Program News

For Jerome Fast, a Lab Fellowship
Aug 27, 2018       
In early June, 2018, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) announced a new class of Laboratory Fellows, an honor bestowed on researchers credited with careers of sustained, high-quality work in science and engineering. One of those so honored was Jerome Fast, a 24-year atmospheric scientist at PNNL and a veteran of research projects supported by the Atmospheric [...]

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Oak Ridge Introduces Summit, America’s Top Supercomputer for Science
Aug 27, 2018       
The biggest challenges in science require supercomputers of unprecedented capability. That’s why the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently launched Summit, a system that will provide scientists with incredible computing power. With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second—or 200 petaflops, Summit will be eight times more powerful than ORNL’s [...]

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Deadlines Approaching for DOE-Climate Program Office Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Funding Opportunity
Aug 16, 2018       
The DOE-Climate Program Office (CPO) Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement has just been published and is accessible via the CPO website. The FFO announcement anticipates support of up to two Climate Process Teams. DOE’s Model development and analysis areas will contribute to this. The application deadlines are: Letters of Intent due by 5 [...]

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ASR Recommends 19 Funding Proposals
Jul 30, 2018       
Each year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) opens annual funding opportunities to support fundamental research and scientific user facilities to deliver the scientific discoveries and major scientific tools that transform understanding of nature and advances the energy, economic, and national security of the United States. The Atmospheric System Research (ASR) program, within DOE’s Office of [...]

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ASR-Supported Scientists Receive DOE Early Career Research Program Awards
Jul 30, 2018       
In late June, 84 scientists around the country received Early Career Research Program awards from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The 54 awardees from universities will receive at least $150,000 a year for five years to further their research. The 30 recipients from national labs will receive at least $500,000 annually. Four of the young [...]

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ASR Priorities Fit Into Broader DOE Five-Year Strategic Plan
Jul 30, 2018       
The Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD), which is within the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, published its five-year strategic plan for 2018 to 2023. The plan describes five scientific grand challenge research questions that CESD will work to address through its programs, projects, and user [...]

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Developing E3SM: How to Fit a Planet Inside a Computer
Jul 30, 2018       
The Earth was apparently losing water. Ruby Leung, a scientist from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and her team were baffled by their results. “We were seeing the sea level decreasing at an alarming rate,” she said. Fortunately, they were only looking at a virtual Earth. They quickly realized there were [...]

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‘Dramatic Clearing Events’ in Marine Cloud Cover
Jul 20, 2018       
In Science, newly documented findings on rapid erosion over large areas of subtropical marine low cloud cover, with pronounced implications for climate A new paper in the July 19 issue of Science reports novel findings with implications for the Earth’s radiation budget. It documents abrupt erosion of the low marine cloud cover that cools and blankets [...]

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Peering Into Soot Aerosols
Jul 19, 2018       
A Boston College-Aerodyne Research, Inc. group investigates soot particles in a laboratory setting For as long as clouds have hugged the Earth and hovered above it, solid or liquid particles from land and sea have made their way into the air, combined in suspension with atmospheric gases, and dispersed as aerosols. The particles can be from vegetation, [...]

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Pioneering Measures of Low Marine Clouds
Jun 25, 2018       
An ASR science team is ‘poised to reinvent our sense of stratocumulus clouds’ Mark Miller is a Rutgers University professor of meteorology who studies the atmosphere’s boundary layer, the turbulent first kilometer of the atmosphere where most weather happens. In 1989, he was a student at Pennsylvania State University when he traveled to the Azores with his [...]

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LASSO Helps Rope In the ‘Cloud Problem’
Jun 25, 2018       
Graham Feingold and other theoreticians use the new tool to test model parameterizations To some of us, “lasso” refers to a stiff loop of rope handy for throwing. To statisticians, it is a way of doing regression analysis. For atmospheric scientists who develop and test models, however, LASSO is a new way to throw a noose around [...]

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Submit Abstracts Now for LASIC Session at 2019 AMS Annual Meeting
Jun 25, 2018       
Abstracts are now being accepted for a session on the Layered Atlantic Smoke Interactions with Clouds (LASIC) field campaign at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in January 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The session—a part of the 11th Symposium on Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Interactions—will center on the recent U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility [...]

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‘One of the Most Fun Things’
Jun 11, 2018       
After a long and varied science career, ASR Program Manager Ashley Williamson is poised to move on North of Columbus, Georgia, the hill country of the Piedmont plateau slopes southward into flat coastal terrain along the Chattahoochee River. Not far away are a series of deep chasms known as the state’s “Little Grand Canyon.” It’s pretty country, [...]

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Low Clouds Over Land and Sea
May 25, 2018       
For nearly a decade, one lab project has dug into the details of the hard-to-predict boundary layer We all experience weather—the rain, wind, and sliding temperatures that color our daily lives. Our weather happens in the boundary layer, the lowest few kilometers of Earth’s atmosphere. Since 2009, the boundary layer and its clouds, precipitation, and patterns of [...]

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A Great Plains Divide
May 25, 2018       
Set of papers investigates temperature differences between models and observations A new group of four papers published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres explores why earth system models simulate warmer surface temperatures than ground-based observations show in the central United States. The papers, led by authors from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the U.K. Met Office, focus on results [...]

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When a Maritime Continent Gets in the Way
May 25, 2018       
ASR scientists will gather data on Madden-Julian Oscillation events Oregon storms and Sri Lankan cyclones bear a common signature—a cyclical churning of clouds and rain the size of Alaska called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This slow-moving weather pattern travels from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific every 30 to 60 days, but sometimes weakens over an [...]

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Data Reveal Smoke Aerosol Presence Higher Than Previously Believed
May 25, 2018       
Particles causing atmospheric changes are common in mid-Atlantic boundary layer Southern Africa is among the world's largest emitters of biomass-burning aerosols (tiny particles in the air). Their westward transport over the remote southeast Atlantic Ocean colocates some of the largest atmospheric loadings of absorbing aerosols with the least examined of the Earth’s major subtropical stratocumulus decks. Now, [...]

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‘Until Next Time, Oliktok’
Apr 30, 2018       
A diverse team of atmospheric scientists goes to work in an evolving Arctic Last spring, University of Colorado, Boulder research scientist Jessie Creamean spent a few weeks in frigid and windy Oliktok Point, Alaska. Within sight of the ice-bound Beaufort Sea and North Slope oil rigs and refineries, she set up an aerosol sampling system for [...]

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DOE Unveils New High-Resolution Earth System Model
Apr 30, 2018       
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled a powerful, new earth system model that uses the world’s fastest computers so that scientists can better understand how earth system processes interact today and how they may evolve in the future. After four years of development, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) was recently released to [...]

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In Search of the Physical Factors Behind Severe Storms
Apr 30, 2018       
Since childhood, Jiwen Fan looked to the skies for inspiration As a girl in a farming village in Hunan Province, China, Jiwen Fan—now a fast-rising atmospheric scientist—grew up in a household with earthen floors and no electricity. She was the eldest of four children in a family of rice farmers and started working in the fields [...]

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Graduate Student Funding Opportunity Announcement
Mar 30, 2018       
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is accepting new applicants for supplemental funds to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory/facility in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. These research opportunities are expected to advance graduate students’ doctoral theses/dissertations while providing access [...]

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Snow Does Not Dampen the 2018 Joint User Facility and PI Meeting
Mar 30, 2018       
For the second year in a row, a major snowstorm hit during the Joint User Facility/Principal Investigator Meeting in Tysons, Virginia. The storm impacted the travel plans of some of the more than 300 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility staff members and Atmospheric System Research (ASR) principal investigators who registered to attend the March 19 [...]

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Firsts and Forecasts From a Dean of Modeling
Mar 30, 2018       
"Engage with data in useful ways," says NASA veteran  Earth system modeler Anthony D. “Tony” Del Genio is a three-decade NASA veteran. Away from the job, he is an avid fan of “Doctor Who,” and a wine enthusiast who builds vacations around vineyards. But you won’t find him away from the job much. From his office at [...]

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On the Way: A Better Analysis of Ice in Clouds
Feb 26, 2018       
A project aims to improve how ice cloud microphysics is represented in models The clouds we see every day are composed of water and ice. Microphysical processes govern the many ways cloud-making water drops and ice particles grow, shrink, stick together, break up, and fall. In turn, cloud microphysics influence the atmospheric dynamics that create clouds [...]

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Amazon Rainforest Provides a Unique Natural Lab to Study Effects of Aerosols
Jan 29, 2018       
Research funded by ASR on the power of aerosols is the focus of a new paper in the journal Science.  While scientists have known that aerosols may play an important role in shaping weather and climate, this study shows that the smallest of particles have a big effect: Particles smaller than one-thousandth the width of a [...]

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For Clouds and Aerosols, a Renewed Three-year Look at Small-scale Processes
Jan 29, 2018       
The two-lab, multi-partner effort includes a strong collaboration between experimentalists and modelers Clouds in all their forms are familiar, but scientists still grapple with understanding the processes that influence their shapes, sizes, and life cycles. These vastly consequential bodies of ice and water hold and dispense rain and snow, cast shadows from the sun, and blanket the [...]

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Early Career Funding Opportunity Available
Dec 21, 2017       
A funding opportunity for early career researchers in universities and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories is available from the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER). The purpose of the DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program is to support the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their [...]

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Scientist Profile Part 2: The Road to Aerosol Science
Dec 10, 2017       
Allison McComiskey’s path to atmospheric science involved fruitful swerves into biology, deep history, and the environment Science is the practice of informed looking. It requires an early embrace of observation, curiosity, and questioning. So it was with Allison McComiskey, a physical scientist with the Earth System Research Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She [...]

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2017 AGU Presentations Featuring ASR Science
Dec 09, 2017       
With more than 20,000 attendees, the volume of research presented at the 2017 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting might have felt overwhelming. Below is a list of ASR-related AGU meeting highlights from the December 2017 event. Go here to find a full list of ASR-related sessions, talks, and posters. Town Halls U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) [...]

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Jiwen Fan Paper Tops Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences Most Read List
Nov 25, 2017       
Congratulations to Atmospheric System Research (ASR) scientist Jiwen Fan, who is the lead author of the most read paper from the past 12 months on the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences website. Fan is an atmospheric modeler at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory specializing in untangling the relationships between aerosols, clouds, and climate. Specifically, she has contributed [...]

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Joint User Facility and PI Meeting: How to Submit a Breakout Session Topic
Nov 20, 2017       
Planning has already begun for the 2018 Joint User Facility and PI Meeting, to be held March 19 to 23, 2018, at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Tysons, Virginia. For the upcoming meeting, there will be a change to the process for proposing breakout sessions. Instead of submitting breakout session requests on the meeting website, any [...]

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New ASR Funding Opportunity Announcement for Fiscal Year 2018
Nov 17, 2017       
Atmospheric System Research (ASR) in the Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD), Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), supports research on key cloud, aerosol, precipitation, and radiative transfer processes that affect the Earth’s radiative balance and hydrological cycle, especially processes that limit the predictive [...]

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Allison McComiskey Searches the Skies for Aerosol Answers
Oct 27, 2017       
The great uncertainties in models that simulate radiative transfer require a complex quest One afternoon not long ago, atmospheric observationalist Allison McComiskey slipped on her hiking boots and headed to Table Mountain, a short drive from her office in Boulder, Colorado. McComiskey, a physical scientist with the Earth System Research Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric [...]

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