BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


ARM Improves Critical Climate Measurement
Published: May 29, 2002
Posted: June 10, 2002

Office of Science's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program has improved the measurement accuracy of diffuse solar radiation by a factor of three -- from about +/- 6 Watts per square meter (W/m2) to about +/-2 W/m2. The accomplishment will give scientists a better chance to predict and detect climate change resulting from increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Considering that the increase in atmospheric heating is projected to increase by 4 W/m2 if the amount of carbon dioxide in the air doubles, this improvement in measurement accuracy is an important achievement because the measurement accuracy needs to be as small as possible to accurately predict how much atmospheric heating will occur in the future due to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and other materials in the atmosphere that scatter and/or absorb energy. In the world of climate change, scientists understand the heating and cooling of the Earth by measuring the energy from the sun in its many forms: direct, scattered, or absorbed and re-released. Their current goal is to measure all these forms to within +/- 4 W/m2. Diffuse irradiance is the scattered energy from the direct sunlight after it hits haze particles (aerosols), cloud droplets, or molecules in the atmosphere. Results of this accomplishment provides scientists with confidence in the measurements of diffuse radiation in the atmosphere, allowing them to focus their efforts and attention on improving models that predict climate change.

Contact: Wanda R. Ferrell, SC-74, 3-0043
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-74 Environmental Sciences Division, OBER)

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)