NOAA-Oak Ridge Expand Climate Modeling
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide $215 million to Oak Ridge National Laboratory over the next five years to support climate research, further bolstering ORNL's role as a U.S. hub for broad-based work on global climate change.
Thomas Zacharia, ORNL's deputy lab director for science and technology, says Oak Ridge is becoming increasingly attractive for agencies engaged in climate studies that wish to leverage their assets and get the most out of their resources. Zacharia says the National Science Foundation and NASA, two other federal institutions involved in climate research, already have a strong presence at ORNL. "The investments by DOE, NSF, NOAA and NASA are really bringing together an integrated capability, making Oak Ridge a place of choice for inter-agency projects."
"NOAA's investment is huge," Zacharia says, noting that the Department of Commerce is one of the major players in climate change with "tremendous research capabilities."
"The new agreement between NOAA and the DOE has already provided $73.5 million in Recovery Act funds to ORNL, with similar amounts to follow over the next four years," he says. "The lab expects to hire 25 to 50 additional climate researchers as part of the expanded effort."
One of the key Oak Ridge attractions is the lab's stable of supercomputers, headed by the Cray XT5 "Jaguar"—the world's fastest computer for open science, which is frequently called upon to run the most difficult climate-simulation models. ORNL also is home to observational experiments, including outdoor studies that evaluate and measure the impact of climate-related factors—such as carbon dioxide—on ecosystems.
Web site provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Communications and External Relations