Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Space and Earth Science
Part of the National Security Education Center

Earth Systems

High quality, cutting-edge science in the areas of astrophysics, space physics, solid planetary geoscience, and Earth systems


  • CSES Director
  • Reiner Friedel
  • (505) 665-1936
  • Email
  • Professional Staff Assistant
  • Sarah Balkey
  • (505) 667-8777
  • Email

Earth Systems focus area emphasizes the nonlinear dynamics and multi-equilibria of the coupled atmosphere, (liquid and ice covered) ocean, hydrosphere, and biosphere of planet Earth, on scales ranging from urban canopies to basin and global extent.

General interests are studies that extend our understanding of the causes of temporal variations of ocean and atmospheric basin scale oscillations; rapid climate change on both global and regional scales; and the physics and chemistry governing storms, hydrology, geomorphic processes, and land use within a region experiencing climate change.

Use of LANL facilities and data bases (e.g., use of LANL's ecological research stations; GIS facilities; data bases of the COSIM and/or ARM programs; systems modeling of climate change, economic impact, and optimum use of economic and financial instruments; and/or exploitation of new sensor technologies) as part of revolutionary scientific concepts are strongly encouraged.

Specific topics of interest

  • Dynamics governing abrupt changes in the atmosphere-ocean system
  • High-resolution coastal ocean, sea ice, and ice sheet modeling, when coupled to high resolution atmospheric, hydrological, and/or ecological systems
  • Nonlinear dynamics of evolving cyclones
  • Physics governing air-sea and air-sea-ice interactions
  • Physics and biogeochemistry governing formation, transformation, deposition, and spatial heterogeneity of atmospheric aerosols, including the role of clouds
  • Physics, chemistry, and surface processes governing forest fires in complex terrain
  • Use of paleoclimatological data, with a view towards understanding the evolution of earth’s climate on scales of decades to centuries
  • Observations and process modeling of components of the carbon cycle, from the local to global scale, with particular interest in permafrost and clathrate hydrates
  • Systems modeling that links climate predictions to both economic and security vulnerabilities to climate change (on all scales), sensitivities of the climate system to emission reduction strategies, and opportunities for action.