Department of Energy
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science supports fundamental research to understand the energy-environment-climate connection and its implications for energy production, use, sustainability, and security—with particular emphasis on the potential impact of increased anthropogenic emissions. The ultimate goal is to advance a robust predictive understanding of Earth’s climate and environmental systems and to inform the development of sustainable solutions to the Nation’s energy and environmental challenges.
Two DOE research areas focus on areas of uncertainty in Earth systems models: Atmospheric System Research (science of aerosols, clouds, and radiative transfer); and Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (role of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon cycle observations). DOE also collaborates with NSF to develop the widely used Community Earth System Model, supports methods to obtain regional climate information, integrates analysis of climate change impacts, and analyzes and distributes large climate datasets through the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison and the Earth System Grid. The Department also supports the ARM Climate Research Facility, a scientific user facility that provides the research community with unmatched measurements permitting the most detailed high-resolution, three-dimensional documentation of evolving cloud, aerosol, and precipitation characteristics in climate sensitive sites around the world.
Finally, DOE also conducts applied climate-related research through the Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP), which is centered in DOE’s Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis and Office of Policy and International Affairs. CCTP develops and utilizes energy-economic models, including integrated assessment models, to evaluate policies and programs that enable cost-effective GHG reductions and accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. As part of this mission, CCTP supports work to characterize climate change impacts for use in policy analysis, vulnerability, and adaptation assessment and agency rulemakings. DOE also conducts assessments of climate change on electric grid stability, water availability for energy production, and site selection of the next generation of renewable energy infrastructure.