A prime objective of atmospheric science research in Antarctica is to use the special conditions found there to throw new light on global problems and, in particular, to test theories of the dynamics of the environment and its reactions to solar phenomena. This involves much international collaboration in planning, data collection and analysis, which is briefly described. The British Antarctic Survey theatre of operations is geographically and magnetically unique and therefore offers exceptionally favourable conditions for such tests. The development of new instruments, in particular those carried by satellite, has made research possible in uninhabited regions and enabled problems to be studied which were previously impracticable. The objects of this paper are to draw attention to the needs and possibilities, and to show some of the ways in which the specific investigations discussed by other contributors interact.