Terms of Reference

The Committee on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology focuses on the science of the interaction between atmosphere and biosphere, i.e., how life on Earth influences the atmosphere and how the atmosphere affects life on Earth. The Committee builds on a long history of field-based and computer-based research into agricultural meteorology, forest meteorology, biometeorology, aerobiology, and fire meteorology. The purview of the Committee will evolve in response to the need to understand how the earth system will respond to a changing climate and changing environmental pressures. The Committee bears the Society’s responsibility for advancing the application of meteorology to food and fiber production and to the maintenance of ecological services that society has come to rely on.

The biological and physical characteristics of vegetated surfaces affect the atmosphere on both large and small scales. Key issues include changing atmospheric composition, climate change, atmospheric pollution, human and ecosystem health, and land cover disturbance through fire and cultivation. The living organisms include humans, animals, plants, insects and micro-flora and -fauna. All of these interact with the atmosphere to regulate energy, water, carbon, nitrogen, and fire cycles. The Committee seeks an understanding of the meteorology of all factors that aid, harm, or destroy these organisms and ecosystems goods and services.

The interaction between the biosphere and the atmosphere is primarily through exchanges of mass, energy, water vapour, gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, aerosols and pollutants. Consequently, the interests of many other committees are related to this committee's interest and the Committee will work with other committees of the Society through joint sessions at specialty meetings, at the Society’s annual meeting and participating on task forces of the Society.

Systematic methods employed by climatologists, micrometeorologists, biophysicists, agronomists, biogeochemists and ecologists are applicable to this multidisciplinary field from the microscale to the global scale. Methodology draws heavily on observations, including flux measurements and microcomputer-controlled acquisition of environmental and plant data, and remote sensing from aircraft and satellites. Quantitative approaches in analysis include data assimilation, application various mathematical techniques for analysis including computer modeling. This research offers the ability to monitor and assess surface conditions on both large and small spatial scales. Integration of multidisciplinary approaches is an important objective of the Committee. Results from fundamental and applied research are transferred to operational programs to expedite decision making.

The purpose and functions of the Committee are to:
•Give advice to the Society in matters concerning atmospheric perspectives in atmosphere- biosphere interactions, and to assist the Society in formulating statements and positions on related issues;
• Participate in and organize scientific meetings and symposia in atmosphere-biosphere interactions in order to stimulate research and to discuss and clarify pertinent problems;
•Cooperate with other committees of the Society through joint sessions at specialty meetings and at the Society’s annual meeting;
• Facilitate dialogue between biologists, ecologists, plant scientists, agronomists, hydrologist and meteorologists concerning interdisciplinary research and education in the biological regulation of atmospheric composition and; and represent the Society, upon request of the Council, in matters of atmosphere-biosphere interactions;
• Participate on the Board of Atmospheric Biogeosciences; and
• Seek nominations for the Outstanding Achievement in Biometeorology, Fellows of AMS, and other relevant AMS awards.