HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The University of Huntsville (UAH) has received a $2 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund climate change efforts.
The grant is from the DOE Office of Biological & Environmental Research AND will fund efforts by a UAH team led by the director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) to understand how to more accurately model climate change.
Dr. John Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist and a professor of atmospheric science at UAH, says that current climate models are missing the mark in a number of ways. Dr. Christy says that the $1.95 million, three-year grant is aimed at providing more clarity.
“Even the latest, most sophisticated models continue to warm the atmosphere faster than (what) has actually occurred,” Dr. Christy says. “We want to zero in on why.”
The new grant meant to continue work Dr. Christy’s team started under a previous DOE grant. The former $1.5 grant was meant to help develop a new method of determining how the Earth’s climate is responding to greenhouse gases.
That work also assessed the climate impacts of greenhouse gases on snowfall in three Western Pacific coastal states to accurately determine impacts on the snowfall, an important water supply for the region, and it examined the role of near-surface air temperatures over the ocean.
“We have fairly good information on what has ‘forced’ the climate in the past 45 years, such as volcanic dust, cloud-reflection of sunlight, solar variations, etc., so that we can estimate how the atmospheric temperature responded to these variable ‘forcings,’” Dr. Christy says. “This new grant will fund work to give us an idea of how much the temperature is likely to respond to the tiny push that extra greenhouse gases are applying to the climate.”
For more information about research efforts please visit the UAH website.