DOE research seeks to understand basic chemical, physical, and biological
processes of the earthís atmosphere, land, and oceans and how these processes
may be affected by energy production and use, primarily the emission of carbon
dioxide from fossil fuel combustion.
Understanding global climate change and the
ability to predict climate over decades or centuries will enable the development
of science-based solutions to reduce and minimize the impacts of climate change
and better plan for the nationís future energy needs.
A booming economy and population led China to emerge in 2006 as the global leader in fossil-fuel carbon emissions, a distinction it still maintains. But exactly how much carbon China releases has been a topic of debate, with recent estimates varying by as much as 15 percent.
An international team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Macquarie University, the University of Western Sydney and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry set out to assess how two Free-Air CO2 Enrichment projects compared to eleven vegetation models that simulate various ecological processes. Instead of only benchmarking whether or not an individual model matched the experimental data, the researchers developed an 'assumption-centered' approach to evaluate why certain models performed better than others.
The Department of Energy's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.