DOE Awards $8 Million for Research on Climate and Earth System Model Development and Analysis

August 2022

10 Projects Span Improving Modeling of Clouds to Analyzing Extreme Events

DOE announced $8 million in funding for 10 projects in Earth and environmental system modeling research. Awards will focus on further development of DOE’s flagship Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) and studies that improve the predictive understanding of the climate and Earth system. Total funding is $8 million for projects as long as three years in duration, with $7 million in fiscal year 2022 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

Projects will address model development and model analysis for E3SM. Model development projects will support the development of more accurate representations of low-level clouds in climate models and enhanced model capability for high resolution simulations in E3SM. Model analysis projects will support configuring, simulating, and analyzing climate and Earth system models to provide scientific insights into water cycle behavior and climatic modes of natural variability.

“Climate prediction research has evolved to become a national imperative, given that the trend towards increasing climate-induced risks to people, property, and infrastructure requires concerted action and climate solutions,” said Gerald Geernaert, DOE Acting Associate Director for Biological and Environmental Research. “These grants will ensure a strengthened scientific basis for generating more accurate predictions of climate change that must be well understood before making informed decisions.”

The selected projects will specifically focus on improved physics of clouds and aerosols in climate models and a more sophisticated treatment of high-resolution physical processes important for modes of climate variability. These improvements are necessary for better predictions of the regional and global water cycle, including extreme events, investigating, for example, how the statistics and behavior of tropical cyclones are connected to El Niño events and other modes of variability.

The successful applications were chosen by competitive peer review process under the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement for Earth System Model Development and Analysis. The full list of funded projects can be found here.