Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Mission-driven sciences and technology advancing the security and well-being of the nation


Photo of Glenn Fox, PLS Associate Director

Glenn Fox

A proud history of atmospheric sciences research

Livermore’s atmospheric science studies began only a handful of years after the Laboratory’s founding in 1952. Aided by some of the most powerful supercomputers available, scientists developed models and simulations with the aim of understanding global and regional climate patterns and radioactive particle dispersal during and after nuclear tests.

The computational and atmospheric science expertise Livermore scientists amassed during these early studies led to the establishment of the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC), which started as a research project in 1973 and has long served as an emergency response service for the federal government, and the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI), which was formally established in 1989. Through this internationally recognized program, Livermore scientists develop methods to diagnose, validate, and compare the global climate models produced by organizations worldwide.

Lawrence Livermore continues to play a leading role in atmospheric research and climate modeling, whether by providing radioactive material dispersion predictions after the 2011 nuclear reactor event at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan or by contributing to all five assessment reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Physical and Life Sciences Directorate is proud to provide the scientific capabilities to enable these and many other atmospheric science efforts.

Visit our capabilities page to learn more about PCMDI and NARAC.

March 7, 2017

FSC's Armando Alvaraz

Forensic Science Center earns 7th consecutive OPCW 'A' grade

Since first achieving accreditation in 2003, Lawrence Livermore’s Forensic Science Center (FSC) is one of just two U.S. laboratories accredited by the OPCW.

March 5, 2017

Science on Saturday logo

'Science on Saturday' lecture combines biomedical and computational power to decode rabies

On Feb. 11, hundreds filled the Bankhead Theater in downtown Livermore for a presentation titled “Reconstructing a Rabies Epidemic: Byte by Byte.”

October 28, 2016

Field hydro frac 3D plot

GEOS Team Aims for Exascale Target

Hydraulic fracturing has driven the oil and gas boom over the last decade, but comprehensive understanding of the physical mechanisms that govern the process remains elusive.

Aug. 17, 2017

Michael Schneider

Lab scientist takes a leap in the dark

With the help of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Lab scientist Michael Schneider plans to see more stars and galaxies than ever before, thanks to a camera on the telescope that will create movies of the entire sky every three nights.

Aug. 3, 2017

Ben Santer

Santer named American Meteorological fellow

Renowned Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory atmospheric scientist Ben Santer has been selected as a fellow by the American Meteorological Society.