Project on numerical weather prediction and was an active supporter of weather modification efforts. It also funded research taking place at McMurdo Station on Antarctica, staffing the station year-round with military and civilian scientists and technicians. As the tensions escalated between the United States and the USSR, and it appeared that the next war might be fought over the North Pole, the navy also funded research in the Arctic. A research station established in the far northern Alaska territory examined both meteorological and oceanographic conditions, collected data for climatological studies, and developed knowledge on war-fighting techniques and provisions necessary to win a war in a region more familiar to the Russians.
The Russians also expended large sums on meteorological research during this period and for the same reasons as the United States. Each side was convinced that the other had better meteorological forecasting capabilities and either had mastered, or was close to mastering, the control of weather as a weapon. The lack of communication between scientists on opposite sides of the iron curtain heightened suspicion on both sides as they sought ways of obtaining research results for in-depth analysis.
Despite the suspicion, meteorologists from around the world would join during the International Geophysical Year to obtain data needed to determine the nature of the general circulation of the atmosphere. While all participants were supposed to share all of their data, each nation withheld some of its data for national security reasons. Although scientists almost always promote internationalism and the free exchange of scientific information and discoveries, national security almost always takes precedence. With the military funding much of the research, some of it secretly, clearly its needs had greater priority than purely scientific needs. The military-dependent numerical weather prediction project was unclassified and its success would dramatically change 20th-century meteorology.
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