The Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) has published its five-year strategic plan for 2018 to 2023. CESD resides within the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and includes Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling (EESM), which (formerly known as Earth and Environmental System Modeling).
The plan describes CESD’s grand challenge research questions that will be prioritized by its programs, projects, and user facilities, including those within EESM. These grand challenges include the integrated water cycle, biogeochemical cycles, high-latitude feedbacks, drivers and responses in the earth system, and data-model integration. Specific CESD grand challenges for the coming decade include:
- Integrated Water Cycle Scientific Grand Challenge: Advance understanding of the integrated water cycle by studying relevant processes involving the atmospheric, terrestrial, oceanic, and human system components and their interactions and feedbacks across local, regional, and global scales, thereby improving the predictability of the water cycle and reducing associated uncertainties in response to short- and long-term perturbations.
- Biogeochemistry Scientific Grand Challenge: Advance a robust, predictive understanding of coupled biogeochemical processes and cycles across spatial and temporal scales by investigating natural and anthropogenic interactions and feedbacks and their associated uncertainties within Earth and environmental systems.
- High Latitudes Scientific Grand Challenge: Understand and quantify the drivers, interactions, and feedbacks both among the high-latitude components and between the high latitudes and the global system to reduce uncertainties and improve predictive understanding of high-latitude systems and their global impacts.
- Drivers and Responses in the Earth System Scientific Grand Challenge: Advance next-generation understanding of Earth system drivers and their effects on the integrated Earth-energy-human system.
- Data-Model Integration Scientific Grand Challenge: Develop a broad range of interconnected infrastructure capabilities and tools that support the integration and management of models, experiments, and observations across a hierarchy of scales and complexity to address CESD scientific grand challenges.