Our Research

Researchers at the Center for Climate and Life will investigate the ways that environmental change shapes life, from single-celled plankton to humankind. In a changing world, our preparedness will depend on investigations in five key areas:

  • FOOD & WATER Across the globe, widespread drought and heat waves are becoming more common ­— reducing crop yields, raising food prices and impacting freshwater supplies.
  • EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATE EVENTS Risks of hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods and heat waves are likely to increase in the near future, but in ways we are only beginning to understand.
  • OCEAN HEALTH. The oceans provide a quarter of the world’s dietary protein. Our scientists investigate how ocean life and productivity respond to ocean acidification and warmer temperatures and how these changes cascade through the ecosystem.


  • CARBON CAPTURE & STORAGE Our scientists are leaders in developing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations. Technologies include “distributed capture” of carbon from the air and surface waters, and its permanent storage as inert, solid carbonate minerals below the surface.
  • PAST CLIMATE CHANGE The past holds lessons for the present. Our researchers are determining how past climate shifts have influenced the essentials of human sustainability: access to food, water, shelter, and energy.

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