Frequently, one can assess the level and growth of activity in a field of science by means of fiscal figures which reflect the financial support of the federal government. Assessment of the levels of activity of the atmospheric and oceanic sciences for the 1981 fiscal year should be possible because most projects are funded by the government; the problem is that research in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences is closely interrelated, parts of one being supported by the others. Furthermore, at least nine federal agencies support atmospheric and oceanic research, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Interior, and Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
Total federal expenditures in FY 1981 for research and development in both sciences will be about $575 million. A few of the federal agencies' or departments' programs are included as follows, in millions of dollars (from F. D. White, Intersociety Preliminary Analyses of R & D in the FY 1981 Budget, report, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1980).