Department of Energy
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science supports fundamental research to understand the energy-environment-Earth system connections and their implications for energy production, use, sustainability, and security. The ultimate goal is to advance a robust predictive understanding of variability, change, and extremes, and to inform the development of sustainable solutions to the Nation’s energy and environmental challenges.
DOE’s investments in Earth and environmental system research focus on reducing the uncertainty in predictions, with particular emphasis on the atmospheric sciences and the terrestrial sciences. More specifically, the Atmospheric System Research activities emphasize new science involving the interdependence of aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and radiative transfer, while the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science activities explore the interactions of carbon, water, and other cycles and how such interactions affect the biosphere. A common theme of the science involves extremes and disturbance, and how a system responds. Besides coordinating with other federal agencies, DOE invests in further development of the Energy-Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), that combines information on the physical as well as human components that can affect trends and extremes on scales from local to global. DOE also analyzes and distributes large Earth system modeling datasets through the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison and the Earth System Grid Federation. In support of its strategy to reduce prediction uncertainty, the Department dedicates support to the ARM Research Facility, a scientific user facility that provides the scientific community with unmatched measurements permitting the most detailed high-resolution, three-dimensional documentation of evolving cloud, aerosol, and precipitation characteristics in regions that are known to be very difficult to represent in predictive models.
Finally, DOE conducts applied energy research within its Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fossil Energy (FE), and Office of Electricity (OE), who use improved predictions as a means to help design and deploy future energy technologies as part of next generation infrastructure, as part of DOE’s energy and science missions.