Recent directions taken in water, energy, and biogeochemical budgets research



Understanding and predicting global change is a major scientific focus of the late 20th century. Although atmospheric scientists have made substantial progress in developing models that account for many components of the climate system, significant progress is needed in understanding processes associated with the exchange of water, energy, and carbon between terrestrial systems and the atmosphere.

To strengthen terrestrial process research, especially research associated with the interactions of water, energy, gases, nutrients, and vegetation, the U.S. Geological Survey initiated an intensive study of Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets (WEBB). WEBB is aimed at improving understanding of processes controlling terrestrial water, energy, and biogeochemical fluxes, their interactions, and their relations to climatic variables; and the ability to predict continental water, energy, and biogeochemical budgets over a range of spatial and temporal scales.