Studies & Degrees in Atmospheric Science

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Did you ever wonder how the weatherman comes up with the daily forecast? This best explains the science of meteorology that provides for the explanation of weather events in a particular location. In particular, every weather bulletin involves meticulous scrutiny of atmospheric components such as air pressure, temperature, and water vapour. In the same way, these elements are also imperative to climate prediction encompassing long time climatic phenomena. Scrutiny of meteorological constituents is made possible by specialized facilities and equipment in the likes of Radar, Lidar, and satellites. Consequently, meteorology happens to be a single branch of atmospheric science.

The atmosphere is nevertheless an interesting subject of study hence the realm of atmospheric sciences. In particular, it is described as the layer of gasses embracing any material body such as a planet. Among others though, the Earth’s atmosphere is distinctive considering its capacity to sustain life forms. Basically, it consists of various gasses such as argon, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, etc. No wonder, flora and fauna life processes are sustained specifically by carbon dioxide and oxygen gasses. Apart from that, it is also characterized by gaseous layers composed of troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere, and magnetospehere.

Atmospheric science is regarded as the scientific field that deals with overall atmospheric particulars. As a matter of fact, it branches out into many different facets that include meteorology (weather forecasting), climatology (atmospheric changes), aeronomy (top atmospheric layers), and planetary science (planetary atmospheres).

Furthermore, it involves various sub-disciplines such as atmospheric chemistry (Earth’s atmospheric chemistry), atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric motion systems), and atmospheric physics (atmospheric models). Along the process, it involves employment of relevant technologies utilizing equipment such as radiosondes, rocketsondes, lasers, satellites, and weather balloons. In some other cases, it may also be referred to as aerology which is more particular to the study of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Relevance of atmospheric science in the society brought about the various academic specializations tendered in the academe. Colleges and universities offering relevant curricula include Princeton University (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences), Cornell University (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), and Stony Brook University (School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences). Furthermore, this scientific faculty is accessible both in undergraduate and graduate schools. Undergraduate programs consist of Bachelor in Atmospheric Science, Bachelor in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, and Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science. Further studies may also be pursued such as Master in Atmospheric Sciences, Master of Science in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Science. Short technical courses are also available hence the Associate of Applied Science degree in Atmospheric Science and Meteorology.

Employment opportunities in many relevant industries await atmospheric scientists. In particular, the growing weather forecasting industry comprises an attractive career niche to specialists who can land jobs in prominent companies in the likes of AccuWeather Inc., Best Weather, Inc., and The FleetWeather Group of Companies. In the same way, national governments can also provide placements to eligible professionals for pertinent projects such as US Atmospheric Science Program pioneered by the Department of Energy. International organizations like the World Meteorological Association may offer research posts to degree holders. Also, educational institutions can hire atmospheric science experts who are interested in sharing their expertise in the academe.