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Should be a synonym of ?

The AMS defines meteorology as:

The study of the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the earth's atmosphere, including the related effects at the air–earth boundary over both land and the oceans. Fundamental topics include the composition, structure, and motion of the atmosphere. The goals ascribed to meteorology are the complete understanding and accurate prediction of atmospheric phenomena.

From that definition, it would follow that every post tagged atmosphere should also be tagged meteorology, making the atmosphere tag redundant.

Thoughts?

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  • $\begingroup$ Does anyone already have the privilege to propose tag synonym? Or will we have to retag them one by one? $\endgroup$ – plannapus Apr 25 '14 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ @plannapus, I know that gerrit, neo and I have this power already. $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Apr 25 '14 at 6:34
  • $\begingroup$ So as long as one of you as an answer score of 5 in the tag of interest it might be doable: earthscience.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/… $\endgroup$ – plannapus Apr 25 '14 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ @plannapus, just realized that. It turns out because of that I'm not able to propose the change :(. $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Apr 25 '14 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ Since i was one of the 3 original upvoters, i can't add one now. $\endgroup$ – plannapus Apr 25 '14 at 6:58
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    $\begingroup$ Well my original upvote was indeed based on content. And i wouldn't have upvoted just for that, let me reassure you. $\endgroup$ – plannapus Apr 25 '14 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. Even given that definition I'd not expect "meteorology" to cover "atmosphere formation", e.g. $\endgroup$ – kaberett Apr 25 '14 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ @kaberett It is quite common in 1st semester university courses about meteorology to start with the formation of earth's atmosphere. For example the textbook "Wallace and Hobbs - Atmospheric science" includes a section "1.2 Origin and composition of the atmosphere". $\endgroup$ – BHF Apr 29 '14 at 15:02
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No, I think there are occasions when atmosphere and meteorology are quite distinct.

for instance a question about bulk atmospheric composition throughout geological time could be atmosphere, but not meteorology, likewise (if on topic) questions about non-earth atmospheres. Also a question regarding instances of ocean anoxia could theoretically involve atmosphere, that would not be meteorology, also degassing questions relating to massive volcanism and clathrate guns. Also general atmospheric bulk chemistry questions, I'm thinking ozone holes, CFCs etc...

ocean and oceanography are I think closer, but ocean could have applications to palaeo-oceans and ocean closure and opening, which wouldn't necessarily align with oceanography.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like your examples with one exception. Meteorology is not limited to Earths atmosphere. The AMS definitions scope is Earth but many university departments offer courses in planetary atmospheres in general and the physics that apply here should hold there also. $\endgroup$ – casey Apr 25 '14 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ I'll also add that e.g. Penn State's meteorology dept has quite a few faculty that study atmos chemistry, ozone, etc and offer classes in those areas as part of the meteorology curriculum. $\endgroup$ – casey Apr 25 '14 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ I guess it all depends on what your background is, if a meteorologist you find it natural to see the two as one and the same, as someone with a geological background, the two appear from my perspective as different. As a geologist were I talking about the atmospheric implications of an ocean anoxia event, it would seem odd indeed to tag it meteorology. $\endgroup$ – Siv Apr 26 '14 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ Atmospheric climatology would also seem weird tagged as meteorology. $\endgroup$ – naught101 May 8 '14 at 1:50
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Another no vote; they are distinct concepts. Saying they are the same is conflating the mechanisms we use to describe what is being studied, the map, and the subject of the study, the territory. The map is not the territory (Korzybski). While the atmospheric sciences study the atmosphere, the atmospheric sciences are not the atmosphere.

Another reason to keep them distinct is that multiple sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences study the atmosphere. Meteorology is but one of those sub-disciplines. Why single out meteorology as the synonym for atmosphere?

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    $\begingroup$ What are the sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences, which you do not count as meteorology? $\endgroup$ – BHF Apr 29 '14 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ As far as I understood the idea of replacing atmosphere with meteorology was born due to "imprecise" tagging in the first days and the desire to have discipline tags for filtering. $\endgroup$ – BHF Apr 29 '14 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ @BHF - Climatology? Atmospheric physics? Atmospheric chemistry? The boundary is fuzzy, but given that the American Meteorology Society renamed their Journal of Meteorology to Journal of Atmospheric Sciences in 1962, and in 2006 renamed their Journal of Applied Meteorology to Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology suggests that meteorology is a subset of the atmospheric sciences and that climatology is somewhat distinct from meteorology. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Apr 29 '14 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen I see meteorology as all encompassing of the above disciplines you name. Perhaps my education has biased me, but my meteorology/atmospheric science degree included everything you specifically name and more. I would also argue that climate is distinct from weather, but both are meteorology. $\endgroup$ – casey Apr 29 '14 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen I agree with casey (but have the same professional bias). The AMS definition of meteorology fits the common understanding. I am convinced that a limited definition, like meteorology is only weather prediction, would conflict with common use. $\endgroup$ – BHF Apr 29 '14 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ I have worked with meteorologists, but that was three decades and multiple career reincarnations ago. Those meteorologists that I worked with certainly made a distinction between meteorology and climatology. (To them, one field was lesser and didn't deserve to be lumped in with the other.) $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Apr 29 '14 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ Whether you want to call the encompassing field of study atmospheric sciences or meteorology, my first point still stands: Atmosphere ≠ meteorology (or whatever you want to call it). The map is not the territory. $\endgroup$ – David Hammen Apr 29 '14 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ The term "synonym" has a special meaning for tags. It doesn't mean they are the same thing. It means that whatever is tagged one should also be tagged the other. In other words, anything pertaining to the study of the atmosphere, also pertains to the atmosphere. $\endgroup$ – kwknowles May 1 '14 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Another reason why these tags should remain distinct is that physical phenomena (atmosphere, ocean) are not always tied to their discipline of study (meteorology, oceanography). I can think of many questions that belong in meteorology but are related to the ocean, and also questions in oceanography being related to the atmosphere. $\endgroup$ – milancurcic May 6 '14 at 19:58
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Yes, should be a synonym of and should be a synonym of .

See also Subdiscipline tag convention

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AGU has an Atmospheric Sciences section composed of three committees: Aerosols/Clouds, Chemistry/Composition, and Physics/Dynamics/Climate. That says to me that Meteorology is a synonym for Atmospheric Science and the committees are organized by specialization (aka sub-discipline).

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