Studying the planet, from space to sea, and fostering research that will heal the planet.
Our world faces difficult challenges: climate change, greenhouse warming and air pollution. To combat this, scientists are seeking ways to control or modify weather phenomena, and the public is demanding reliable long-range weather forecasts on local and global scales. At the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), we are seeking to answer those challenges. Since 1940, when it was under the leadership of the late professor Jacob Bjerknes, originator of the polar-front theory of cyclones, AOS has been at the forefront of atmospheric research and education. Now ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Research Council, the department taps some of the best and brightest minds in the world as it teaches interdisciplinary approaches to this area of modern science.
Our research focuses on the theories and tools necessary to understand all aspects of our atmosphere and oceans. We foster innovation in four major areas — climate and weather, chemistry and radiation, oceanography, and space physics — and encourage interdisciplinary research. AOS areas of study are more relevant than ever as human activities change our global environment. From studying the effects of solar storms on communications and GPS satellites (AOS professor Richard Thorne) to fielding the comings and goings of El Nino (AOS professor and Alfred Wegener Medal Honoree Michael Ghil), UCLA researchers are distinguished in their work and knowledge of how our planet functions.
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