ESSIC and CICS research is largely funded through federally awarded grants. This funding is secured through various request processes that are applied to by ESSIC/CICS researchers. The grant application process is involved, both from a science and an administrative perspective, with the granting agency verifying minute details about researcher backgrounds, the facilities used, the equipment needed, the time involved, and the overall potential of the scientific outcome.
Examples from the array of ESSIC/CICS research activities are provided below. Additionally, a complete break-down by "Task" for ESSIC's "NASA/GSFC Master Grant" is also provided.
Collaborative Earth System Science Research Between NASA/GSFC and UMCP (NASA/GSFC Master Grant)
The scientific objectives of this grant encompass four major research areas: climate variability and change; atmospheric composition and processes; the global carbon cycle (including terrestrial and marine ecosystems/land use/cover change) and the global water cycle.
Research is conducted through in situ and remotely sensed observations together with component and coupled ocean-atmosphere-land modeling. This multi-pronged approach provides a foundation for understanding and forecasting changes in the global environment and regional implications. Data assimilation and regional downscaling are used to link the observations and models, enabling us to study the interactions between the physical climate system and biogeochemical cycles from global to regional scales.
Complete abstracts summaries by task number, detailing science objective and latest progress information here.
The Development of AMSU FCDR’s and TCDR’s for Hydrological Applications
The measurements of the current passive microwave sounders, such as the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A and AMSU-B) and Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS), are primarily used for operational weather prediction rather than for climate study. The goal of this project is to develop an 11-year (2000 – 2010) of recalibrated and inter-calibrated Climate Data Record (CDR) of both brightness temperatures (Fundamental CDR) and retrieved hydrological products (Thematic CDR) for these sounders.
Spatio-Temporal Variability and Error Structure of Sea Surface Salinity in the Tropics
With the launch of Aquarius in 2010, important work still needs to be done preparing the scientific community for full exploitation of satellite derived SSS data. A key component of this effort will be to determine SSS error fields over the tropical oceans to allow optimal interpolation (OI) and assimilation of satellite SSS data into ocean and coupled models. We plan to calculate SSS standard deviation, decorrelation scales and signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) over the entire tropics using all available near-surface salinity data including Argo. In addition, we will apply the technique of [Ballabrera-Poy et al., 2003] to identify representativity error (RE) defined as the small scale, high frequency variability of salinity not resolved by the satellite sampling for the global tropics. The resulting information will support future applications since observational error used by most advanced data assimilation techniques corresponds directly to the RE provided by our methodology.
Ecosystem and Air/Water Quality
The objective of this study is to quantify and understand the impacts of global climate and emission changes from the present to 2050 on U.S. water quality, focusing on the nitrogen cycle. It will derive from the application of a unique, state-of-the-art, integrated modeling system that couples a global climate-chemical transport component with a mesoscale regional climate-hydrology-air quality-water quality component over North America. The system predicts the interactive dynamical, physical and biogeochemical processes that govern the movement of water and pollutants in the air and on land (surface, subsurface, streams, plants, human). It incorporates multiple alternative model configurations representing the likely range of climate sensitivity and biogeochemistry response under the conceivable anthropogenic emissions scenarios to rigorously assess the result uncertainty for improving risk analysis.
Effects of Freshwater Flux Forcing on Interannual Climate Variability and Predictability in the Tropical Pacific
This project will investigate the roles of FWF forcing in modulating interannual variability and predictability for the tropical Pacific climate system using observational data and a hybrid coupled model (HCM). The investigators will test a hypothesis that FWF forcing in the tropical Pacific induces a positive climate feedback, which presents a new mechanism for the modulation of ENSO and significant tropical bias sources for ENSO simulation and prediction. They will develop an empirical model for interannual FWF variability from historical precipitation and evaporation data. This Sea Surface Temperature (SST)-dependent, prognostic representation of anomalous FWF forcing allows for an interactive feedback between FWF and SST during ENSO cycles. Then, this FWF model will be incorporated into an HCM of the tropical Pacific to take into account FWF forcing and to represent FWF-induced climate feedback. The realistic inclusion of FWF forcing in a coupled ocean-atmosphere model is expected to lead to better ENSO simulations and predictions. Various numerical experiments will be conducted to quantify the extent to which FWF forcing can contribute to seasonal-to-interannual climate variability and predictability in the region. In particular, the effect of FWF forcing on the ENSO modulation will be a focus.