…is to create new knowledge and capabilities needed to enable sustainable stewardship of critical environmental systems and judicious use of the Earth’s subsurface energy resources….
Research in earth and atmospheric sciences has become increasingly important in light of the energy, climate change, and other environmental issues facing the United States and the world. The development of new energy resources other than fossil hydrocarbons, the safe disposal of nuclear waste and greenhouse gases, and a detailed understanding of the climatic consequences of our energy choices, are critical to meeting energy needs while ensuring environmental safety. The cleanup of underground contamination and the preservation and management of water supplies continue to provide challenges, as they will for generations into the future.
To address the critical energy and environmental issues requires continuing advances in our knowledge of Earth systems and our ability to translate that knowledge into new technologies. The fundamental Earth science research common to energy and environmental issues largely involves the physics, chemistry and biology of fluids in and on the Earth. To manage Earth fluids requires the ability to understand their properties and behavior at the most fundamental molecular level, as well as prediction, characterization, imaging, and manipulation of those fluids and their behavior in real Earth reservoirs. The broad range of disciplinary expertise, the huge range of spatial and time scales, and the need to integrate theoretical, computational, laboratory and field research, represent both the challenge and the excitement of Earth science research.
The Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is committed to addressing the key scientific and technical challenges that are needed to secure our energy future in an environmentally responsible way.