skip to content

For Questions or to contact us: esinfo@mit.edu

System Characterization

Understanding how the Earth functions is an extraordinary challenge. To meet it, we can take our lead from the medical community in which scientists and engineers from diverse disciplines have pooled their intellectual resources to understand the human body and develop modern medicine.

The same ingenuity must be applied to understanding the "anatomy" and "metabolism" of our planet. ESI has taken the first step in this diagnostic process with the establishment of a cohesive program to understanding the "anatomy" and "metabolism" of our planet.

With its strong tradition of observational science and progressive engineering, MIT is an ideal setting for the kinds of collaborative research that will lead to the design of new monitoring technology and new protocols for the acquisition, storage and interpretation of "global-scale" data streams.

Funded Projects:

ITR/AP: An Ensemble Approach to Data Assimilation in the Earth Sciences

PI: Dennis McLaughlin
co-I's: Alan Willsky, Paola Malanotte-Rizzoli, Dara Entekhabi, Kerry Emanuel
Project website


Interpreting, Improving and Augmenting Multi-Model Ensembles

PI: James Hansen


Modeling Bending: Towards Dealing with Model Inadequacies in Data Assimilation and Forecasting Using a Single Model Structure

PI: James Hansen
co-I's: Kerry Emanuel, Edward Lorenz


Incorporation of Model Bias and Uncertainty in Land Surface Hydrologic Flux Prediction Using a Data Assimilation Network

PI: Dara Entekhabi


Estimation of Precipitation Recycling ad Hydrological Cycle Intensity using TRMM Observations

PI: Rafael Bras


A Framework for the Prediction of Soil Moisture Using Multiple Scale Data Sources

PI: Rafael Bras


The Hydrosphere State Mission

PI: Dara Entekhabi
Project Website


Momentum and Scalar Exchange Between Channels and Vegetated Banks

PI: Heidi Nepf


Dynamic Hydrology and Ecosystem Modeling in Semi-Arid Complex Terrain Using NASA EOS Observations from Terra Aqua

PI: Rafael Bras


Linkages in Winter-Time Climate Variability and the Basis for Climate Predictability in North Atlantic Sector

PI: Dara Entekhabi


Summer Dryness under a Warmer Climate over North America

PI: Elfatih Eltahir


Evaporation Estimation Using Multi-Platform Data

PI: Dara Entekhabi


Thermally-Driven Exchange Flows in Regions of Vegetation

PI: Heidi Nepf


Climate Dynamics of Rainfall, Snow and Vegetation over Complex River Basins: Fully Distributed Modelling Approach

PI: Rafael Bras


Understanding Ensemble Approaches to Environmental Data Assimilation

PI: Dennis McLaughlin


DDAS-SMRP: Data Assimilation by Field Alignment

PI: Dennis McLaughlin
co-I's: Kerry Emanuel, Srinavas Ravela