Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling
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The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a non-governmental U.S.-based research institute dedicated to "exploring and understanding our atmosphere and its interactions with the Sun, the oceans, the biosphere, and human society."

NCAR, Boulder, Colorado

NCAR is managed by the non-profit University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and provides research, facilities, and services for the atmospheric and Earth sciences community. It is headquarted in the town of Boulder, Colorado.


The institute houses researchers focusing on issues such as air quality, weather complexities, and climate change. NCAR has several of the world's fastest modern supercomputers for modeling complex weather systems and the effects of global warming. Complex software models such as |Air-Ocean Global Climate Models (AOGCMs) are used.

NCAR's research and services include:

  • Prediction and Forecasting: Short-term forecasts, 10-day forecasts, seasonal forecasts, climate, and training of meteorologists
  • Severe Storms: Study of thunderstorms, hail, lightning, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and winter storms
  • Pollution and Air Chemistry: Study of air pollution, pollutant tracking and ozone
  • Scientific Tools: Aircraft (for surveillance and other research uses), weather observing, atmospheric chemistry, solar observing, models and many other computing and decision-making tools.
  • The Earth System: Study of global climate, the water cycle, the oceans, land, and cryosphere (land covered by snow and ice).
  • The Sun and Space Weather: Study of the solar interior, solar atmosphere, solar storms, space weather, solar variation and climate.


NCAR's flagship Mesa Laboratory is located in the outskirts of Boulder, Colorado, in a dramatic complex of buildings designed by architect I. M. Pei. The site is maintained as a nature preserve.


NCAR's visitor center offers free guided tours and self-guided audio tours of an antique Cray supercomputer and other computers, plus hands-on exhibits demonstrating weather phenomena and Earth's changing climate.

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