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Atmospheric Science

Have you ever questioned why tornadoes are disproportionately deadly in the Southeast? Or how to continually improve monitoring and prediction of climate change? If so, then you’re asking the questions our experts at NOAA’s Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division (ATDD) are actively seeking answers to in their research.

ORAU supports NOAA’s ATDD focus on air quality and climate-related research, including lower atmosphere research in the areas of air quality, contaminant dispersion, and climate. ATDD also manages and operates the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) to accurately estimate continental U.S. trends in temperature and precipitation in rural environmental settings expected to remain stable for many decades.

ATDD frequently hosts graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and U.S. and international visiting scientists, who collaborate with scientists at other NOAA laboratories, government agencies, universities, and private organizations. Research stations are located Oak Ridge National Laboratory Walker Branch Watershed forested experimental area and at the Chestnut Ridge Environmental Study site. On-site facilities include a wind tunnel laboratory, machine shop, electronics laboratory, and chemical instruments laboratory.

Impact Areas

Research focus areas

  • Identify additional research uses of climate date generated by USCRN that offer long-term, high quality observations of air temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture and temperature
  • Develop better methods for predicting transport and dispersion of air pollutants
  • Improve modeling of air-surface exchange of water, energy, and carbon, so that their effect(s) on climate may be better understood
  • Developing techniques for analyzing and interpreting data collected during atmospheric studies
  • Interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary research that leverages atmospheric studies

Contact us

If you have questions about ORAU's research partnerships, contact us at (865) 576-1717 or .