University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

THE UNivERsiTY Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a nonprofit institution that has a mission to "support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community, nationally and internationally; understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related systems and the global environment; and foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth." It was founded in the year 1960 and is based in Boulder, Colorado. The UCAR research lab maintains an affiliated nature preserve.

UCAR collaborates with universities to manage the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the UCAR Office of Programs. The goal of these three organizations is "Understanding our changing Earth system, Educating about the atmosphere and related sciences, Supporting a global community of researchers, and Benefiting society through science and technology."

The establishment of UCAR began in the 1950s, when faculty representatives from 14 universities met to discuss the need for supporting the atmospheric sciences, as well as enhancing the study of these sciences. These faculty members realized the research potential in an institution that could foster collaborations and maintain personnel that one university on its own would not have the resources to do. Thus, the NCAR was founded with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation. UCAR was formally established in 1960 to manage NCAR and foster Earth systems science. Earth systems science investigates not only the atmosphere as an entity but also its relations with the Earth's oceans and lands, as well as with the sun.

The universities and institutions that work with UCAR are member universities, international affiliates, or academic affiliates. Member universities must be North American universities offering doctoral degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences. International affiliates are international universities that grant equivalent degrees, and academic affiliates are North American universities that award predoc-toral degrees in similar fields. Some of the member universities include the University of Alaska, Columbia University, Drexel University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Missouri, Old Dominion University, Saint Louis University, and the University of Wyoming. In addition, there are private-sector members who participate in UCAR by funding projects, assisting with technology, collaborating with UCAR research, or acting on UCAR governance boards.

NCAR researchers and technical staff frequently collaborate with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to write or review reports of the latter institution. On October 11, 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former U.S. vice president Al Gore and the IPCC for their work evidencing the human effect on global warming.

Earlier that year, the IPCC had published its fourth periodic assessment of climate change; these assessments began in the year 1991. Assessments take into account numerous pieces of climatological data, analyze past climate patterns, and predict future patterns for local and global environments.

UCAR also manages an Office of Education and Outreach (EO), which communicates with the public, and especially youths, about the necessity and intrigues of working in Earth systems science.

sEE ALsO: Clinton Administration; Colorado; Columbia University; National Center for Atmospheric Research;

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Joint Office for Science Support 1015

United Nations; University of Alaska; University of Illinois.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Rodale Books, 2006); Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming (Viking Juvenile, 2007); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007—The Physical Science Basis: Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Climate Change 2007) (Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Claudia Winograd University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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