Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program

Program Mission

The goal of ASR (, is to improve understanding of the key cloud, aerosol, precipitation, and radiation processes that affect the Earth’s radiative balance and hydrological cycle, especially processes that limit the predictive ability of regional and global models.

Program Approach

ASR coordinates closely with the ARM scientific user facility, utilizing ARM’s measurements of radiation, aerosols, clouds, precipitation, dynamics, and thermodynamics. ARM’s continuous observational datasets are supplemented with process models, laboratory studies, and shorter-duration ground-based and airborne field campaigns to target specific atmospheric processes in different locations and across a range of spatial and temporal scales.

Program Funding Opportunity Announcements

Announcements are posted on the DOE Office of Science Grants and Contracts Web Site and at Information about preparing and submitting applications, as well as the DOE Office of Science merit review process, is available at the DOE Office of Science Grants and Contracts Web Site.   For current announcements, visit BER Funding Opportunities.

Data Sharing Policy

Funding of projects by the program is contingent on adherence to the BER data sharing policy.

Program Research Activities

ASR’s four priority research areas correspond to atmospheric regimes with large uncertainties in earth system prediction:  aerosol processes, warm boundary-layer processes, convective processes, and high-latitude processes.  To better connect research teams working on the processes and process interactions within each of these areas, ASR is organized into four working groups:

  • The Aerosol Processes working group seeks to improve the understanding of processes governing the spatial and temporal distribution of atmospheric particles and their chemical, microphysical, and optical properties.
  • The Warm Boundary Layer Processes working group seeks to improve understanding and model representation of processes controlling the structural and radiative properties of clouds, aerosols and their interactions with the underlying surface in the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere.
  • The Convective Processes working group seeks to improve the understanding and model representation of convective cloud processes and properties including cloud cover, precipitation, life cycle, dynamics, and microphysics over a range of spatial scales.
  • The High Latitude Processes working group seeks to improve understanding and model representation of cloud, aerosol, and surface-interaction processes controlling the surface energy budgets in northern and southern high latitude regions. 

Collaborations with other EESSD activities

ASR-supported research results are incorporated into earth system models supported by EESSD both to understand the processes that govern atmospheric components and to advance the earth system model capabilities with greater certainty of predictions. Observational process research is also deployed in the CMDV activity to incorporate new process knowledge and validate physics components of next-generation models in the ACME framework.

Summaries of currently funded research projects

Program Managers:

Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences Division (EESSD), SC-33.1
Department of Energy -- GTN Bldg
1000 Independence Ave, SW Washington, DC 20585-1290
Fax: (301) 903-8519
Dr. Shaima Nasiri (301) 903-0207
Dr. Jeff Stehr (301) 903-1964