Research Needs for Advancing Climate System Science

Additional research, supported by expanded observational and modeling capacity, is needed to improve understanding of key climate processes, improve projections of future climate change (especially at regional scales), and evaluate the potential for abrupt changes in the climate system. The following are some of the most critical research needs for continued improvements in our ability to understand, observe, and project the behavior of the climate system:

• Improve understanding of how the climate system will respond to forcing.

• Refine the ability to project interannual, decadal, and multidecadal climate change, including extreme events, at regional scales.

• Advance understanding of feedbacks and thresholds that may be crossed that lead to irreversible or abrupt changes.

• Expand and maintain comprehensive and sustained climate observations to provide real-time information about climate variability and change.

For a longer discussion of these and other climate system research needs, see Chapter 6.

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