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Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility 
Date of Last update : 2014.08.01 Rivision Request
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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Boulevard, Richland, WA 99352 USA
Coordinating Country
United States
Hosting Organisations
Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility
Contact Person
Dr. James Mather (, +1-509-375-4533)
RI Category
Atmospheric Measurement Facilities
atmosphere, climate
The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility is a U.S. Department of Energy scientific user facility for researchers to study the effects and interactions of sunlight, infrared radiation, aerosols, and clouds to better understand their impact on temperatures, precipitation, and other aspects of weather and climate.

A central feature of this user facility is a set of heavily instrumented field research sites located at climatically diverse regions around the world. These sites obtain continuous measurements of atmospheric radiation and the properties controlling this radiation, such as the distribution of clouds, aerosols, and water vapor. Measurements from the fixed sites are supplemented through field campaigns using the ARM Mobile Facilities (AMF) and ARM Aerial Facility (AAF). Data collected through these capabilities, collectively referred to as the ARM Facility, are stored in the ARM Data Archive. Selected data sets are additionally analyzed and tested to create enhanced data products, and software tools are provided to help open and use these products. All data and enhanced products are freely available to the science community via the ARM Data Archive ( to aid in further research.

Researchers can use the ARM Facility in several ways:
- Make an in-person or virtual visit to a site
- Access data through the ARM Data Archive
- Propose and conduct a field campaign.

Each year, a call for proposals to sue the ARM Facility is issued via advertisements in scientific news publications and on the ARM website (
Application Area
As a national user facility, the ARM Climate Research Facility is a unique asset for national and international research efforts related to global climate change. Scientists around the world use its capabilities to study the interactions between clouds, aerosols, and energy feedback processes in the atmosphere, ultimately leading to advances in climate models.

With heavily instrumented field sites around the globe, the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility provides the world?s most comprehensive outdoor laboratory and data archive for research related to atmospheric processes that affect Earth?s climate system.

Climate Connections:
The ARM Facility provides strategically located observatories for monitoring the natural atmosphere - clouds, aerosol, precipitation, and energy. Long-term data collections from fixed sites in Oklahoma, Alaska, and the tropical western Pacific are supplemented with measurements obtained by mobile and aerial platforms during shorter timeframes at other locations. This coverage enables scientists to study both regional and global climate processes and improve the computer models that simulate them.

A Vision for the Future:
Data from the ARM Facility provide a detailed and accurate description of the earth?s atmosphere in diverse climate regimes. These details allow scientists to resolve the uncertainties in climate and earth system models toward the development of sustainable solutions for the Nation?s energy and environmental challenges.

The ARM Climate Research Facility, a DOE scientific user facility, provides the climate research community with strategically located in situ and remote sensing observatories designed to improve the understanding and representation, in climate and earth system models, of clouds and aerosols as well as their interactions and coupling with the Earth?s surface.


(1) Three primary locations representing a range of climate conditions - Southern Great Plains, Tropical Western Pacific, and North Slope of Alaska - host heavily instrumented sites that gather massive amounts of climate data.

(2) ARM Mobile Facilities provide flexible instrument platforms for conducting field experiments lasting from 6 to 12 months in any environment, from the cold of the poles to the heat of the tropics.

(3) The ARM Aerial Facility uses aerial platforms to obtain key in situ and remote sensing measurements that contribute to the fundamental understanding of clouds, aerosols, and radiation.

(4) Serving over 6000 registered users from 20 federal and state agencies, 475 foreign and domestic universities, and 71 countries, the ARM Data Archive collects and delivers about 6 terabytes of data per month.

ARM Climate Research Facility sites are ARM Aerial Facility, Eastern North Atlantic, Mobile Facilities, North Slope of Alaska, Southern Great Plains, and Tropical Western Pacific.