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Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC)

Founded in 2004, the Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC) was conceived of as a way to bring together the disparate sciences and humanities that all deal with some aspect of climate change and create a coherent whole.

The PCCRC has tasked itself with two overarching goals, education and research. Research and PCCRC focuses on predictive models of future climate conditions and on understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change. The education arm attempts to bring to light the science of climate change and inform the public as to the risks and probable scenarios.

Research by the Purdue Climate Change Research Center

Research conducted by the PCCRC can be divided as follows:

  • Global Change – Major focus on biogeochemistry, which is the study of the interactions between ecosystems and the climate.
    • Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds – Seeks to understand how emissions from living organisms affect the environment and the climate. Current studies focus on temperate forests.
    • CDI-TYPEII: Collaborative Research – Using data mining techniques and computer analysis to create stochastic models of the climate.
    • Quantifying Climate Feedbacks – This project focuses on quantifying natural emissions of trace gases like methane and carbon dioxide to understand how climate change feeds back into itself.
  • Polar Research – Understanding vegetation changes as the Arctic thaws along with chemical reactions that occur as sea ice melts are two of the major focuses in this division.
  • Paleoclimatology – Research in this field seeks to find proxies for understanding past climate conditions. Research projects look to quantify new proxies and better resolve current proxies. There is also research aimed at integrating proxies into climate models to create better predictions.
  • Resilience – Research aims to understand how various ecosystems and organisms adapt to climate change. The work has major implications for agriculture and future crop productivity.

Policy – The basis of this segment is the integration of science and policy. The goal is to provide the tools that policy-makers need to allow for informed decisions.