Energy and Climate
Energy and ClimateClimate/EnvironmentSensing & Monitoring

Sensing & Monitoring


An ARM sensor array outside Barrow, Alaska.

The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility is the Department of Energy’s largest global climate research effort. Created to help resolve scientific uncertainties related to global climate change, ARM focuses on studying the role of clouds and aerosols in atmospheric and climatic processes. Designated as a DOE scientific user facility in 2003, ARM Climate Research Facility sites provide the national and international research community with climate data from three permanent facilities—Southern Great Plains (Oklahoma), Tropical Western Pacific (Australia), and North Slope of Alaska (Barrow)—and are supplemented by aerial and mobile facilities. The ARM sites continuously collect massive amounts of atmospheric measurements needed to improve climate models through better understanding of cloud and aerosol processes.


The Barrow Arctic Research Center was recently upgraded with new ARRA-funded sensors.

Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Science and managed by its Office of Biological and Environmental Research, the ARM Climate Research Facility operates research sites on the North Slope of Alaska and adjacent Arctic Ocean, providing researchers with a rare, ground-based window into the cloud and radiative processes that take place in Earth’s atmosphere at high latitudes. Centered at Barrow and extending to the south (to the vicinity of Atqasuk), west (toward Wainwright), and east (toward Oliktok), this area has become a focal point for atmospheric and ecological research activity on the North Slope.

CCSM Dycore

The new highly scalable Spectral Element Atmospheric Model developed by Sandia for the Community Climate Simulation model Dycore.

The North Slope of Alaska site provides data about cloud and radiative processes at high latitudes. Climate researchers have focused attention on high latitudes to better understand the interactions of the atmosphere-land-ocean system. These data are used to refine models and parameterizations as they relate to the Arctic. The Arctic has a significant impact on climate all over the world. The Arctic, specifically, is predicted to undergo more intense change relative to global averages than any other region on Earth because water undergoes a specific seasonal phase change there.

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