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Advanced Computing, Mathematics and Data
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February 2015

Shippert Co-author of Paper Featured in Nature

Work describes first observations of surface radiative forcing by carbon dioxide using ARM data


Tim Shippert of ACMD Division’s ARM Data Integration Team.

As part of work featured in the paper, “Observational Determination of Surface Radiative Forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” recently published in Nature, scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; University of California, Berkeley; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Atmospheric and Environmental Research Inc.; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory provided evidence of the first observed influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the Earth’s surface. The research involved using equipment and 11 years of data made available by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, known as ARM. For his part, Tim Shippert, a scientist with the ARM Data Integration team in PNNL’s Advanced Computing, Mathematics, and Data Division, ran six model years of ARM’s Broadband Heating Rate Profile Project (BBHRP) data, which uses a faster version of the Line-By-Line Radiative Transfer Model (LBLRTM), called RRTM, or Rapid Radiative Transfer Model, to evaluate reviewers’ questions about the clear-sky bias of the LBLRTM calculations. The resulting work contributed to the observations that rising carbon dioxide levels can be traced to human-caused fossil fuel emissions and helps confirm that climate models are accurately representing carbon dioxide’s impacts to climate.

In addition to Shippert’s role, PNNL’s Institutional Computing (PIC) capabilities also provided a helpful assist in the research effort.

“The PIC was invaluable in this process as we had a very short time window to perform the analysis—about two-weeks—and being able to set up and perform the model runs quickly, within a couple days, was vital in giving everybody enough time to evaluate the results,” Shippert said.

For more about the research, see the press release “First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface.”

Reference:
Feldman DR, WD Collins, PJ Gero, MS Torn, EJ Mlawer, and TR Shippert. 2015. “Observational Determination of Surface Radiative Forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010.” Nature, Published Online, February 25, 2015. DOI: 10.1038/nature14240.


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