Meteorologists research weather, and climatologists research climate. However, to better understand our atmosphere, it takes many other people. Researchers with a variety of skills and knowledge are involved in atmospheric science. For example,

  • Chemists research the pollutants added to the air, such as greenhouse gases and ground-level ozone.
  • Physicists study how energy from the Sun affects climate.
  • Biologists and ecologists research how ecosystems are affected by climate change.
  • Mathematicians and computer scientists make it possible to model weather and climate, which leads to weather forecasts and predictions of future climate change.
  • Engineers develop sensors and other technology to help monitor the atmosphere.
  • Hydrologists focus on how weather and climate affect the water cycle.
  • Oceanographers are researching how the ocean affects climate and how climate change is affecting the ocean.

To stop climate change, engineers and scientists are inventing new renewable energy technology, electric vehicles, and methods for pulling greenhouse gases out of the air and shading the Earth. Geographers, economists, sociologists, agricultural scientists, urban planners, political scientists, and others are studying the impacts severe weather and climate change have on people and what changes we need to make to stop climate change and be less vulnerable.

Want to learn more about careers related to atmospheric science? Browse below to learn about the fields of research and people who work in those fields.

Astronomy

Astronomy

The branch of science that deals with the physics, chemistry, and evolution of celestial objects, and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth.

Astrophysics

Astrophysics

The branch of astronomy concerned with the physical nature of celestial bodies, and the application of physics to the interpretation of astronomical observations.

Atmospheric chemistry

Atmospheric chemistry

The study of the chemical composition and transformations occurring in the atmosphere.

Atmospheric dynamics

Atmospheric dynamics

Study of observations and theory dealing with all motion systems of meteorological importance, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes, and global-scale circulations.

Climatology

Climatology

Study of climate variability and meteorological conditions over a specified period of time.

Computer science

Computer science

The study and design of computers and computational processes that emphasizes an understanding of information transfer and transformation.

Education

Education

A field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community.

Engineering

Engineering

The application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build, and improve structures, machines, systems, and processes.

Environmental science

Environmental science

Study of the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment, including their effects on all types of organisms.

Hydrology

Hydrology

The study of water and its relation to the effects of precipitation and evaporation upon the occurrence and character of water in streams, lakes, and on or below the surface.

Mathematics

Mathematics

The abstract science of number, quantity, and space. Mathematics may be studied in its own right, or as it is applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering.

Meteorology

Meteorology

The study of the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the earth's atmosphere, including the related effects at the air-earth boundary over both land and the oceans.

Oceanography

Oceanography

The study of the sea, embracing and integrating all knowledge pertaining to the sea's physical boundaries, the chemistry and physics of seawater, and marine biology.

Physics

Physics

The branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy, including mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.

Sociology

Sociology

The study of human social relationships and institutions, including analyzing social stability and radical change in whole societies.

Weather forecasting

Weather forecasting

Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a given location.