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Abstract: Turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer is characterized not only by the magnitude of its fluxes, but also by the state of anisotropy of its Reynolds stress tensor. Anisotropy is strongly influenced by turbulence generation mechanisms such as shear, thermal stratification, and surface characteristics. My recent results show that anisotropy plays a key role not only in the transport of momentum but it is also a key missing variable in similarity scaling relations. In this talk I will show why the information on anisotropy should always be included in any study of turbulence and how it can be used to formulate a novel surface layer scaling framework that extends Monin-Obukhov similarity theory to complex terrain.