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Climate Related Research Centers and Climate Information Organizations

The research centers listed here are involved in the investigation of aspects of earth science that relates to the changing of the earth's climate, both natural and anthropogenic.  Other groups listed are involved in the coordination, collection, and/or interpretation of research related to the earth's climate.  The descriptions of each organization comes from their own websites, frequently on the "About" section of the website.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- The IPCC was established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change. The IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.  The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Met Office Hadley Centre on Climate Change is the UK's official centre for climate change research. Partly funded by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), we provide in-depth information to, and advise, the Government on climate change issues.

Met Office Hadley Centre aims:

We undertake studies of the global climate using similar, though more extensive, models of the atmospheres, as are used for the prediction of weather conditions.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. NSIDC supports research into our world's frozen realms: the snow, ice, glaciers, frozen ground, and climate interactions that make up Earth's cryosphere. Scientific data, whether taken in the field or relayed from satellites orbiting Earth, form the foundation for the scientific research that informs the world about our planet and our climate systems.  Related to the NSIDC is the The Arctic Ice Forecasting System which provides forcasts of the
artic ice.

Artic Sea Ice News and Analysis.  Arctic sea icereflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate. According to scientific measurements, Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over at least the past thirty years, with the most extreme decline seen in the summer melt season.  Read timely scientific analysis year-round below. We provide an update during the first week of each month, or more frequently as conditions warrant.  Please credit the National Snow and Ice Data Center for image or content use unless otherwise noted beneath each image.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, it has, for almost 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain's scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from over thirty countries.

BAS employs over 400 staff, and supports three stations in the Antarctic, at Rothera, Halley and Signy, and two stations on South Georgia, at King Edward Point and Bird Island. The Antarctic operations and science programmes are executed and managed from Cambridge, and rely on a wide-ranging team of professional staff.

The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) provides a focus for Australia's national effort to understand the variability of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and their role in Australia's future. The ACE CRC is a partnership dedicated to sustainable management of Antarctic marine ecosystem resources and the study of atmospheric and oceanic processes of the Southern Ocean and their role in global and regional climate change.

The Australian Antarctic Division leads Australia's Antarctic program. As a division of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, our charter is to ensure Australia's Antarctic interests are advanced.

The Australian Antarctic program has four goals

  1. Maintain the Antarctic Treaty System and enhance Australia's influence in it
  2. Protect the Antarctic environment
  3. Understand the role of Antarctica in the global climate system
  4. Undertake scientific work of practical, economic and national significance

The Polar Science Center (PSC) is a unit of the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington. PSC was established in 1978 at the end of the multiyear Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment (AIDJEX), a major NSF/ONR program. In 1982 PSC was incorporated into the Applied Physics Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research facility. PSC provides comprehensive logistics and support for numerous polar field experiments.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography,  is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for ocean and earth science research, education, and public service in the world. Research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography encompasses physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of the oceans and earth.

The University of Massachusetts Climate System Research Center is a research facility of the University of Massachusetts. Our research is focused on the climate system, climatic variability and global change issues, from contemporary climate variations, their causes and consequences, to paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental changes.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)  at Boulder, Colorado,  provides the university science and teaching community with the tools, facilities, and support required to perform innovative research. Through NCAR, scientists gain access to high-performance computational and observational facilities, such as supercomputers, aircraft and radar - resources researchers need to improve human understanding of atmospheric and Earth system processes. NCAR and university scientists work together on research topics in atmospheric chemistry, climate, cloud physics and storms, weather hazards to aviation, and interactions between the sun and Earth. In all of these areas, scientists are looking closely at the role of humans in both creating climate change and responding to severe weather occurrences.

Note:  The NCAR website contains sections on weather, climate, chemistry, solar, and earth systems.

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is committed to collaboration, that is, to working with other environmental scientists, researchers, and educators as well as students, industry leaders, and policy and decision makers, to produce scientific results in service to society. We count discovery, including idenfication of the "Nuclear Winter" theory, discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, and detection of the disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves among our many accomplishments

The Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel (IFM-GEOMAR) is a foundation by pubic law. It was founded January 1st, 2004 through the merger of the Institute for Marine Science (IfM) and the Research Center for Marine Geosciences (GEOMAR).  The goal of the institute is the investigation of all areas relevant for actual research in marine sciences, ranging from Geology of the Ocean Floor to Marine Meteorology. The institute operates world-wide in all ocean basins.  The main research topics are grouped in four areas: Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics, Marine Biogeochemistry, Marine Ecology, and Dynamics of the Ocean Floor.

The University of Chicago Department of Geophysical Sciences -- Climate and Global Change.  It is now widely recognized that changes in the global environment are occuring at rates which greatly exceed those which have occured in the geologic past. For example, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are steadily rising, stratospheric ozone depletion is occuring in both polar regions (the Ozone hole) and at midlatitudes, and there is now evidence for widespread pollution of the lower atmosphere. The potantial effects of these changes on the global climate system and biosphere make this field of global change science one of the most vibrant and exciting disciplines within earth science.

The Pielke research group focuses on land-atmosphere interactions on the local, mesoscale, regional, and global scales. These interactions include biophysical, biogeochemical, and biogeographic effects. The RAMS model is a major tool used in this research. RAMS has been coupled to two different ecosystem-dynamics models (CENTURY and GEMTM) as part of these studies. Also applied is the CCM3 atmospheric global model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Our studies range from the tropics into the high Arctic regions. Our group has also applied RAMS to atmospheric-ocean interactions, including Arctic sea-ice feedbacks. We have investigated these nonlinear interactions within the Earth's climate system using the coupled RAMS model, as well as simplified nonlinear mathematical models.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) supports research on the interactions of natural and human-induced changes in the global environment and their implications for society.  Since its inception, USGCRP-supported research and observational activities, in collaboration with several other national and international science programs, have documented and characterized important aspects of the sources, abundances, and lifetimes of greenhouse gases; mounted extensive space-based systems for global monitoring of climate and ecosystem parameters; begun to address the complex issues of various aerosol species that may significantly influence climate parameters; advanced understanding of the global water and carbon cycles; and taken major strides in computer modeling of the global climate.  During the past thirteen years the United States, through the  (USGCRP), has made the world's largest scientific investment in the areas of climate change and global change research -- a total investment of almost $20 billion.   See also the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

EPA's Climate Change Site offers comprehensive information on the issue of climate change in a way that is accessible and meaningful to all parts of society – communities, individuals, business, states and localities, and governments.  See also the U.S. Climate Policy and Actions.

National Climatic Data Centera part of  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  NCDC is the world's largest active archive of weather data. NCDC produces numerous climate publications and responds to data requests from all over the world. NCDC operates the World Data Center for Meteorology which is co-located at NCDC in Asheville, North Carolina, and the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology which is located in Boulder, Colorado.  NCDC supports a three tier national climate services support program - the partners include: NCDC, Regional Climate Centers, and State Climatologists.

Note:  Check out the Frequently Asked Questions section.

NOAA Paleoclimatology
.  Paleoclimatology is the study of past climate, for times prior to instrumental weather measurements. Paleoclimatologists use clues from natural "proxy" sources such as tree rings, ice cores, corals, and ocean and lake sediments to understand natural climate variability. NOAA Paleoclimatology operates the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology and the Applied Research Center for Paleoclimatology, with the goal to provide data and information scientists need to understand natural climate variability as well as future climate change. Our international partners include the Past Global Changes Program of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, and the World Data Center system of the International Council of Scientific Unions.

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory,  NOAA Research has consolidated the six organizations of NOAA Research in Boulder, Colorado, into a single center - The Earth System Research Laboratory. This consolidation substantially improves the research and execution of the organizations by having four more-focused Divisions - Global Monitoring, Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, and Global Systems - and a more effective and coordinated management structure. The consolidation also will result in better integration of science through the development of research and technology themes that are being developed across Divisions.

ESPERE stands for Environmental Science Published for Everybody Round the Earth. It is a pilot project funded by the European Commission which started in January 2003 and will finish at the end of 2004.  The aim of our project is to put up-to-date and accurate scientific information on climate in a Climate Encyclopaedia on the web in a form which is understandable by all and useful in school lessons.   

The basic idea of ESPERE is not to deliver a completed product, but to develop the website together with pupils and teachers so that it really meets the needs of the community.  Your feedback is therefore essential so that this web site can develop and become more and more useful over time. 

Educational Global Climate Modeling (EdGCM Project).  Most climate researchers believe that climate change will profoundly impact both our planet's environment and the world's economic and geopolitical landscape in the coming decades. Since these impacts have the potential to effect everyone, a basic knowledge of the Earth's climate system is critical in order to make informed judgments about climate-related issues. To achieve that goal, educators need resources to engage their students in the scientific and technological processes scientists use to forecast climate change.   EdGCM changes all this by providing a research-grade GCM with a user-friendly interface that can be run on a desktop computer.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University.  Two of Earth Institutes climate related initiatives:
Reconstructing the Climate Past for Future Understanding Through sediment and ice cores, scientists gain a clearer snapshot of Earth’s climate past, helping the world understand its future climate and potential impacts of climate change and variability on society.
Global Roundtable on Climate Change   Twice a year, business and civil leaders convene to determine how profits and the environment can work together to tackle the global climate and energy crisis. is the largest experiment to try and produce a forecast of the climate in the 21st century.  To do this, we need people around the world to give us time on their computers - time when they have their computers switched on, but are not using them to their full capacity. has collaborated with Oxford University Begbroke Science Park to produce "The Basics of Climate Prediction" which people should find very interesting.

The Discovery of Global Warming.  A hypertext history of how scientists came to (partly) understand what people are doing to cause climate change.  This Website created by Spencer Weart supplements his much shorter book, which tells the history of climate change research as a single story. On this Website you will find a more complete history in dozens of essays on separate topics, updated annually.

Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE).  The mission of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment is to expand Penn State's capacity to pursue the newest frontiers in energy and environmental research by encouraging cooperation across disciplines and the participation of local, state, federal, and international stakeholders.  

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).  PIK addresses crucial scientific questions in the fields of global change, climate impacts and sustainable development.  Researchers from the natural and social sciences work together to generate interdisciplinary insights and to provide society with sound information for decision making.  The main methodologies are systems and scenarios analysis, quantitative and qualitative modelling, computer simulation, and data integration.

The World Climate Research Programme, sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, is uniquely positioned to draw on the totality of climate-related systems, facilities and intellectual capabilities of more than 185 countries. Integrating new observations, research facilities and scientific breakthroughs is essential to progress in the inherently global task of advancing understanding of the processes that determine our climate.

The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are:

  1. to determine the predictability of climate; and
  2. to determine the effect of human activities on climate.

These two objectives underpin and directly address the needs of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and contribute to many other international policy instruments.

NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD).  The directory now hosts a new look and new search capability.  We hope you will experience improved navigation throughout the site.  Our goal is to enable users to locate and obtain access to Earth science data sets and services relevant to global change and Earth science research. The GCMD database holds more than 20,000 descriptions of Earth science data sets and services covering all aspects of Earth and environmental sciences. One can use the search box or select from the available keywords to search for data and services.  We encourage your participation in writing and maintaining the information in our databases.  You will find authoring tools to assist you.  In addition, Subscription services are available to notify you of new entries.  The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) International Directory Network (IDN) Interoperability Forum is available to discuss content and database issues.

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC).  The mission of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) is to promote excellence in the atmospheric sciences, meteorology, and climate-related fields and to provide assistance to federal agencies, the science community, and the nation on these issues. BASC strives to advance understanding of atmospheric science, meteorology, and climate; foster application of this knowledge to benefit the public; advise and guide U.S. research programs so they are responsive to scientific opportunities and the needs of the nation; and ensure that the voice of the science community is central in government planning and decision-making. BASC provides objective program reviews, guidance, and assessment of priorities and acts as a catalyst for focusing attention on emerging and nationally important issues. BASC serves as a U.S. scientific interface to the planning and conduct of many international research programs. BASC does not conduct research, but works to give research a broader impact on society, both in the United States and internationally.

American Geophysics Union (AGU) is a worldwide scientific community that advances, through unselfish cooperation in research, the understanding of Earth and space for the benefit of humanity.  AGU is a scientific society with a membership of 50,000 researchers, teachers, and students. AGU conducts meetings and conferences, publishes journals, books and a weekly newspaper, and sponsors a variety of educational and public information programs.  Our Mission:  Promote the scientific study of Earth and its environment in space and to disseminate the results to the public,  Promote cooperation among scientific organizations involved in geophysics and related disciplines,  Initiate and participate in geophysical research programs,  and Advance the various geophysical disciplines through scientific discussion, publication, and dissemination of information.

Climate Science Watch is a nonprofit public interest education and advocacy project dedicated to holding public officials accountable for the integrity and effectiveness with which they use climate science and related research in government policymaking, toward the goal of enabling society to respond effectively to the challenges posed by global warming and climate change.   Climate Science Watch is sponsored by the Government Accountability Project.

The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (Thomas A. Boden, Director), which includes the World Data Center for Atmospheric Trace Gases, has served as the primary climate-change data and information analysis center of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 1982.  CDIAC responds to data and information requests from users worldwide investigating the greenhouse effect and global climate change. CDIAC's data holdings include records of the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radiatively active gases in the atmosphere.

ProClim -- Forum for Climate and Global Change.  A Forum of the Swiss Academy of Sciences.  ProClim- is the Swiss forum for climate and global change issues. It seeks to facilitate both integrated research activities and the necessary linkages among scientists, policy-makers and the public at home and abroad.

NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) carries out interdisciplinary scientific investigations in oceanography and atmospheric science. Current PMEL programs focus on open ocean observations in support of long-term monitoring and prediction of the ocean environment on time scales from hours to decades. Studies are conducted to improve our understanding of the world’s oceans, to define processes driving the global climate system, and to improve environmental forecasting capabilities for public safety, marine commerce, and fisheries.

The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) was formed in 1988 to identify and bring together the distributed human and facilities resources of the Arctic research community--to create a synergy for the Arctic in which each resource, when combined with others, can result in a strength that enables the community to rise to the many challenges facing the Arctic and the United States. ARCUS provides a mechanism for the Arctic community to complement the advisory roles of other national organizations, such as the US Arctic Research Commission (USARC), the Polar Research Board (PRB), and Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), that are concerned with the Arctic.

Sites listed by the UK Met Office
Link Here

Climate modelling centres

Analysis and intercomparison projects

Climate data centres

Other climate-related sites