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Paleoclimate and Climate Change Research Group

Earth and Planetary Sciences

University of California, Santa Cruz

Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory

Director: Lisa C. Sloan

Computing Support: Eli Morris

The Climate Change and Impacts Laboratory (CCIL) is a computational facility sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSC via a $700,000 grant.

The initial facilities include a 32-processor SGI Origin300 supercomputer, numerous high-performance workstations, and multi-terabyte data storage and backup facilities.

The goals of CCIL are:

(1) Calculate climate scenarios of likely future climate change for particular regions, for increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and for changing land use characteristics.

(2) Investigate the possible impacts of climate change upon the various dimensions of a given region, for example, biologic (marginal marine ecosystems, marine algal blooms, terrestrial floral and fauna ecosystems), chemical (water quality, contaminant dispersal), hydrologic (surface and groundwater flow), sedimentologic (land slide and glacial hazards), and societal (water management, agriculture, human health) systems.

As a first focus, we are concentrating on a region centered on California. Because of its complex topography, diverse microclimates and ecosystems, large and growing population, and vulnerability to water, this region makes an excellent test case. In addition, UCSC CCIL members represent a wide range of expertise on aspects of California's human and natural systems. This project will provide a multidisciplinary and multidimensional view of the possible effects of future climate change at regional scales.

UCSC faculty associated with CCIL include scientists from the departments of Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Toxicology, and Ocean Sciences.