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The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow (2016)

Chapter: Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
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APPENDIX C

Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research

In order to understand the trends that are currently occurring in the field of atmospheric chemistry and the research emphases of different federal departments, the Committee requested information from five government agencies that support atmospheric chemistry research: the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The recent trends in spending by these major atmospheric chemistry research funding agencies are shown in Figure 6.2. Figure C.1 further examines these trends for NSF research spending in terms of the Atmospheric Chemistry (ATC) program, the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR’s) Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling (ACOM) Laboratory, and “other” NSF program and deployment funding (see figure legend for details) related to atmospheric chemistry research.

In addition, the Committee examined trends in the awards granted in atmospheric chemistry research by NSF. For these NSF awards, the total number of atmospheric chemistry research projects funded, the combined award amount, and the median award amount (Figure C.2) have not changed substantially over the past two decades. Year to year variability makes it challenging to discern any trends from this spending, but overall, total funding spent on Atmospheric Chemistry and the median budget per project (considering inflation) have not increased robustly in this time period.

The Committee also examined how support from the various agencies is divided among types of research approaches, including laboratory, field, and modeling studies. It is noted that there is often overlap of types of research within a given study, but these classifications indicate the general trends in the field as a whole. From 2006–2014 the NSF Atmospheric Chemistry program has fairly consistently spent roughly half of its budget on field projects, 25 percent on lab studies, 15 percent on modeling, 5 percent on instrument development, and 5 percent on “other” projects (see Figure 6.3). Between 2008–2015 the EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program for atmospheric science research (not including graduate fellowships) has devoted about

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
images
FIGURE C.1 Annual funding in millions of U.S. dollars for programs within NSF that support atmospheric chemistry research, including the Atmospheric Chemistry Program (ATC) (blue line), the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR’s) Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling (ACOM) Laboratory (red line), “other” NSF program and deployment (green line), and the sum of these categories (purple line). “Other” NSF programs and deployment funding comes from the NSF Deployment Pool (https://www.eol.ucar.edu/facilities-instruments) and funding for atmospheric chemistry research from other NSF directorates, including the Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (Environmental Chemical Sciences program, and Division of Chemistry through the Centers for Chemical Innovation program); the Directorate for Engineering (Environmental Engineering and Environmental Sustainability programs); and the Directorate for Geosciences (Chemical Oceanography, Arctic Natural Sciences, and Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences programs).

10 percent of its funds on laboratory research (see Figure C.3a), with the rest split about evenly between field and modeling research. Note that while total STAR funding appears to have decreased over this time period, Atmospheric Science program funding has remained fairly constant, despite the drop in 2008 (modeling studies were funded less that year than in 2007 or 2009 to accommodate health priorities). Overall, NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) funding for research has modestly

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
images
FIGURE C.2 (a) Number of atmospheric chemistry research projects funded (blue bars and the left side axis) and total NSF Atmospheric Chemistry Program (ATC) funds awarded (millions of U.S. dollars shown with red squares and adjusted for inflation [in 2015 dollars] shown with red dashed line on the right side axis), and (b) thousands of U.S. dollars awarded to atmospheric chemistry researchers between 1994–2014. Values were determined according to the year of the grant’s “Date Awarded,” and the majority of grants spanned a 3–5-year period. Note the peak in number of projects funded in 2009 corresponds to a one-year increase provided by the Recovery Act stimulus funding. NSF grant data for the years 1994–2014 (awarded through the ATC program) were obtained through the research.gov database of research spending.a

NOTE: a Caveats with research.gov data: “Research Spending and Results displays grant awards active as of FY 1994 and beyond for NSF and active as of FY 2007 and beyond for NASA. Please note information may not be complete for awards that date prior to the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (awards not active as of October 2006 and beyond). It does not provide award information for loans or contracts.”
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
images
FIGURE C.3 Annual funding in millions of U.S. dollars for the (a) EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program total and atmospheric science budget (not including graduate fellowships) and (b) NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) atmospheric chemistry research that has been allocated to field measurements (red lines), laboratory research (green lines), numerical modeling studies (purple lines), instrument development or facilities and infrastructure (dark blue lines), and “other” projectsa (brown lines) between fiscal years 2005–2015. EPA Atmospheric Science funding total is shown by a yellow line, and EPA STAR (including disciplines other than atmospheric sciences) and NOAA OAR atmospheric chemistry research total funding over the time period specified are shown by black lines. Aggregate budget and funding information were provided through personal communication with representatives from EPA and NOAA; and data were subject to availability. Note the different scales on graphs.

NOTE: a For NOAA, “other” does not include facilities or infrastructure support.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×

increased from 2005–2015. On average, OAR spends about 35 percent of its funds on field studies, 20 percent on modeling work, which both appear to have risen in recent years, 5 percent on laboratory research, and the remaining 40 percent on facilities/infrastructure and “other” research (see Figure C.3b). While only a partial breakdown of DOE Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) funding figures was available for the 2005–2015 period, it is estimated that experimental lab work is relatively constant at approximately 25 percent of the budget, modeling funds also account for about 25 percent, and field observations comprise the remaining 50 percent of CESD funds.1 While we review only a few agencies, overall, most fluctuations in funding appear to be temporary and do not likely indicate substantial changes in research priorities within atmospheric chemistry.

___________________

1 Personal communication, Ashley Williamson, December 2015.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
Page 205
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
Page 206
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
Page 207
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Analysis of Funding Trends for Atmospheric Chemistry Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23573.
×
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Our world is changing at an accelerating rate. The global human population has grown from 6.1 billion to 7.1 billion in the last 15 years and is projected to reach 11.2 billion by the end of the century. The distribution of humans across the globe has also shifted, with more than 50 percent of the global population now living in urban areas, compared to 29 percent in 1950. Along with these trends, increasing energy demands, expanding industrial activities, and intensification of agricultural activities worldwide have in turn led to changes in emissions that have altered the composition of the atmosphere.

These changes have led to major challenges for society, including deleterious impacts on climate, human and ecosystem health. Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing society today. Air pollution is a major threat to human health, as one out of eight deaths globally is caused by air pollution. And, future food production and global food security are vulnerable to both global change and air pollution. Atmospheric chemistry research is a key part of understanding and responding to these challenges.

The Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research: Remembering Yesterday, Understanding Today, Anticipating Tomorrow summarizes the rationale and need for supporting a comprehensive U.S. research program in atmospheric chemistry; comments on the broad trends in laboratory, field, satellite, and modeling studies of atmospheric chemistry; determines the priority areas of research for advancing the basic science of atmospheric chemistry; and identifies the highest priority needs for improvements in the research infrastructure to address those priority research topics. This report describes the scientific advances over the past decade in six core areas of atmospheric chemistry: emissions, chemical transformation, oxidants, atmospheric dynamics and circulation, aerosol particles and clouds, and biogeochemical cycles and deposition. This material was developed for the NSF’s Atmospheric Chemistry Program; however, the findings will be of interest to other agencies and programs that support atmospheric chemistry research.

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