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Environmental Science And Engineering For The 21st Century: The Role of the National Science Foundation [NSB 00-22, February 2000]

Title Page

National Science Board




1     Introduction

2    The Larger Context

3    Scope of
NSF's Current

4    Input Received About Unmet Needs and Opportunities

5    Findings and

6    Conclusion


Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E

Appendix F

Appendix G

Final Page

  Box 1
  Box 2
  Box 3
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  Box 5
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  Box 7
  Box 8
  Box 9
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  BOX 12
  Box 13

BOX 12.

The chemistry of the atmosphere, Earth's ecosystems, human health, and economic systems are inextricably linked, often in complex ways. Research supported by NSF and other Federal agencies has created tremendous progress in understanding stratospheric chemistry. However, many questions remain unresolved, such as the exact nature of stratospheric aerosols and the detailed linkages between their chemistry and dynamics. Current areas of interest also include the connection between stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change—the stratosphere is actually cooling. The lower stratosphere/upper troposphere—previously not easily accessible to direct observation—has recently come into focus since much of its chemistry and dynamics, including stratosphere/troposphere exchange, are poorly understood. Tropospheric chemistry remains full of challenges: defining its oxidative capacity (which in turn determines the ozone depletion potentials and global warming potentials of harmful compounds); understanding the factors affecting regional and global air quality; feedback mechanisms between global climate change and the chemical processes; and a complete understanding of biogeochemical cycles that link atmospheric, oceanic, and biological processes.

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