Department of Energy announces $13 million for atmospheric research

27 projects aim to improve predictive power of computer models

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $13 million in funding for 27 projects in atmospheric sciences in an effort to improve models for predicting weather and climate.

Through analysis of extensive observational data, projects aim to deepen understanding of the complex processes of cloud formation and dynamics and their impact on the atmosphere. Results will be used to build more precision into today’s computer models.

“Improving the scientific understanding of atmospheric and cloud processes is a critical step towards improving our ability to predict weather events,” said Under Secretary of Science Paul Dabbar. “DOE has led the world in the ground-based observation of atmospheric processes, and these projects will help translate the observational data gained through that effort into new predictive capabilities.”

Researchers are expected to sift and analyze data generated primarily by the DOE Office of Science’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) User Facility, the world’s leading facility for ground-based observations of cloud and atmospheric processes.  With three ground-based installations in Oklahoma, Alaska, and the Azores, as well as a mobile and an air-based capability – along with an array of sophisticated instruments – ARM has generated and continues to generate a wealth of data on a wide range of atmospheric and weather conditions in a wide range of regions.

Through analysis of this extensive data, the current projects will enhance the precision of current weather and climate models, including today’s large-scale Earth system models, which run on powerful supercomputers. 

Selected projects cover a range of atmospheric science topics, from the role of aerosols (tiny particles) in cloud formation to cloud dynamics that are important for improved predictions of severe storms. 

Projects were chosen by competitive peer review under the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement, under the Atmospheric System Research Program, sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, within the Department’s Office of Science.

Funding totals $13 million in Fiscal Year 2019 dollars for projects lasting three years in duration.  A list of projects can be found here.

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https://www.energy.gov/articles/department-energy-announces-13-million-atmospheric-research

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