The Mission of the ESRL Physical Sciences Division (PSD) is to address physical science questions of short- and long-term societal and policy relevance within NOAA's Climate and Weather and Water Goals, while conducting the physical process research necessary so that ESRL can help provide the nation with a seamless suite of information and forecast products ranging from short-term weather forecasts to longer-term climate forecasts and assessments.
PSD's scientific goal is to provide the observation, analysis, and diagnosis of weather and climate physical processes necessary to increase understanding of Earth's physical environment, including the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and land, and to enable improved weather and climate predictions on global-to-local scales.
On October 1, 2005, the Climate Diagnostics Center, the Environmental Technology Laboratory, and the Aeronomy Laboratory's Tropical Dynamics & Climate Division merged into the Physical Sciences Division (PSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL). As part of the transition, the ETL Optical Remote Sensing Divison moved to the ESRL Chemical Sciences Division. This merger brings together a combined expertise in:
- weather and climate dynamics, diagnostic and modeling analyses,
- physical observations, monitoring and related technology development, and
- physical process understanding and research, that will help ESRL meet critical NOAA objectives in climate and weather research.
The Physical Sciences Division will carry out research on climate and weather processes, diagnostics, modeling, empirical analyses, focused field observations, and supporting technology development.
This reorganization would blend into a functioning and unified whole the various weather and climate observations, diagnostics and process modeling research that has been occurring across the current three Laboratories. The merged Physical Sciences Division will focus combined resources and talents to advance several key NOAA mission goals in weather and climate:
- Improve the analysis and diagnosis of the weather and climate system to advance short-term, intraseasonal-to-interannual predictions, and climate change projections.
- Explain weather and climate processes with a focus on the physical and dynamical forcing agents responsible for their variations.
- Advance a predictive understanding of the Earth System with quantified uncertainties for making informed and reasoned decisions regarding climate and weather processes occurring on time scales of weeks to decades.
Integration of PSD Within ESRL
The integration of PSD with ESRL brings together in the integrated expertise in weather and climate physical observations, modeling, analysis and applications. This central focus on physical process research:
- will be supported by the observations, modeling, and computational and display systems development within the Global Systems Division,
- help explain trends and changes in the environment observed by the Global Monitoring Division, and
- support the understanding, diagnoses, and prediction of air quality on weather time scales to short-term climate scales and develop an improved understanding for the physical consequences of and interrelationships with current and future chemical states of the atmosphere in collaboration with the Chemical Sciences Division.