Skip to main content

New Technique Leads to Deeper Understanding of Climate Change

climate change, global warming research
Vipin Kumar (Image credit: NSF)

This ScienceLives article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Vipin Kumar of the University of Minnesota's computer science and engineering department serves as the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation Expeditions project team focusing on the use of data to understand climate change.

Climate change is a defining environmental challenge facing our planet. Yet scientists are still uncertain about the social and environmental impact of climate change, due to the limited capabilities of existing physics-based models of the Earth system. Consequently, important questions relating to food security, water resources and biodiversity remain unresolved. A new approach is required to understand the potential impact of climate change. Kumar’s Expeditions project addresses these challenges by developing methods that take advantage of the wealth of climate and ecosystem data available from a variety of sources:

  • Satellite and ground-based sensors
  • Observational record for atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial processes
  • Physics-based climate model simulations

These approaches help provide an improved understanding of the complex nature of the Earth system and the mechanisms contributing to the adverse consequences of climate change, such as increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes and other extreme weather events. The methodologies Kumar’s team develops will be used to gain actionable insights and to inform policymakers.

Below, Kumar answers 10 questions related to his life as a scientist.

Name:Vipin Kumar Institution:University of Minnesota Field of Study:Computer Science

Editor's Note: The researchers depicted in ScienceLives articles have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. See the ScienceLives archive.