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RESEARCH AT GISS

Research at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies emphasizes a broad study of global change, an interdisciplinary research initiative addressing natural and man-made changes in our environment which occur on various time scales from decades to millennia and which affect the habitability of our planet. The research combines analysis of comprehensive global datasets with global models of atmospheric, land surface, and oceanic processes and includes study of past events on Earth such as paleoclimate change and the study of other planets as an aid to prediction of future evolution of Earth on a planetary scale.

2008 News, Briefs, and Features

This page lists news releases and science briefs for the current year. Archives are also available for 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003.

* How Will Global Peak Oil Affect Climate?
Researchers have identified feasible emission scenarios that could keep carbon dioxide below levels that some scientists have called dangerous for climate. (Sep '08)
+ Read News Release and Science Brief

* Uncertainties Limit Climate Change Predictions
Gaps in our understanding of climate response in the tropics and polar regions limit our ability to predict future climate change impacts. (Aug '08)
+ Read Science Brief

* Climate Change From Short-Lived Emissions
Three climate models were used to study the climatic effects through the year 2050 of short-lived atmospheric species such as sulfates, aerosols, and tropospheric ozone. (Jul '08)
+ Read Science Brief

* Modeling the Dust Bowl Climate Forcings
A series of climate model simulations studied how dust storms altered precipitation during the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s. (Jun '08)
+ Read Science Brief

* Earth Impacts Linked to Climate Change
A new study shows that human-caused climate change has impacted a wide range of natural systems, from Arctic permafrost thawing to African lakes declining in productivity. (May '08)
+ Read News Release

* Dr. Robert Jastrow, 1925-2008
The founder of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and its director for two decades recently passed away at the age of 82. (Mar '08)
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* 2007 Tied as Earth's Second-Warmest Year NASA scientists have determined that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth's second warmest year in a century. (Jan '08)
+ Read News Release and Data Update

News release and science briefs archives are also available for 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2003.

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Research Themes

Global Climate Modeling
GISS is a world leader in the development and use of three-dimensional general circulation models (GCMs) to study Earth's climate
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Earth Observations
Accurate input data are necessary to better model Earth's climate and to monitor trends in the atmosphere's state. A particular focus at GISS is observing global cloud coverage, and we host the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project.
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Climate Impacts
Having modeled a potential future climate, the next step is to assess its effect on humans and ecosystems, including the economic impact of rising ocean levels and altered agriculture productivity.
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Planetary Atmospheres
Our understanding of atmospheric processes may be tested through the study of the other planets. GISS is involved in the modeling and/or observation of the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
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Paleoclimate
Examining past climates tells us about the evolution of Earth and its atmosphere. It also helps us better understand the complex models with which we base projections of future climate.
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Radiation
Atmospheric processes are ultimately driven by the Sun's energy, as solar radiation interacts with the surface, clouds, aerosols and gases. The heat emitted by Earth may also be trapped by clouds and gases.
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Atmospheric Chemistry
Reactions in the atmosphere between natural elements, man-made chemicals, radiation and the atmosphere's circulation affect us in the near term through processes such as ozone depletion and in the long term through climate change.
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