The new Climate and Environmental Sciences Division strategic plan includes ASR priorities for 2018 to 2023.
The new Climate and Environmental Sciences Division strategic plan includes ASR priorities for 2018 to 2023.

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 facilities. These grand challenges include the integrated water cycle, biogeochemical cycles, high-latitude feedbacks, drivers and responses in the earth system, and data-model integration.

The Atmospheric System Research (ASR) program and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility are strongly connected to a number of the CESD grand challenges. The plan includes a description of the ASR program and ARM facility and cites the ASR/ARM priorities as:

  • Coupling ARM observations and high-resolution atmospheric models to accelerate the application of ARM observations for understanding key atmospheric processes.
  • Focusing on critical high-latitude aerosol and cloud processes through analysis and modeling projects leveraging targeted ARM measurements at the fixed site at Barrow (now Utqiaġvik), Alaska; the mobile observatory deployment at Oliktok Point, Alaska; and two shipborne mobile observatory deployments in the Southern Ocean and the central Arctic Ocean.
  • Enhancing ARM’s aerial capabilities, including upgrades for an unmanned aerial system and tethered balloon systems, as well as replacement of the current Gulfstream-159 (G-1) aircraft, to enable critical in situ observations of the spatially variable structure of the atmosphere, aerosols, and clouds.
  • Developing data products, analysis tools, and computational capabilities that facilitate the scientific community’s use of cutting-edge ARM instruments, such as scanning cloud radars.
  • Integrated studies of the key aerosol, boundary-layer, and convective processes driving aerosol-cloud-precipitation-surface-radiation interactions in continental, marine, and high-latitude environments.

The plan also describes priorities for other CESD research areas and projects, such as the recently released Energy Exascale Earth System Model.

Read the full strategic plan.

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This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research as part of the Atmospheric System Research Program.