Advancing Cross-Disciplinary Understanding of Land-Atmosphere Interactions

Land-atmosphere interactions are complex and require a multi-disciplinary approach to fully understand the processes and feedbacks inherent in these processes. In a new article published in Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, Dr. Eric Beamesderfer, Dr. Andrew Richardson, and others suggest that a more collaborative, interdisciplinary approach is needed to advance the science of land-atmosphere interactions. They discuss the evolution of the field of land-atmosphere interactions to highlight the historical perspective, and note that narrow disciplinary boundaries have emerged as a barrier to progress in recent decades. This review grew out of the virtual Land-Atmosphere 2021 workshop, in which nearly 300 scientists from around the world participated in July 2021. Keynote talks offered a range of perspectives on key knowledge gaps and set up discussions on proposed new measurements and opportunities for future cross-disciplinary collaboration. The main conclusions emerging from the workshop include the need to improve the availability and accessibility of key data sets, the need for federal agencies to provide funding support for large, interdisciplinary projects, and the need for training and other career development opportunities, particularly for early career scientists. This review highlights the key challenges and opportunities facing the field of land-atmosphere interactions.