Main Page Upcoming Events
Apr 27 - 3:30pm - CSS 2400
AOSC Seminar by Dr. Yaling Liu
"The Patterns, Causes and Consequences of Changes in Regional and Global Water Cycling"

May 4 - 3:30pm - CSS 2400
AOSC Seminar by Dr. Michael King
University of Colorado Boulder
"Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Tropospheric Clouds observed by MODIS onboard the Terra and Aqua Satellites"

May 12 - 12:00pm - CSS 3400
AOSC Brown Bag by Mr. Scott Ozog

Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. The Department, part of the Earth Sciences Program that includes the collocated Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and climate earth sciences.

The department's research strengths are reinforced by strong collaborations leading to joint research topics with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland Departments of the Environment and of Natural Resources, the National Centers for Environmental Prediction of the National Weather Service, the NOAA Satellite and Air Research Laboratories, all of which are located near the campus.

James Carton, Professor and Chairman

Faculty Spotlight
Ross Salawitch and team publish “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope” illustrating optimistic climate future
Drawing momentum from the historic Paris Climate Treaty Agreement that took place in December 2015, Dr. Ross Salawitch and AOSC colleagues Dr. Tim Canty, Brian Bennett, Walt Tribett and Austin Hope recently published, “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope,” a book which analyzes the greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions necessary to limit global warming to 1.5-2 degrees Celsius. “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope,” illustrates this rise in global mean surface temperature is attainable as long as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) of emissions are adhered to and propagated forward to the year 2060. The authors show that the Paris goals are possible through their development of a global climate model (EM-GC), which concluded GHGs must only follow the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP)-4.5 for the target warming to occur. This pathway is more optimistic and realistically attainable than what previous global climate models (GCMS) had prescribed countries must follow. The book concluded that current GCMS likely represented climate feedback in a manner that amplified the radiative forcing due to GHGs too strongly. Still, to achieve RCP 4.5 half of the world’s global energy must come from renewable sources by the year 2060. “This will require a large-scale transfer of technology and capital from the developed to the developing world,” said Salawitch.

Video Announcement
Paris Beacon of Hope
Posted on April 14, 2017
New BS/MS Combined Program in AOSC

UMD has just approved our new BS/MS Combined Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. This program will be available beginning Fall 2017. More details will be posted soon.

Posted on February 21, 2017
Prof. Ross Salawitch discusses the Paris Agreement.

Flooded and in the midst of a strong Pacific storm system, the audience of KCAL was looking for some clarity as to what type of progress has been made in the fields of weather prediction and climate modeling. Professor Ross Salawitch was there to provide the answers. On February 18, Salawitch appeared on the CBS Los Angeles affiliate, KCAL-9, to discuss his new book, “Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope,” and explain prevalent misconceptions in the climate system. He explained the different reduction targets countries had set in the agreement, highlighting the fact that the U.S. under the agreement is currently committed to a 27 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Salawitch commended Jerry Brown and California for their efforts in reducing carbon emissions. The hosts brought up the prevalent misconception that because winters are still cold and wet in California, climate change cannot be a pertinent issue. Salawitch used this segueway to explain the fundamental difference of climate and weather, conveying to audience members that no conclusion about our current climate state could be derived from a mere observation in the weather.

Watch the video here.

Past news archive...