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Scientific Goals

NOAA works closely with the international PAGES/ CLIVAR initiative to improve our understanding of societally relevant climate variability and our ability to predict future climate change. NOAA contributes to the PAGES/CLIVAR initiative by supporting the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, and by providing extramural support (jointly with the National Science Foundation) for the Earth System History Program area of special emphasis on paleoclimate variability.

arrow.gif (938 bytes)Research goals are to:

  • Understand the patterns, processes, and causes of interannual to interdecadal-scale environmental variability
  • Understand how interannual to interdecadal-scale environmental variability is affected by large changes in climate forcing
  • Validate and improve predictive climate models
  • Understand abrupt changes and potential surprise behavior in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system
  • Distinguish between human-induced climate change and natural climate variability

arrow.gif (938 bytes)Research priority includes the following PAGES/CLIVAR phenomena foci:

  • ENSO atmosphere-ocean interaction and extratropical linkages
  • Tropical/North Atlantic variability, interactions between tropical processes and regional drought, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and thermohaline circulation
  • Asian/African monsoon dynamics, linkages with ENSO and extratropical variability
  • Shallow meridional ocean circulation and other processes that link tropical and extratropical climate variability
  • Dynamics of regional to continental hydrologic variability (i.e., droughts and floods) as they relate to the above

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10 February 1999