opportunities.
The American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research*
*This document was sponsored jointly by the American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and produced under the auspices of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.