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GFDL Research

GFDL is engaged in comprehensive long lead-time research fundamental to NOAA’s mission. The goal of this research is to expand the scientific understanding of past, present and future interactions among physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes that govern the Earth as a system. GFDL scientists mathematically model systems so that they can be studied by computer simulation methods.

Our scientists work to improve our understanding of the structure, variability, predictability, stability, and sensitivity of weather and climate. The lab’s research sheds light on the dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean, their interaction, and how they influence — and are influenced by — various trace constituents. Using high-resolution coupled climate models, GFDL is developing prediction systems for climate extremes on time scales of seasons to decades. GFDL has begun developing a new, more comprehensive coupled climate model to improve our understanding of air quality and climate on regional scales. This effort synthesizes a number of activities, including advanced representations of atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, clouds, terrestrial and oceanic biogeochemistry, to better capture the interactions involving the carbon cycle.

The scientific work of the Laboratory encompasses a variety of disciplines, such as meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, physics, fluid dynamics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and numerical analysis. Research is also facilitated by the Cooperative Institute for Climate Science, which is a collaborative program at GFDL with Princeton University that supports Princeton faculty, research scientists, and graduate students.