How do we study the atmosphere?

Who is interested in the ATMOSPHERE?

Somehow, nearly everyone is interested in the atmosphere.

How often do people ask, "What's the weather going to be like tomorrow?" Or "What's it like outside?" Weather plays an important role in our daily lives. What we do, what we wear, and where we go can all be influenced by the weather.

Of course, there are many kinds of scientists who are very interested in the atmosphere. Meteorologists observe the daily, short-term changes in the weather and try to predict what the weather will be like for the next few days. Meteorologists look at how weather has changed in the past and use current measurements and computer models to predict what will happen.

Climatologists are similar to meteorologists, except they study atmospheric changes over many years and decades. Climatologists try to predict whether the Earth will heat up or cool down in the years to come, and how these changes occur.

There are also atmospheric scientists who will study almost anything that goes on in the atmosphere, from different chemical reactions to how raindrops form. They study how different parts of the atmosphere are heated and what makes lightning and thunder. Often this is done from spacecraft or balloons.

Many people across the country and around the world dedicate their lives to learning about the atmosphere. Their work allows television weathermen to predict the week's weather or warns people about the damage pollution can do.

Many people's jobs also depend on the weather. Those who work in transportation, such as airline pilots and ship captains must keep the weather in mind when they plan their trips. And farmers are very concerned about the weather because it is so important in the growing of crops.

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