The Future of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Observing, Understanding, and Modeling
Improved observations of the atmospheric boundary layer (BL) and its interactions with the ocean, land, and ice surfaces have great potential to advance science on a number of fronts, from improving forecasts of severe storms and air quality to constraining estimates of trace gas emissions and transport. Understanding the BL is a crucial component of model advancements, and increased societal demands for extended weather impact forecasts (from hours to months and beyond) highlight the need to advance Earth system modeling and prediction. New observing technologies and approaches (including in situ and ground-based, airborne, and satellite remote sensing) have the potential to radically increase the density of observations and allow new types of variables to be measured within the BL, which will have broad scientific and societal benefits.
In October 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a workshop to explore the future of BL observations and their role in improving modeling and forecasting capabilities. Workshop participants discussed the science and applications drivers for BL observation, emerging technology to improve observation capabilities, and strategies for the future. This publication summarizes presentations and discussions from the workshop.