SGT scientists support the development of state-of-the-art climate models at the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies under the direction of Dr. James Hansen. The Earth’s climate system and its radiative balance can be thought of as two subsystems—physical climate and biogeochemical cycles—linked by the global hydrologic cycle in a complex feedback mechanism which is strongly influenced by man’s activities (see Figure below). The challenge of global climate research is to model these dynamic and closely coupled systems in order to predict the short- and long-term effects of both natural and mankind-induced forcing.
Effective global climate models view the Earth as a system
Our support of research at GISS spans three major areas relevant to understanding of the Earth system and the mechanisms of man’s impact upon it. These are: Global Climate Modeling, Earth Observations, and Planetary Atmospheres. A major product of these efforts is the development of the GISS Model E, which is the state-of-the-art in climate models. SGT has several investigators on the Model E team.