Gerald T. Fraser, Steven W. Brown, Raju V. Datla, Bettye C. Johnson, Keith R. Lykke, Joseph P. Rice
The Earth s climate is very complex and highly variable, making it difficult to measure and model small changes that occur over decadal and longer time scales. The resulting uncertainties in measurement and modeling underlie the longterm debate over the direction, magnitude, and consequence of climate change. Even as the consensus grows on climate change, climate monitoring will continue to be necessary to establish the effectiveness of mitigation efforts, including possible geo-engineering solutions1; to quantify regional variation; and to address the potential for catastrophic climate change events that are not easily amendable to modeling. Also, climate monitoring, as demonstrated in the past, is critical for the detection and mitigation of other anthropogenic environmental problems not directly related to greenhouse gas releases, such as the depletion of the Earth s stratospheric ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons.