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Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change
  • Bond Lamberty

    Bridging the 'Respiration Gap' between Measurements and Models

    The global Earth system models used to predict the future climate and carbon cycle are very sensitive to changes in heterotrophic respiration. But climate scientists have little confidence that such models do a good job in representing this important component of the carbon cycle. Authors of an "Innovative Viewpoints" paper propose "decomposition functional types" as a new approach, or "intermediate step," that has the potential to allow models to make much greater use of observational data.

  • diesel soot forming ice clouds

    Soot Seeds Ice in Clouds

    Researchers at PNNL, Michigan Technological University and Los Alamos National Laboratory studied a variety of soot particles they produced from a diesel generator. In the lab, they mimicked how soot can generate ice crystals in nature under super-cold temperatures found in cirrus, up to -50 C (-122 F). All particles, whether aged or coated, were similarly efficient at nucleating ice, but when soot is altered, it changes the ice crystal concentration observed in clouds. The findings increase understanding of how cirrus and other clouds influence the Earth’s radiative energy budget.

  • 3D modeling of aerosols called MOSAIC-mix

    Three Views are Better than Two

    PNNL developed a novel three-dimensional particle representation for aerosol modeling. This new add-on solves for particle size, the amount of the black carbon in the particle, and the particle's ability to attract moisture. The novel approach, called MOSAIC-mix, improves model predictions of how the particles handle sunlight energy and which will become cloud seeds.

  • Jet stream

    Decoding the Jet Stream Response to Global Warming

    Building a bridge from an idealized to a realistic world, researchers led by PNNL investigated changes in the jet stream using a series of climate simulations. The simulations helped them understand the forces causing shifts in the jet stream that push more energy equatorward as the jet drives eastward. The jet is inextricably tied to the global water cycle and the observed increase in extreme weather events, motivating scientists to uncover the mysteries of jet stream activity.

  • Dr. Richard H. Moss

    Richard Moss to Guide Next Phase of US National Climate Assessment

    Richard H. Moss, a scientist working at PNNL's Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, Maryland, was appointed to chair the 15-member Advisory Committee for the US Sustained National Climate Assessment. The appointment was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on June 29th.

How do human activities and natural systems interact to affect the Earth's climate? Ultimately, that is the question challenging scientists in PNNL’s Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division.

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