Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Project, U.S. Department of Energy

Data Center Description
The U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program was created in 1989 as part of the U. S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to improve the treatment of atmospheric radiative and cloud processes in large-scale computer models used to predict climate change. The primary issue being addressed by ARM is the impact of clouds on solar radiant energy reaching the ground and absorbed by the atmosphere and on the re-radiation of heat from the earth. Scientists believe the impact of clouds may be one of the most significant responses of the climate system to increasing greenhouse gases.

Parameters measured by the ARM Project include (but are not limited to):

? Air temperature
? Wind speed and direction
? Rainfall
? Relative humidity
? Soil temperature
? Cloud base height
? Incoming solar radiation
? Outgoing (reflected) solar radiation
? Incoming longwave (e.g. atmospheric) radiation
? Outgoing longwave (e.g. from the earth) radiation
? Sensible heat flux
? Latent heat flux

The educational outreach portion of the ARM Program seeks to provide schools with the materials necessary to use environmental data in the classroom. ARM began meeting this goal by providing computers to Oklahoma teachers in the EARTHSTORM Project (McPherson and Crawford, 1996). EARTHSTORM teachers were given in-depth training on how to use Oklahoma Mesonet data in their classrooms. These teachers have been using the computer and the Mesonet data for several years. Their students have shown their knowledge and enthusiasm by competing in local, state and even national science fairs.

In 1997, ARM data became available online through these web pages. Because the Southern Great Plains branch of the ARM Project covers portions of both Oklahoma and Kansas, an effort is being made to include both Kansas and Oklahoma teachers in the application of ARM data.

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