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About Climate Research Division (CRD)

Scripps Institution of Oceanography is playing a leading role in pioneering the interdisciplinary study of the earth as a unified system. In the Climate Research Division (CRD), scientists study a broad range of phenomena. These span time scales from a few weeks to several decades. Research themes include predicting the natural variability of climate and understanding the consequences of man‹ made increases in the greenhouse effect. Climate change caused by human actions is the paradigm that illustrates why traditional disciplinary barriers in the earth sciences are rapidly weakening. In the climate system, the atmosphere, the seas, the land surface, and the world of living things are tightly coupled. To understand these interactions, a variety of expertise must be brought to bear through a team approach to research.

Current research projects include the development of coupled global ocean and atmosphere models, assessing the role of cloud‹radiation feedbacks in climate change, and modeling and predicting seasonal climate variability. CRD research combines the analysis of large observational data sets, the development of comprehensive numerical models of the climate system, and the exploitation of satellite remote sensing capabilities for monitoring the entire planet. CRD researchers collaborate closely with other scientists at Scripps and elsewhere. Studies focus on a wide range of regional and global climate phenomena, including El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Indian monsoon, the Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone, the California Current system, and precipitation and water supply in the United States.

CRD scientists have stressed research on the regional and transient implications of global change for climate, emphasizing those aspects of climate which are potentially predictable. In recent work, CRD scientists and their collaborators have developed advanced coupled ocean‹ atmosphere models for ENSO prediction. This research is critical to global change objectives, because there are strong indications that climate changes such as greenhouse warming may have profound effects on ENSO phenomena.

    Visitors since April 1997