PROGRAM TITLE: 	Climate Research
ACTIVITY STREAM:  	Processes, Modeling, Assessment , 
Observations/DataManagement
SCIENCE ELEMENT:  	Climate and Hydrological System, Ecological 
Systems and Dynamics

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

DESCRIPTION:  Climate research was initiated more than a decade ago by 
DOE when it became apparent that the increase of atmospheric CO2 can be 
attributed to humankind's use of fossil energy.  Goals are to understand 
natural and human influences that affect climate, and to provide predictive 
models for analyzing climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and other 
factors.  Specific objectives are to develop data and models of how changes in 
the Earth's radiative balance may affect climate at global and regional scales 
and provide predictions of climate change.  The model results describe the 
time rate of change and the magnitude of the change, and climate data 
provide the basis for determining if climate is changing.  Model studies 
encompass the coupled climate system of the atmosphere, ocean, biosphere 
and cryosphere, and a key element is the well-renowned Program for Climate 
Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) which includes international 
intercomparisons of GCMs such as WCRP/WGNE Atmospheric Model 
Intercomparison Project (AMIP).  The PCMDI emphasis is on climate feedback 
processes (e.g., clouds and snow/ice albedo feedbacks) and the 
regional/interannual climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and the AMIP 
research compares model output to reference period 1979-1988.  Some 18 
AMIP subprojects have been organized to examine the specific physical 
processes and phenomena including the Southern Oscillation and the 
monsoon.  Each subproject is led by one of the 35 participating modeling 
centers or by one of the 100 participating scientists. 

STAKEHOLDERS:  The data provide the basic information necessary for 
demonstrating that climate is changing.  Such information is used by 
scientists to further assess why changes are occurring and how well the 
models are performing.  The policy community requires the data, the model 
output, and the subsequent analyses to feed into integrated assessments.  
Virtually all modeling centers in the world are participating in the 
intercomparison projects.  The results establish the basis for model 
improvement as well as indicate the uncertainty in model output that is used 
for integrated assessments.

SHORT-TERM POLICY PAYOFFS:  Results on climate modeling and 
detection are used worldwide by both science and policy communities to 
evaluate climate change.  Current research is directed at understanding the 
limits of these predictions for the policy process as well as providing a basis 
for model improvement.  Data and model studies are also used to determine 
if climate change is occurring and if the cause can be attributed to greenhouse 
gases and human activities.  The research directly supports integrated 
assessments by providing estimates of the rate and magnitude of global and 
regional climate change.  Such  products are essential for national and 
international understanding of the uncertainties in the evidence for climate 
change and in the prediction of climate change.  Further, the current products 
provide an assessment of the limits on the predictions for consideration in 
policy discussions.  The information is a centerpiece for integrated 
assessments (e.g., IPCC, ICCAM), for developing response strategies for the 
Climate Convention, and supporting the National Energy Policy Act.

PROGRAM CONTACT:  Michael R. Riches, DOE, ER-74, Washington, DC 
20585, 301-903-3264