Clean Energy


Climate Change Science Institute

To advance understanding of the Earth system, describe the consequences of climate change, and evaluate and inform policy on the outcomes of climate change responses.

The Climate Change Science Institute is an inter-disciplinary, cross-directorate research organization created in 2009 to advance climate change science research. More than 100 researchers from the Computing and Computational Sciences and the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorates at ORNL actively participate in CCSI research. CCSI aims to understand the fate of carbon in the climate system—the central issue of greenhouse-gas-induced warming—so we can develop the predictive infrastructure to help answer questions about low-probability, high-impact changes in climate such as heat waves, drought, and extreme hydrological events.

CCSI employs high-resolution modeling and simulation to explore future climate states. As modeling and simulation capability is paced by the availability of observational data, CCSI staff conducts highly-novel field studies to make critical measurements and observations related to the carbon cycle. CCSI conducts major field programs to understand carbon processes in Arctic and boreal ecosystems. One important question being addressed is the potential for accelerating greenhouse forcing as permafrost thaws and releases vast stores of carbon. CCSI brings together all these approaches—field experiments, modeling and simulation, data management—and then weaves a picture of the future. This integrative approach provides the information needed to conduct regional vulnerabilities and impacts assessments and to explore adaptive strategies to offset stress on the system, so it remains sustainable.

Learn more at the Climate Change Science Institute website.


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