Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes
and feel with their own hearts.
Weather and Climate on Earth and Beyond
Our group uses comparative planetary sciences to further
our understanding of the fundamental processes governing the atmosphere
of our planet and its neighbors, while educating new generations of scientists
and engineers. Our approach is to use fundamental theoretical ideas, innovative
techniques, and when necessary develop robust and low cost instruments
to study planetary environments. Here we summarize our science goals and
accomplishments. Our engineering objectives and accomplishments are described
elsewhere (ENG 450).
The exploration of the Earth, the solar system, and beyond
leads to significant societal benefits through the development of engineering
and science, and innovation not only in technology but also in our view
of the world. In addition, it inspires and energizes new generations of
scientists and engineers. One of the main motivations for space exploration
is to understand the Earth and its atmosphere in the broader context of
other planets. This allows investigations of the relative importance of
different physical processes on weather and climate. Indeed, it gives us
the opportunity to test ideas and models developed to understand important
problems such as global climate change on a variety of planets. Thus, space
exploration helps us to determine the validity and the limits-of-applicability
of our Earth-centered ideas.
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