Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Data Center Description
The mission of the Climate and Global Dynamics (CGD) Division is to understand Earth?s climate system and to develop the capability of predicting the evolution of the climate system to the degree possible. This will require a substantial effort in study of the observed data for the components of the system, the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, sea ice, and the biogeochemistry of these physical components. Because the observations are incomplete and inadequate, understanding the climate system will also require that models be developed to simulate the components of the system and to couple these models together realistically so that the interactions among the components and their resulting variability can be successfully simulated and studied. Detailed comparison of the performance of the models with observations will be required, and once a reasonable degree of faithfulness to observations is achieved, the models will be used to perform experiments to determine how the climate system might evolve in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment, such as changing the emissions of various gases into the atmosphere or changing the land surface cover through agriculture. Since the climate system is chaotic in nature, there are limits to prediction of the evolution of the system, but these limits are, at present, unknown. We will investigate the predictability of aspects of the climate system, and when possible, develop models for use in prediction activities.