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Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change
  • North Indian Ocean cyclone tracks 2013

    Small Errors Add Up to Big Difference

    For the first time, an international team of scientists led by researchers at PNNL simulated Indian Ocean tropical cyclones to investigate how model errors grow. Using very high-resolution models, their research found that in the tropical cyclone environments, model errors begin to grow in calculations over small regions and continue to build from local to regional scales. And, errors at small scales grow faster than those at larger scales, even in sophisticated models that explicitly simulate processes involving clouds and rain.

  • Earth and its atmosphere from outer space

    Geoengineering: Opening a Dialogue on the Future

    Climate geoengineering uses technology to temporarily reduce the effects of climate change by reflecting a small portion of sunlight back to space. As recently reported in Environmental Research Letters, an international team of scientists led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers used the output from climate models to evaluate which regions of the globe might be made "better" or "worse" by such geoengineering.

  • Phil Rasch, Ruby Leung, Steve Ghan

    New Project is the ACME of Addressing Climate Change

    Eight national laboratories, including PNNL, are combining forces with the NCAR, four universities and one private-sector company, to start work on the most complete climate and Earth system model yet. High performance computing will be used for the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy project to address challenging and demanding climate change issues.

  • runoff when land saturated

    Clearing Pathways for the Water-Carbon-Energy Cycle

    Ateam led by researchers at PNNL compared water's movement over the land surface and through the subsurface with two widely adopted modeling methods. They found that the modeling choices result in differences that ultimately swing results in carbon cycle simulations—by as much as 20 percent. The differences in modeling runoff methods cause substantial differences in the soil moisture that also changes soil temperature.

  • World water scarcity map

    Water Scarcity and Climate Change through 2095

    PNNL researchers, working at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, showed the effects of global change on water scarcity using a unique modeling engine. When they incorporated water use and availability and ran scenarios of possible climate mitigation policy targets, they found that without any climate policy to curb carbon emissions, half the world will be living under extreme water scarcity. Some climate mitigation policies mayexacerbate water scarcity.

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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Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change

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Fundamental & Computational Sciences