By exchanging angular momentum with the solid portion of the earth, the atmosphere plays a vital role in exciting small but measurable changes in the rotation of our planet. Recognizing this relationship, the International Earth Rotation Service invited the U.S. National Meteorological Center to organize a Sub-bureau for Atmospheric Angular Momentum (SBAAM) for the purpose of collecting, distributing, archiving, and analyzing atmospheric parameters relevant to earth rotation/polar motion. These functions of wind and surface pressure are being computed with data from several of the world's weather services, and they are being widely applied to the research and operations of the geodetic community. The SBAAM began operating formally in October 1989, and this article highlights its development, operations, and significance.
*Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
+Research and Data Systems Corporation, Greenbelt, Maryland
**NOAA/NWS/Climate Analysis Center, Washington, D.C.