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

BER Research Highlights

DOE Scientists Begin Southeastern Pacific Climate Study
Published: November 03, 2008
Posted: January 27, 2009

During October and November 2008, DOE funded scientists will take part in an international field experiment designed to study stratocumulus clouds in the southeastern Pacific.  This region is dominated by strong coastal upwelling, bringing cold, dense seawater from the deep ocean closer to the surface and resulting in extensive cold sea surface temperatures that drive formation of the largest subtropical deck of low-lying stratocumulus clouds on Earth.  Because this cloud type is poorly understood and poorly represented in global climate models, data from this experiment are critical for improving the model predictions of climate change.  The study is known as the Variability of the American Monsoon Systems' (VAMOS) Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-Rex).  The DOE team includes investigators from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory.  The experiment uses the G-1 Gulfstream research aircraft to collect cloud and aerosol data that will be used to test theories regarding how precipitation forms in clouds and how aerosols affect cloud optical and microphysical properties.  Other participants in the study include the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the World Climate Research Program as well as participants from several countries.

Contact: Ashley Williamson, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3120
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)