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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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Hurricane Joaquin, 2015, image courtesy of NASAThe 2016 North Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
ESSC director Dr. Michael E. Mann, alumnus Dr. Michael Kozar, and researcher Sonya K. MIller have released their 2016 North Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast. They are calling for a more active season.
Odds are overwhelming that record heat due to climate change
ESSC director Dr. Michael E. Mann and others have recently published a study in Nature Scientific Reports showing that the recent record-breaking warm temperatures would have been extremely unlikely without human-caused climate change.
Scientists: Ocean warming has doubled in recent decades
A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change reports that ocean temperatures have increased as much in the last two decades as they had in the last 150 years. ESSC scientist Dr. Chris Forest and others worked on this study.
Simulation of the Antarctic ice sheet under a warm climate.  Image credit: Dr. David PollardAntarctica’s next top numerical model
Penn State News profiles ESSC Scientist Dr. David Pollard. Dr. Pollard uses numerical modeling to understand the Antarctic ice sheet and the impacts of changes in the ice sheet on sea level rise over the three million years. His work was recognized earlier in 2015 with a Paul F. Robertson Award for EMS Breakthrough of the Year.
NYC risks future flooding during hurricanes
ESSC graduate student Andra Reed has a new article in the Proceedings of the National Acadamies of Sciences about the impact of climate change on coastal flooding due the combined effect of storm surges from stronger hurricanes and sea level rise. ESSC director Michael Mann was a co-author on the paper.