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

DOE Funded Scientists Take Another Look at the "Unpredictability" of Climate Sensitivity
Published: April 12, 2010
Posted: April 23, 2010

The sensitivity of climate to changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere plays a crucial role in how to adapt to or mitigate global change. In 2007, Roe and Baker claimed (Science, vol. 318, p. 629) that this sensitivity is intrinsically unpredictable and that socio-economic and political decisions need to rely on the danger posed by global warming, not on narrowing the range of uncertainties in determining climate sensitivity. DOE funded scientists Drs. Zaliapin and Ghil have now identified a simple mathematical error underpinning Roe and Baker's argument. This new approach holds promise for evaluating the distance of the current climate state from "tipping points" like catastrophic warming or catastrophic cooling.

Reference: I. Zaliapin and M. Ghil, Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, vol. 17, pp. 113-122.

Contact: Renu Joseph, SC-23.1, (301) 903-9237
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Multisector Dynamics (formerly Integrated Assessment)

Division: SC-33.1 Earth 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

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

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

List all highlights (possible long download time)