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Data – Mountainous water towers

Instruments gather atmospheric data at the Colorado site as part of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement User Facility’s SAIL campaign. SAIL integrates expertise and capabilities from Department of Energy national laboratories, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. Credit: DOE ARM user facility

New data hosted through the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Data Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will help improve models that predict climate change effects on the water supply in the Colorado River Basin.

Mountains are natural water towers that collect the snowpack that becomes drinking water for millions of people. ARM’s goal is to collect data needed to advance understanding of complex land-water-atmosphere interactions in these regions and improve model predictions of future climate and water availability.

More than four dozen instruments measure atmospheric factors affecting the water cycle and climate near Crested Butte, Colorado, as part of ARM’s SAIL project. These data will be integrated with other measurements taken at and below the surface to provide a clearer picture of key processes.

“The ARM data services team is making terabytes of data accessible to facilitate the multi-institutional effort investigating the hydrologic processes that influence climate and the availability of critical water resources,” said ORNL’s Giri Prakash.