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Climate Change Science Institute

Advancing understanding of climate change and its impacts on human and natural systems

The Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) was formed in 2009 to integrate climate science activities across Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Approximately 130 scientists collaborate across the areas of (i) earth system modeling, (ii) data integration, dissemination, and informatics, (iii) terrestrial ecosystem and carbon cycle science, and (iv) climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability science.

CCSI has four value propositions that set the stage of how we allocate resources and drive innovation:

  • Cutting-edge, forward-looking research: We identify opportunities and pursue integrated research that leverages the interdisciplinary expertise of the institute and the core capabilities of ORNL.
  • Communicating a message: We equip members of CCSI to effectively communicate science to their colleagues, to the public, and to the broader scientific community.
  • Developing leaders: We prepare next-generation leaders in climate change and Earth sciences through training and opportunities to develop and exercise leadership skills.
  • Setting vision and direction: We plan and execute a forward-looking vision through publications and having a strong presence on the national and international stage.

CCSI is a unique institution within the national laboratory system and across the country. CCSI successfully integrates the following three traits:

  • Colocation: Multidisciplinary staff colocated within a diverse science laboratory with world-class supercomputers, measurement and analysis tools, and scientific expertise.
  • Model-Data-Experiment Integration: Improving multi-scale climate and biogeochemical models and their uncertainty characterization by integrating models, long-term large-scale field experiments, and data analytical services.
  • Mission-Inspired Science: Science driven by the need to better understand the impacts and consequences of climate change on human and natural land-energy-water systems.