Terms of Reference

The air and the sea continually exchange heat, momentum, and mass on a vast range of time and space scales. Together these two great fluid systems play a dominant role in determining the planetary environment. The interactions between them are so strong that the traditional disciplinary separation into meteorology and oceanography appears increasingly artificial as our physical understanding of their interdependence grows. The atmosphere represents a major driving force for oceanic dynamics on scales ranging from wind waves to the general circulation. The ocean, in turn, is an essential partner of the atmosphere in creating phenomena as varied as hurricanes and El Niño. Furthermore, air-sea interaction is at the heart of extended-range weather forecasting. It is also essential to predictions of climate change due to increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other trace gases. Indeed, these examples illustrate a general trend in the geophysical sciences toward an interdisciplinary approach to research on the earth as a unified system. Such an approach, facilitated by technological developments in fields such as computing and satellite remote sensing, are leading to major advances in our ability to understand and predict changes in the characteristics of our planet.

The mission of the committee is to promote the exchange and archiving of knowledge in air-sea interaction. A major means of fulfilling this mission is our sponsoring a biennial research conference on air-sea interaction at which meteorologists, oceanographers, and scientists in related fields participate. A theme of that conference is to reduce disciplinary barriers that otherwise might restrict the flow of information among workers in different specialties The conference and its record provide the primary venue for presentations related to air-sea interaction field programs, both of national and international scope. In addition, the conference and its record provide the forum for presentations of new techniques and developments in laboratory and theoretical air-sea interaction research.

The goals of the committee are to:

1. Facilitate organized dialogue on air-sea interaction research within the Society.

2. Encourage and support the archiving within Society publications of results from air-sea interaction research.

3. Collaborate with other committees of the Society and related national and international organizations to promote air-sea interaction research.

4. Represent the Society, upon request of the Council, in matters relating to air-sea interaction.

5. Nominate distinguished individuals to become Fellows and to receive awards of the Society.