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       Advancing the knowledge of climate change and understanding its consequences


CCSI researchers extend use of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways for use at the subnational level

Using Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and the Factor-Actor-Sector framework, the Climate Change Science Institute’s Syeda Mariya Absar and Benjamin L. Preston have extended the SSPs to give climate scientists a new tool for use in impact, adaptation, and vulnerability studies at the subnational level.

Figure caption: Illustration of SSP storyline nesting based on the Factor–Actor–Sector framework.

ORNL researchers enhance access to US government climate-data resources

The latest addition to, “home” of the US government’s open data, launched June 25, 2015, thanks to a team led by Benjamin Preston of the Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Climate researchers’ article on coastal vulnerabilities a top read in new journal

When Megan Maloney, a post-bachelor’s researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Ben Preston, deputy director of ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute, submitted an article on coastal vulnerability to a new journal, they were aware of the significance of their results.

NGEE Arctic: Science on the tundra requires rigorous safety planning

Just like any experiment that sends researchers into the field, project lead Stan Wullschleger prepares a scrupulous safety plan that encompasses the same safety culture and planning that are practiced with experiments close to home. Where his plan differs from others is that his list of potential hazards includes polar bears.

Using the Forest to See the Trees

ORNL researcher uses global climate model to explore regional events

Climate modelers work to untangle complex webs of cause and effect

The ‘why’ of models

ORNL-led team spearheads approach to improve ecosystem models with experimental data

Predicting how forests will respond to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide involves understanding the interplay among carbon dioxide, nutrients, water, plant and soil processes.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory ecologist Rich Norby has spent his career pondering these fundamental questions, including more than a decade studying the effe

ACME continues to soar with yet another award

Bill Collins, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Mark Taylor, Sandia National Laboratory; and David Bader, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory were co-recipients of the DOE Secretarial Honor Award for their leadership of the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project. Secretarial Honor Awards, the department’s highest form of nonmonetary employee recognition, are awarded to individuals and teams selected by the Secretary of Energy for significant achievements on behalf of the department and for the benefit of the nation.

Caption: From left to right - Mark Taylor, Dave Bader, Dorothy Koch (DOE BER Earth System Modeling  Program Manager), and Bill Collins

Launched in 2014, ACME is a multi-laboratory initiative to harness the power of supercomputers like ORNL’s Titan and Argonne’s Mira to develop fully coupled state-of-the-science Earth system models for climate change research and scientific and energy applications. Eight national labs, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions, and one private sector company are collaborating on the 10-year project. Researchers from ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) were instrumental in developing and defending the project plan and are leading or coleading several project teams, including the teams responsible for new land model development (Peter Thornton), assessing and improving model performance on high-performance computing platforms (Patrick Worley), and developing and evaluating simulation workflow tools (Kate Evans).

CCSI’s Peter Thornton, who serves on the ACME governing council with Collins, Taylor, and Bader, had this to say: “We’re very happy that the ACME Executive Committee has received this honor. The award citation highlights the fact that ACME is bringing DOE’s climate research community together ‘under one roof.’ It is exciting to be a part of that collective effort, and it’s rewarding to know that this kind of broad collaboration is valued at the top of the agency.”

This is not the first time in ACME’s short history that an ACME team has received a national award. In April CCSI and National Center for Computational Sciences members were part of the Ultra-Scale Visualization Climate Data Analysis Tools (UV-CDAT) project team awarded the prestigious Federal Laboratory Consortium Interagency Partnership Award. UV-CDAT is ACME’s visualization-diagnostic-analytical component.

The awards were presented by Secretary Moniz during a special program held May 8 at DOE headquarters in Washington, DC.

Find out more about ACME here:, more about DOE Office of Science climate and Earth system modeling here:, and more about the UVCDAT award here:

by VJ Ewing. Posted May 20, 2015  3:45 p.m.

CCSI Staff Member Participates in First UT Women in STEM Research Symposium

The Climate Change Science Institute’s (CCSI’s) Colleen Iversen was invited to participate in the First Annual University of Tennessee Women in STEM Research Symposium, April 18, 2015.

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Image provided by Jamison Daniel, NCCS.




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Global temperature anomalies from 1880 - 2010 (land and ocean). Image source:




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Risk assessment for future coastal inundation and erosion for properties at Manly Beach, north of Sydney, Australia. Image provided by Ben Preston, ORNL.


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Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) Field Experiment in Grand Rapids, MN.  Images provided by Paul Hanson.

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Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels combustion and cement manufacturing 1850-2010.  Image source: