Millions Of Years

The goal of study in atmosphere, ocean, and climate dynamics at Harvard is to understand the Earth's weather and climate, over timescales of days to million years, by studying the systems controlling the circulation of both the atmosphere and the ocean. Of special interest is finding sources of variability (such as irregularity of El Niño, periods of ice ages, and precipitation patterns). Ongoing research includes programs for improving weather prediction and El Niño prediction.

A variety of research projects at Harvard Forest include measuring nitrogen oxide concentrations at Harvard Forest, a study of carbon and nitrogen in the soil, along with soil temperature and moisture; and soil respiration with soil temperature and moisture. In relation to climate science, a study by one research group working at the Harvard Forest includes collection of data on greenhouse gas concentration and flux, and carbon storage. Another group has measured ozone-depleting and/or greenhouse gases above the forest canopy at Harvard Forest since 1996. In the experimental and theoretical laboratory, researchers perform work on ozone chemistry in the stratosphere/troposphere.

Atmospheric and climate dynamics research topics include the study of past and present weather, and processes for creating climate models, global atmospheric and oceanic circulations, atmosphere-ocean exchange of energy and water, as well as studies on exchange of carbon dioxide and reactive gases with the biosphere, life-cycles of aerosol particles, and the effects of changes in atmospheric composition on climate. Additional opportunities for stu dents include the Atmospheric Chemistry Journal Club to bring together the various groups in atmospheric chemistry for discussion and collaboration on atmospheric science topics. Past topics have covered "Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" and "Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 Sink due to Recent Climate Change".

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