Advancing scientific understanding of the atmosphere and its complex interactions with other components of the Earth system is more crucial than ever, holding the potential to save lives, contribute to economic prosperity, and ensure a sustainable and secure future for the planet. 

To realize these benefits, researchers, educators, and decision makers need science that generates sound and useful information about Earth system behavior, variability, and change. The NCAR Strategic Plan 2020-24 charts a path forward to address challenging scientific and technological problems of national importance that fill critical gaps in knowledge and that require long-term focus and integration across areas of expertise.

Soon after the center opened its doors in 1960, NCAR leadership and staff began summarizing our purpose as science in service to society, words often heard in the broad community as well. In a time of dramatic environmental change, we are inspired by urgent scientific and societal needs to chart a path forward for NCAR within the Earth science community, and to renew our purpose going forward as science with and for society