Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world will require a coordinated set of investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska.
An experiment to assess the response of northern peatland ecosystems to increases in temperature and exposures to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
The Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) integrates climate science activities across Oak Ridge National Laboratory, bringing together approximately 130 scientists in the areas of (i) earth system modeling, (ii) data integration, dissemination, and informatics, (iii) terrestrial ecosystem and carbon cycle science, and (iv) climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability science.
To enable a predictive understanding of mercury cycling in stream systems both locally and globally, the Biogeochemical Transformations at Critical Interfaces Scientific Focus Area (SFA) led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is providing foundational insight on exchange and feedback processes occurring at critical interfaces that control mercury fate and transformation.
In 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that there was a potential for 12 gigawatts of new hydropower in the United States by adding power at non-powered dams. Assessments by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) agreed that at least six gigawatts of that potential existed at USACE facilities. Because of this potential, and because of consistent feedback from developers and agency staff that the licensing and permitting processes are redundant and inefficient, DOE and Oak Ridge National Laboratory embarked on the Facilitating Regulatory Process Improvement project, which was completed in FY2016.
The primary study objective was to test the behavioral response of fish to sound emanating from MHK turbines using fish species (or related surrogate species) with characteristics that make them a concern for turbine noise effects (i.e., species of special concern, of commercial or recreational value, or with sensitive hearing).
Recent small hydropower development in the United States has been concentrated on the powering of unpowered water resource infrastructure such as non-powered dams and irrigation canals.
This project, completed in FY2016, created tools for improving the ability to predict environmental conditions in multi-reservoir systems to protect the environment and meet regulatory compliance and to optimize power generation without compromising the environment.
To date, the vast majority of global and domestic Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) development has focused on the construction of large (generally greater than 100MW), site-customized plants.