Energy Awards $14 Million to Improve Climate Change Modeling

da-kuk/Getty Images

Data from the projects is expected to improve scientists’ understanding of the atmosphere.

According to the weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the total financial impacts of extreme weather events over the past five years—more than $740 billion—have been the most costly on record.  

To deal with the escalation of extreme weather events, the Energy Department announced Thursday $14 million in funding for 22 projects focused on improving climate change predictions and modeling. The projects, spread across 11 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, will be carried out by staff at 18 universities and two research organizations.

“Climate-fueled weather events from drought, to fires, to hurricanes and polar vortices are becoming more common and more intense and wreaking havoc on our communities,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “We must expand our understanding of changing weather patterns and equip scientists, researchers and lawmakers with every possible tool to tackle the climate crisis. President Biden and DOE are committed to protecting American communities from extreme weather events and fighting climate change through critical investments in science and research that illuminate pathways to decarbonization and broaden our scientific foundation.”

The projects focus on a variety of atmospheric research, from understanding the impact of aerosol pollution to understanding the impact of new particle formation on cloud condensation, and how clouds impact the amount of solar energy that reaches Arctic and Antarctic surfaces.

Energy aims for data and analysis collected through the projects to improve prediction and atmospheric understanding in line with President Joe Biden’s goal of achieving a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas pollution by 2030. According to Energy, the awards were chosen through a competitive peer review process from proposals ultimately submitted under an Atmospheric System Research Program funding opportunity. The program was sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research, within the Department’s Office of Science.