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Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space
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ESAS 2017 Study Panels

The report of the 2017 Decadal Survey Steering Committee for Earth Science and Applications from Space will generate recommendations from the environmental monitoring and Earth science and applications communities for an integrated and sustainable approach to the conduct of the U.S. government’s civilian space-based Earth-system science programs. To accomplish this, the Steering Committee will be informed by (1) specialized ad-hoc study panels, (2) several crosscutting working groups, and (3) input from the broad community of experts on and users of space-based observations. While recognizing that there is no perfect way to organize the community to address the full range of science and applications relevant to their charge, the Steering Committee believes its proposed structure will allow rich and comprehensive input into the process by approaching the topics from multiple vantage points.

Five panels will be appointed to provide detailed input to the Steering Committee. The panel topical areas are intended to cover the major components of Earth system science, be consistent the Decadal Survey Statement of Task, be informed by community input received in the first Request for Information (RFI), and be reflective the missions and goals of the sponsoring agencies.

The panels will be responsible for receiving and analyzing community input; in particular, community responses to survey-issued RFIs. Each panel will include members whose collective expertise spans the panel’s topical focus areas from science to applications. With input from the panels, the Steering Committee will develop proposed observing priorities that integrate goals for understanding and monitoring the Earth system, with those that emphasize the use of observations in a range of applied settings. With that in mind, the panel topical areas will be:

I. Global Hydrological Cycles and Water Resources 
The movement, distribution, and availability of water and how these are changing over time

II. Weather and Air Quality: Minutes to Subseasonal
Atmospheric Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Chemistry, and their interactions at land and ocean interfaces

III. Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems and Natural Resource Management
Biogeochemical Cycles, Ecosystem Functioning, Biodiversity, and factors that influence health and ecosystem services

IV. Climate Variability and Change: Seasonal to Centennial
Forcings and Feedbacks of the Ocean, Atmosphere, Land, and Cryosphere within the Coupled Climate System

V. Earth Surface and Interior: Dynamics and Hazards
Core, mantle, lithosphere, and surface processes, system interactions, and the hazards they generate