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Founded within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences in 1986, the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) maintains a mission to describe, model, and understand the Earth's climate system. ESSC is one of seven centers supported by the Earth & Environmental Systems Institute.

The climate can be viewed as a complex interacting set of components including the oceans, atmosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere. Within the ESSC, we are engaged in studies that aim to understand both these individual components, and the interactions between them.

Our approach involves:



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NASA funds study of changing climate, land use on Chesapeake and Delaware Bays
ESSC Scientist Dr. Ray Najjar is involved in a NASA-funded project to look at the impact of climate change, land use change, and fertilizers on the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. The three-year interdisciplinary project will combine satellite data and computer models to study the water quality and changes in the two estuaries.

Fine-scale climate model projections predict malaria at local levels
Research by ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann and others has shown that downscaling of climate model projections can inform malaria risk at finer scales than the original model resolutions. This work was done in collaboration with others in entymology and international health research.
PDF of the paper >>
ESSC Scientists make 2014 North Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast
ESSC scientist Michael E. Mann, alumnus Michael Kozar, and researcher Sonya Miller have released their seasonal prediction for the 2014 North Atlantic hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1st and runs through November 30th. The prediction is for 9.3 +/- 3.0 total named tropical cyclones, which corresponds to a range between 6 and 12 storms with a best estimate of 9 named storms.
Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036
ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann penned this article in April 2014's Scientific American about projections of climate change using an Energy Balance Model.
Water Sustainability and Climate Science
A project funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Agriculture consisting of a team of researchers from Penn State University and from eleven universities participating in a 5-year project to investigate water, sustainability, and climate of southern Florida.