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DOE, USDA, and NSF Launch Joint Climate Change Prediction Research Program; One Focus on More Localized Scales and Shorter Time Periods

The US Departments of Energy and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are launching a joint research program to produce high-resolution models for predicting climate change and its resulting impacts. Called Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction Using Earth System Models (EaSM), the program is designed to generate models that are significantly more powerful than existing models and can help decision-makers develop adaptation strategies addressing climate change. These models will be developed through a joint, interagency solicitation for proposals.

EaSM is intended to produce:

  1. Predictions of climate change and associated impacts at more localized scales and over shorter time periods than previously possible; and

  2. Innovative interdisciplinary approaches to address the interdisciplinary sources and impacts of climate change. These interdisciplinary approaches will draw on biologists, chemists, computer scientists, geoscientists, materials scientists, mathematicians, physicists, computer specialists, and social scientists.

By producing reliable, accurate information about climate change and resulting impacts at improved geographic and temporal resolutions, models developed under the EaSM solicitation are intended to provide decision-makers with sound scientific bases for developing adaptation and management responses to climate change at regional levels.

To help to mitigate the consequences of climate change—the consequences of which are becoming more immediate and profound than earlier anticipated—EaSM models will be designed to support planning for the management of food and water supplies, infrastructure construction, ecosystem maintenance, and other pressing societal issues at more localized levels and more immediate time periods than can existing models.

The joint solicitation for EaSM proposals enables the three partner agencies to combine resources and fund the highest-impact projects without duplicating efforts. The FY 2010 EaSM solicitation will be supported by the following funding levels: 1) about $30 million from NSF; 2) about $10 million from DOE; and 3) about $9 million from USDA. This project represents an historic augmentation of support for interdisciplinary climate change research by NSF and its partner agencies.

This solicitation is the first solicitation for the five-year EaSM program, which will run from FY 2010 to FY 2014. Submitted proposals will be reviewed through NSF’s peer review process, and awards will be funded by all three partner agencies. About 20 NSF grants under EaSM are expected to be awarded.

DOE is particularly interested in developing models that better define interactions between climate change and decadal modes of natural climate variability, simulate climate extremes under a changing climate, and help resolve the uncertainties of the indirect effects of aerosols on climate.

NSF is particularly interested in developing models that will produce reliable predictions of 1) climate change at regional and decadal scales; 2) resulting impacts; and 3) potential adaptations of living systems to these impacts. Related research may, for example, include studies of natural decadal climate change, regional aspects of water and nutrient cycling, and methods to test predictions of climate change.

The USDA is particularly interested in developing climate models that can be linked to crop, forestry and livestock models. Such models will be used to help assess possible risk management strategies and projections of yields at various spatial and temporal scales.

Two types of interdisciplinary proposals will be considered for EaSM funding:

  • Type 1 proposals should be capacity/community building activities, address one or more goals, and last up to three years; these proposals may receive up to $300,000 in annual funding.

  • Type 2 proposals should describe large, ambitious, collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts that advance Earth system modeling on regional and decadal scales, and last three to five years; these proposals may receive $300,000 to $1 million in annual funding.



The idea of a "climate model" is attractive and worthy of continuing efforts. However, to put any stock in it's predictions is like reading tea leaves, at this point. Understanding of the earth's climate is in it's infancy. It will take decades, or even centuries, to understand all the inputs and processes.
Predicting the path of a hurricane ten days from now is guess work. Predicting climate change is an order of magnitude greater in complexity.


If they can predict shortfalls in rain for grain crops in the midwest with accuracy, it will be worth the effort. This is one of my predictions, that climate will change and a lot of the grain crop that depends on rainfall will have lower yields.


Disagree danm,
there is a wealth of understanding of the earths climate trajectory over billenia.
You may as well say that it is impossible to predict the succesful outcome of a moon mission as so many variables etc.
Not that I'm volunteering, but to say " We will send a man to the moon (again) in say 2020 - or that the sun will rise at 5.36 am tomorrow is considered a perfectly rational statement.


Arnold, hope you're right. It will be a great tool for humanity if we create an accurate climate model. I just think we have a ways to go.


Recall the infamous UK Met office's inability to predict this past winter's deep freeze? Even using their trillion dollar computers.

Give up the ghost already. Find a new method of financing enviro goals - cap and trade is a loser.


You know very well the difference between climate and weather, we are talking climate this time.

Weather forecasting ,as we know was invented to make politicians look good. (joke)

As an aside , knowing your keen interest in home co gen, I offer this story from last saturdays major newspaper, Happy reading.

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