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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...

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The 2018 Penn State ESSC Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast
Dr. Michael Mann, alumnus Dr. Michael Kozar, and researcher Sonya Miller have released their 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast. The forecast calls for between 7 and 13 named storms with a best estimate of 10 named storms.
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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. 
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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.
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Allowable 'carbon budget' most likely overestimated
A recent article published in Nature Climate Change examines the definition of the "pre-industrial" baseline used for climate change discussions and projections. The group, including ESSC director Dr. Michael Mann, posits that the actual "pre-industrial" era is much earlier than the one used by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). Changing the baseline could have an impact on targets used in agreements like the Paris Climate Accords.
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