Terms of Reference

The Committee on Atmospheric Radiation is concerned with all aspects of the earth-atmosphere system in which radiative processes play a role. These processes encompass a wide range of phenomena, including the absorption, emission and scattering of light by molecules, aerosols, cloud particles and terrestrial surfaces; measurement of the radiative properties of earth-atmosphere system constituents; the role of radiation in weather and climate and the models that predict them; and the use of radiometric measurements and principles for remote sensing. Of specific concern to this committee are processes in which atmospheric radiation plays a key role, such as the greenhouse effect, the radiative impacts of natural and anthropogenic aerosols, cloud-climate interactions, sea surface temperature anomalies and associated effects on the earth's radiation budget, changes in surface albedo and emissivity, and ozone depletion.

Because of the variety and complexity of these processes, advancements in atmospheric radiation require integration of expertise from many scientific disciplines. One of the primary functions of this committee is to encourage and facilitate such integration.

The other functions of the committee are to 

  1. promote the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on atmospheric radiation through the encouragement of research and teaching in the subject, and through sponsorship of workshops, courses, and symposia devoted to various aspects of solar and terrestrial radiation;
  2. lend support to the preparation of proceedings of workshops, courses and symposia, monographs, journal articles, and other publications as appropriate; 
  3. review activities in atmospheric radiation and identify the areas with the most urgent needs and bring these needs to the attention of the scientific community and national and international agencies through meetings, reports, and recommendations to the Society;
  4. advise the Society in all matters dealing with atmospheric radiation and to assist in the formulation of statements and reviews regarding atmospheric radiation; and nominate distinguished atmospheric radiation scientists to become Fellows and to receive awards of the Society.
  5. To nominate deserving individuals for the Remote Sensing Prize.