Atmosphere ThemeOceans ThemeEcosystems ThemeIce Theme

Welcome to the ESSC Web page...


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:

 

Highlights...

Increasing ocean stability decreases productivity and reduces carbon burial
ESSC director Dr. Michael E. Mann is a co-author on a study that shows that ocean stratification is greater than previously thought, which has a range of implications, including a positive feedback of increasingly warm near-surface waters, decreasing ocean productivity due to reduced oxygen uptake, reduced carbon burial, and potentially stronger tropical cyclones.
Read more>>
Read the paper>>
The 2020 Penn State ESSC Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
ESSC scientists Dr. Michael E. Mann and Daniel J. Brouillette and alumnus Dr. Michael Kozar have released their 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast. The forecast calls for between 15 and 24 named storms, with a best estimate of 20 named storms.
Read more >>
Atlantic and Pacific oscillations lost in the noise
ESSC director Dr. Michael E. Mann and ESSC alumni scientists Dr. Byron Steinman and Sonya Miller have found that the so-called Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation are indistinguishable from the background noise of internal climate variability.
Read more >>
Read the paper >>
The 2019 Penn State ESSC Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
Dr. Michael Mann, alumnus Dr. Michael Kozar, and researcher Sonya Miller have released their 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast. The forecast calls for between 7 and 13 named storms with a best estimate of 10 named storms.
Read more >>
Controlling future summer weather extremes still within our grasp
ESSC Director Dr. Michael Mann and others have published a paper looking at summertime extreme weather patterns in future scenarios of global warming. While climate change will initially exacerbate extreme weather, it is possible that reduction of aerosols from atmospheric pollution could counteract this effect.
Read more >>
Read the paper >>
Sea-level rise, not stronger storm surge, will cause future NYC flooding
Dr. Andra J. Reed has published a paper with Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Richard Alley, Dr. David Pollard, and others about the likelihood of more frequent flooding in the New York City region due to climate change and storm surge from tropical systems. 
Read more >>
Read the paper >>
Human-caused warming likely led to recent streak of record-breaking temperatures
ESSC Director Dr. Michael Mann and others have published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters stating that it is "extremely unlikely" that 2014, 2015, and 2016 would not have been the warmest consecutive years on record without anthropogenic climate change.
Read more >>
Read the paper >>