The National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Agriculture (USDA) plan to fund $250 million worth of climate modeling research over the next five years. The goal of this effort is improved prediction of localized impacts of climate change. The Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction Using Earth System Models (EaSM) program is designed to generate more powerful models that can help decision-makers develop regional climate adaptation strategies. The program aims to improve climate predictions by modeling on smaller geographic scales and over shorter time frames than was previously possible. Currently, most climate modeling capacity is at the continental scale. “People live in regions, not on the global mean,” said NSF Director Dr. Arden Bement.

Specifically, the program will support interdisciplinary approaches to forecasting climate-induced drought, ecosystem stress, diminished crop production, and other societal problems. The program will be funded with approximately $50 million each year for the next five years. NSF will provide $30 million in the first year for improved modeling on regional and decadal climate and impacts, as well as potential climate adaptations by living systems. NSF will also fund research to test climate predictions and to study regional climate impacts on nutrient and water cycling. DOE will provide $10 million to develop models that better account for natural climate variability and climate extremes under a changing climate, and to identify the indirect effects of aerosols on climate. The $9 million provided by USDA will be used to forecast crop yields under a changing climate and to evaluate risk management strategies.

About 20 projects will be funded in the first year, with up to $300,000 available for three year projects that address capacity/community building activities. Up to $1 million is available for three to five year “large, ambitious, collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts that advance Earth system modeling on regional and decadal scales,” according to the agencies. Letters of intent are due by 24 May 2010. For more information, please visit http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10554/nsf10554.htm?org=OPP.

 


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