“With respect to the climate, this is an uncertain time. This report covers a period during which the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration reached a milestone of 400 parts per million—a level exceeding both the 350 ppm posited as safe by many prominent climate scientists and above the worst case scenarios explored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide drives a warmer world and possibly weather extremes like this past year’s deadly destruction from Sandy, the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history, and Haiyan, one of the most intense tropical cyclones ever, which devastated parts of Southeast Asia. Despite positive developments in the U.S. federal government during this period—notably President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and Department of Energy Secretary Moniz’s focus on domestic climate and energy policy—much remains to be done.”
So begins the 2013 annual report of the CCSI at ORNL. “I step into my new role as CCSI director against a backdrop of impending change for which society has yet to fully develop effective paths of response,” said Jack Fellows, CCSI’s first full-time director, in the introduction to the 44-page document. “The fact that the global climate situation is not improving underscores the critical nature of CCSI’s work. CCSI’s ecosystem-process work spans the microbial to global scales and feeds data into world-class modeling and simulation efforts. It curates thousands of diverse environmental and climate data sets and tools for their management. It is home to leading analysts who study the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems. Colocation and integration of these capabilities within CCSI create great potential to advance the science and provide accessible information and tools to help people deal with the consequences of climate change. At CCSI, we call this balance of advancing the science and service to society ‘user-inspired’ research, and it permeates all that we do.”
Read the full report at ccsi.ornl.gov/system/files/pdfs/ccsi_annual_report_fy13_2_11_14.pdf.