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Fundamental & Computational Sciences Directorate

Climate and Earth Systems Science Research Area

Climate and Earth Systems Science photo

At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, scientists are working to better understand the Earth's climate system, as well as how human and natural systems interact in the context of climatic and other global and regional environmental changes. This research involves working across disciplines and different spatial and temporal scales to integrate theory, measurements, and modeling. Our internationally recognized Climate & Earth Systems Science research tackles key questions and delivers decision-relevant results related to

  • Atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and precipitation
  • Human systems such as agriculture and energy
  • Cycling of water, carbon, and other important constituents
  • The impacts of, and potential responses to, climate change.

This research area includes world-renowned research and scientific collaboration at

  • The ARM Climate Research Facility, a DOE Office of Science national user facility, where PNNL scientists conduct atmospheric research and develop cutting edge technologies and data products to improve the representation of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, and radiative energy in climate models.
  • The Atmospheric Measurements Laboratory, a leading-edge research facility with unique equipment where PNNL and other researchers advance knowledge of clouds, the aerosol lifecycle, and other climate-relevant atmospheric processes.
  • The Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI), a collaboration between PNNL and the University of Maryland, where world-renowned research is conducted on the interactions among climate, economic activities, energy production and use, and the environment. The Global Change Assessment Model, developed by JGCRI researchers, examines the evolution of the joint energy-land use system to understand complex future challenges and prepare policymakers to address them.
  • The integrated Regional Earth System Modeling (iRESM) initiative, a PNNL-wide research initiative focusing on the development of an integrated, modular framework for simulating the complex interactions among climate, energy, and socioeconomic systems at regional scales.

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