Measurement & Modeling

As climate change accelerates, there arises an even greater demand for more accurate, reliable, and high-resolution measurement and modeling. These activities produce data that can improve the representation of global processes, as well as the efficacy of mitigation and adaptation strategies, and inform development of tools and frameworks to advise decision-makers. At Sandia, our scientists work to improve integrated data collection and coupled models to advance understanding of climate change, specifically natural source and sink states and processes. We also strengthen model predictions of complex systems to improve efficacy of mitigation and adaptation solutions and develop tools and frameworks to advise on the formulation, adoption, and verification of climate treaties.

Focal Areas

Dari Dexheimer, Sandia National Laboratories’ tethered-balloon expert, and her team prepare the 22-foot-wide, tethered, helium balloons for launch on a gorgeous fall morning. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Global Earth Systems Monitoring

Sandia seeks to enable a persistent, operational, and high-resolution system to monitor greenhouse gas emissions globally, with an initial focus on Arctic methane. Technical areas of contribution include multi-tiered systems architecture and integration, synthesis of measurements from satellites and other remote sensing platforms, and development of complementary ground-based measurement capabilities. Additionally, Sandia can develop monitoring systems that have broader utility, for example, advancing our situational awareness in the Arctic.

Global Earth Systems Modeling

Our scientists work with other DOE labs and university partners to develop and improve process specific, regional, and Earth System models. These efforts build on our expertise in numerical and physical modeling, high performance computing, and climate measurements to improve our understanding of complex natural processes. Our goal is to develop a first-ever model-coupling the full global ecosystem that can predict carbon cycle and climate feedback loops.

Climate Modification Measurement, Modeling, & Analysis

Drawing on our experimental measurement and modeling expertise, Sandia is developing foundational algorithms and tools for climate intervention assessment through measurement, modeling, attribution, and risk analysis. These advancements will not only improve the understanding of mechanisms for climate modification but also improve Earth System model accuracy and could guide security-driven responses and inform climate modification treaties.