Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Climatic Data, Atmospheric Observations
ATMOSPHERIC OBSERVATIONS FORM the basis for weather prediction and analysis, for monitoring climate and climate change, and for atmospheric and climate research. Observations are carried out routinely and in a well-coordinated manner by weather services and individuals using a variety of platforms and instruments. The range of intentions behind observing the atmosphere leads to different types of data products. For climate trend applications, a number of errors need to be carefully addressed. Climate variables have been measured for centuries, but it has only been possible to construct a consistent global picture of climate trends from these data since the late 1900s. Atmospheric observations are partial descriptions of the state of the atmosphere, the statistics of which determine the state of the climate system. If these observations are carried out over long time periods, changes in the climate system can be addressed. Most of the observations are measurements, for example, a ...