Science

MODEL DEVELOPMENT

The Earth System Model Development (ESMD) program area supports innovative and computationally advanced earth system modeling capabilities, with the ultimate goal of providing accurate and computationally advanced representations of the fully coupled and integrated Earth system, as needed for energy and related sectoral infrastructure planning. Key examples of critical information for energy include accurate projections of water availability, drought incidence and persistence, temperature extremes, including prolonged heat stress, probability of storms, opening of the Arctic Ocean, and sea level and storm-surge at coastal regions. To provide this information, considerable effort is needed to develop optimal-fidelity earth system simulations, with suitably accurate representation of atmospheric dynamics, clouds and chemistry, ocean circulation and biogeochemistry, land biogeochemistry and hydrology, sea ice and dynamic land ice, and in each case including elements of human activities that affect these systems such as water management and land use.

 

REGIONAL & GLOBAL CLIMATE MODELING

The Regional & Global Model Analysis (RGMA) program area sponsors projects that engage in analysis and process-based evaluation of multi-model climate change projections for the 21st century using innovative metrics. This is intended to lead to a greater understanding of the uncertainties and shortcomings of dynamically coupled state-of-the-science regional and global climate models. The Program also contributes to the Climate Variability and Change element of the of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and coordinates its activities with the climate modeling programs at other federal agencies, particularly the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

 

MULTISECTOR DYNAMICS

The Multisector Dynamics program area seeks to advance scientific understanding of the complex interactions, interdependencies, and co-evolutionary pathways of human and natural systems, including interdependencies among sectors and infrastructures. This program area's efforts inform some of the most significant energy, economic, and infrastructure decisions affecting the world today. There is a particular emphasis on understanding the energy-water-land nexus under both realistic and idealized forcing scenarios, including the evaluation of scale-aware processes and probabilistic uncertainties that can lead to instability through thresholds and tipping points. The program area additionally considers the role of socio-economics, risk analysis, and complex decision theory, as they pertain to describing the evolution and feedbacks within earth system science.