skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: ARM Climate Research Facility Annual Report 2005

Abstract

Through the ARM Program, the DOE funded the development of several highly instrumented ground stations for studying cloud formation processes and their influence on radiative transfer, and for measuring other parameters that determine the radiative properties of the atmosphere. This scientific infrastructure, and resultant data archive, is a valuable national and international asset for advancing scientific knowledge of Earth systems. In fiscal year (FY) 2003, the DOE designated ARM sites as a national scientific user facility: the ARM Climate Research (ACRF). The ACRF has enormous potential to contribute to a wide range interdisciplinary science in areas such as meteorology, atmospheric aerosols, hydrology, biogeochemical cycling, and satellite validation, to name only a few.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
876681
Report Number(s):
DOE/ARM-SC-0507
TRN: US200702%%512
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AEROSOLS; CLIMATES; CLOUDS; HYDROLOGY; METEOROLOGY; RADIANT HEAT TRANSFER; SATELLITES; VALIDATION; EARTH ATMOSPHERE

Citation Formats

J. Voyles. ARM Climate Research Facility Annual Report 2005. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/876681.
J. Voyles. ARM Climate Research Facility Annual Report 2005. United States. doi:10.2172/876681.
J. Voyles. Sat . "ARM Climate Research Facility Annual Report 2005". United States. doi:10.2172/876681. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/876681.
@article{osti_876681,
title = {ARM Climate Research Facility Annual Report 2005},
author = {J. Voyles},
abstractNote = {Through the ARM Program, the DOE funded the development of several highly instrumented ground stations for studying cloud formation processes and their influence on radiative transfer, and for measuring other parameters that determine the radiative properties of the atmosphere. This scientific infrastructure, and resultant data archive, is a valuable national and international asset for advancing scientific knowledge of Earth systems. In fiscal year (FY) 2003, the DOE designated ARM sites as a national scientific user facility: the ARM Climate Research (ACRF). The ACRF has enormous potential to contribute to a wide range interdisciplinary science in areas such as meteorology, atmospheric aerosols, hydrology, biogeochemical cycling, and satellite validation, to name only a few.},
doi = {10.2172/876681},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Sat Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Like a rock that slowly wears away beneath the pressure of a waterfall, planet earth?s climate is almost imperceptibly changing. Glaciers are getting smaller, droughts are lasting longer, and extreme weather events like fires, floods, and tornadoes are occurring with greater frequency. Why? Part of the answer is clouds and the amount of solar radiation they reflect or absorb. These two factors clouds and radiative transfer represent the greatest source of error and uncertainty in the current generation of general circulation models used for climate research and simulation. The U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990 established an interagency programmore » within the Executive Office of the President to coordinate U.S. agency-sponsored scientific research designed to monitor, understand, and predict changes in the global environment. To address the need for new research on clouds and radiation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. As part of the DOE?s overall Climate Change Science Program, a primary objective of the ARM Program is improved scientific understanding of the fundamental physics related to interactions between clouds and radiative feedback processes in the atmosphere.« less
  • The Earth’s surface temperature is determined by the balance between incoming solar radiation and thermal (or infrared) radiation emitted by the Earth back to space. Changes in atmospheric composition, including greenhouse gases, clouds, and aerosols can alter this balance and produce significant climate change. Global climate models (GCMs) are the primary tool for quantifying future climate change; however, there remain significant uncertainties in the GCM treatment of clouds, aerosol, and their effects on the Earth’s energy balance. The 2007 assessment (AR4) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports a substantial range among GCMs in climate sensitivity to greenhousemore » gas emissions. The largest contributor to this range lies in how different models handle changes in the way clouds absorb or reflect radiative energy in a changing climate (Solomon et al. 2007). In 1989, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science created the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program within the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) to address scientific uncertainties related to global climate change, with a specific focus on the crucial role of clouds and their influence on the transfer of radiation in the atmosphere. To address this problem, BER has adopted a unique two-pronged approach: * The ARM Climate Research Facility (ACRF), a scientific user facility for obtaining long-term measurements of radiative fluxes, cloud and aerosol properties, and related atmospheric characteristics in diverse climate regimes. * The ARM Science Program, focused on the analysis of ACRF data to address climate science issues associated with clouds, aerosols, and radiation, and to improve GCMs. This report describes accomplishments of the BER ARM Program toward addressing the primary uncertainties related to climate change prediction as identified by the IPCC.« less
  • Clouds represent a critical component of the Earth’s atmospheric energy balance as a result of their interactions with solar and terrestrial radiation and a redistribution of heat through convective processes and latent heating. Despite their importance, clouds and the processes that control their development, evolution and lifecycle remain poorly understood. Consequently, the simulation of clouds and their associated feedbacks is a primary source of inter-model differences in equilibrium climate sensitivity. An important step in improving the representation of cloud process simulations is an improved high-resolution observational data set of the cloud systems including their time evolution. The first order quantitymore » needed to understand the important role of clouds is the height of cloud occurrence and how it changes as a function of time. To this end, the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facilities (ACRF) suite of instrumentation has been developed to make the observations required to improve the representation of cloud systems in atmospheric models.« less
  • The uncertainties in current estimates of anthropogenic radiative forcing are dominated by the effects of aerosols, both in relation to the direct absorption and scattering of radiation by aerosols and also with respect to aerosol-related changes in cloud formation, longevity, and microphysics (See Figure 1; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Assessment Report 4, 2008). Moreover, the Arctic region in particular is especially sensitive to changes in climate with the magnitude of temperature changes (both observed and predicted) being several times larger than global averages (Kaufman et al. 2009). Recent studies confirm that aerosol-cloud interactions in the arctic generate climatologically significantmore » radiative effects equivalent in magnitude to that of green house gases (Lubin and Vogelmann 2006, 2007). The aerosol optical depth is the most immediate representation of the aerosol direct effect and is also important for consideration of aerosol-cloud interactions, and thus this quantity is essential for studies of aerosol radiative forcing.« less
  • Scientific Guidance, Research, and Educational Outreach for the ARM Climate Research Facility (ACRF) in the Southern Great Plains