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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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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.
Hurricane Gonzalo in October 2014.  Image courtesy of NASA/Earth ObservatoryESSC predicts relatively inactive North Atlantic Hurricane Season in 2015
ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann, alumnus Michael Kozar, and researcher Sonya K. Miller have released the 2015 North Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast. The prediction is for 7.5 +/- 2.7 total named tropical cyclones, which corresponds to a range between 5 and 10 storms with a best estimate of 8 named storms.
AMO Pattern (image credit Giorgiop2 (Own work) via Wikicommons)Interaction of ocean oscillations caused 'false pause' in global warming
ESSC researchers Dr. Byron Steinman, Dr. Michael Mann, and Sonya K. Miller have penned a paper in Science that ascribes the recent slowdown in the overall climate warming to oscillations in the oceans, specifically a downward trend in a multi-decadal cycle in the Pacific ocean.
NASA awards $30M grant to Penn State to help answer climate questions
ESSC Scientist Dr. Ken Davis will lead a NASA-funded mission to measure and quanitfy carbon-related greenhouse gas sources and sinks in order to improve our ability to predict and manage climate changes. The project is named "Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America".