University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

April 25, 2018 |
1 minute read
|

The Sky's No Limit.

It doesn't issue public weather forecasts, but it tracks weather around the globe. It isn't the national hurricane center, but it studies hurricanes as well as other extreme weather. It isn't the federal aviation administration, but it has made flying safer. What it does do touches the daily lives of just about every American, as well as populations around the world.

DI01628_REVIt’s the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a consortium of more than 100 member universities and colleges focused on research and training in atmospheric and earth-system science (including the Sun, ocean, land and vegetation, ice and their interrelationships).

UCAR operates the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), where most of the research is conducted under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation. UCAR also operates the UCAR Community Programs, which bring geoscientific organizations together to address large-scale research and educational challenges. An example is Unidata, which serves as a centralized source of rich earth-system data services and tools for over 2,400 educational and research institutions in 200 countries. 

Since its founding in 1960, UCAR/NCAR has conducted research that has proven extremely beneficial. The software for detecting wind shear conditions was developed by NCAR and today is safeguarding every major airport in the U.S. and many more overseas. NCAR has also developed technology for detecting conditions that can create clear air turbulence—a force so strong it has ripped the DI00156_REVwings off aircraft—as well as the presence of icing conditions at various altitudes.

Research and technology developed at NCAR is leading to business and consumer applications for smartphones that, in the not-too-distant future, will be able to warn drivers of hazardous weather conditions as their vehicle proceeds along its route. The app is expected to provide fine-scale resolution.

On the energy front, NCAR has developed a pinpoint forecasting system that identifies optimal sites for utilities to locate wind turbines. Equally helpful, the system can warn utilities when the wind is likely to stop blowing, allowing them to fire up gas turbines only when needed and save millions of dollars in operating costs.

Flood warning systems…identifying conditions that are conducive to breeding disease-carrying mosquitoes…detecting the difference between rain, hail and snow (which most radar can’t do)… capturing data over the open ocean, where most big hurricanes form…even forecasting weather in space: The sky’s no limit to what UCAR can do.

Photographs on this page are from the UCAR Digital Image Library.

Commonfund

Author

Commonfund

Stay connected with the Insights Blog

Popular Articles


Private Capital | Articles

What’s the Difference? Time-Weighted Return vs. Internal Rate of Return

Investors often ask about the difference between time-weighted return (“TWR”) and internal rate of return (“IRR”). In general, TWR is used by the investment industry to measure the performance of...
Private Capital | Articles

Private Capital Secondaries | An Overview

COVID-19 is impacting the world in unprecedented ways. Today, it is estimated approximately 75 percent of the U.S. population or, almost 250 million people, are staying at home. Globally, over 1.5...
Governance And Policy | Articles

Changing the Conversation on College and University Resources

William Massy has spent his entire career at the intersection of academia and administration, as a microeconomist; professor, dean and CFO at Stanford University; author; and now, an independent...

Disclaimer

Information, opinions, or commentary concerning the financial markets, economic conditions, or other topical subject matter are prepared, written, or created prior to printing and do not reflect current, up-to-date, market or economic conditions. Commonfund disclaims any responsibility to update such information, opinions, or commentary. To the extent views presented forecast market activity, they may be based on many factors in addition to those explicitly stated in this material. Forecasts of experts inevitably differ. Views attributed to third parties are presented to demonstrate the existence of points of view, not as a basis for recommendations or as investment advice. Managers who may or may not subscribe to the views expressed in this material make investment decisions for funds maintained by Commonfund or its affiliates. The views presented in this material may not be relied upon as an indication of trading intent on behalf of any Commonfund fund, or of any Commonfund manager. Market and investment views of third parties presented in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of Commonfund and Commonfund disclaims any responsibility to present its views on the subjects covered in statements by third parties. Statements concerning Commonfund’s views of possible future outcomes in any investment asset class or market, or of possible future economic developments, are not intended, and should not be construed, as forecasts or predictions of the future investment performance of any Commonfund fund. Such statements are also not intended as recommendations by any Commonfund entity or employee to the recipient of the presentation. It is Commonfund’s policy that investment recommendations to its clients must be based on the investment objectives and risk tolerances of each individual client. All market outlook and similar statements are based upon information reasonably available as of the date of this presentation (unless an earlier date is stated with regard to particular information), and reasonably believed to be accurate by Commonfund. Commonfund disclaims any responsibility to provide the recipient of this presentation with updated or corrected information. Past performance is not indicative of future results. For more information please refer to Important Disclosures.