Climate & Earth Systems

A sustainable future requires understanding and ensuring that the Earth system supports both stationary and transportation energy systems while mitigating the impact these energy systems have on the Earth. Sandia is focused on three primary R&D areas that are aligned with the DOE’s emerging crosscutting program initiatives:

Climate Measurement & Modeling

Climate models can inform national and state policy development and may be used to dynamically manage the mitigation of climate change, climate engineering and adaptation of infrastructure and management of basic environmental resources.


Reducing environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use.

Water/Energy Nexus

Water and energy availability are interdependent in the infrastructure that currently supports and sustains our society.

Climate Measurement & Modeling

A national leader in Arctic measurements, end-to-end scientific assessments, and modeling.
Atmosphere-ocean models for simulating Earth’s climate system.
Covers a variety of applications including simulation, modeling, computation, modeling, and more.

Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project


ACME is an unprecedented collaboration among eight national laboratories and six partner institutions to develop and apply the most complete, leading-edge climate and Earth system models to challenging and demanding climate-change research imperatives.

Energy/Water Nexus

Water and energy availability are interdependent in the infrastructure that currently supports and sustains our society. It is essential that the nation understands and reduces the interdependence while ensuring sufficient energy or water is available for development of the other resource.
Sandia has been engaged in the Energy/Nexus Working Group consortium since 2000.
Transfer of water between uses requires data collection and decision tools to manage the redistribution.
New-technology demonstrations including security, sensors, and filtration methods.

Research Spotlight


The Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security (CFSES) is pursuing scientific understanding of multiscale, multiphysics processes to ensure safe and economically feasible storage of carbon dioxide and other byproducts of energy production without harming the environment.

TEDxABQ Video: Mankind can bet on global warming — and win

Mark Boslough is a physicist, member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories, adjunct professor at University of New Mexico, and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Asteroid 73520 Boslough was named after him.

Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy

ACME is an unprecedented collaboration among seven National Laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions and one private-sector company to develop and apply the most complete leading-edge climate and Earth system models to the most challenging and demanding climate change research imperatives.

View All Publications
  • 10th Annual Conference on Carbon Capture & Sequestration May 2, 2011
  • Energy Frontier Research Centers Summit & Forum May 25, 2011
  • NETL CO2 Capture Technology Meeting August 22, 2011
  • 12th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment: Environment and Security January 18, 2012
  • TedxABQ 2012: Engage Your Passion September 8, 2012
  • ECIS Climate Change and National Security Speaker Series May 1, 2013

Sandians Participate in 46th Annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) Conference

Fifty-six Sandians from ten Centers joined more than 22,000 geoscience professionals, students, and academics at the December AGU Fall Meeting.

Sandia staff chaired multiple technical sessions and gave dozens of presentations on topics ranging from improved […]

NASA Award for Marginal Ice Zone Observations and Process Experiment (MIZOPEX)

Sandians Mark Ivey and Darin Desilets (both in Sandia’s Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences Dept.) were included in a NASA Group Achievement Award “for outstanding achievement in executing the MIZOPEX using multiple classes of unmanned aircraft […]

Two Sandia Leaders Elected American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

Gil Herrera (Director of Sandia’s Microsystems Science, Technology, and Components Center and head of Sandia’s Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications complex) and Steve Rottler (Vice President of Sandia’s California laboratory and leader of the […]

Sandia Team Attends World Water Week in Stockholm

Stephanie Kuzio, Vince Tidwell, and Tom Lowry (all from Sandia’s Earth Systems Analysis Dept.), represented Sandia’s Water and Environment Program (part of the Sandia’s Climate & Environment Program Area) at World Water Week in Stockholm […]