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The Purdue Climate Change Research Center provides science-based, interdisciplinary research for people and our planet.

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U.S. forests’ changes are double-edged sword for environment

April 15, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Climate change, nitrogen deposition and fire suppression are leading to shifts in the types of trees that dominate American forests. These changes will have environmental consequences, potentially positive and negative, according to a Purdue University study. Songlin Fei, a forest ecologist in Purdue’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, with colleagues […]

Corn field

How to feed the world and preserve the environment

April 10, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Farmers bear much of the burden for growing the food to feed billions of people as the world’s population continually trends upward. But to do so, those farmers have to keep crops healthy and high-yielding. That necessitates using fertilizers and pesticides, which help crops but can have an inadvertent, negative impact […]

Katharine Hayhoe

Climate scientist Hayhoe to address ‘science in a fact-free world’ at Purdue symposium

March 14, 2019

Purdue’s Ecological Sciences and Engineering program will partner with the Purdue Climate Change Research Center to host Katharine Hayhoe, a world-renowned climate communicator, at ESE’s annual symposium March 26-27. This year’s ESE symposium is titled “In Data We Trust? Perceptions of Science in a Post-truth World.” The main event, featuring Hayhoe’s lecture, “Science in a […]

Photo showing wind turbines and high voltage lines

Energy demand, sources will change with Indiana’s climate

February 20, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Hoosiers will heat homes and businesses less but rely more on air conditioning as Indiana’s climate warms. They’ll also get more of their energy from natural gas and renewable sources as those become more cost-effective throughout the rest of the century. That’s according to the latest Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment […]

Women sitting on mountain top looking over forest

Climate drives link between forest biodiversity and productivity

January 24, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Some ecologists believe that species richness is positively related to ecosystem productivity, while others conclude that the relationship is bell-shaped or they are unrelated. Using big data, Purdue University scientists now know which theory is correct – all of them. Biodiversity-productivity relationships would be useful to natural resource managers who want […]

To understand climate change, we need to understand weather now

January 22, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Climate scientists have known for decades that there’s more to climate change than higher temperatures. Sea levels are rising, wildfires are blazing and droughts are diminishing water supplies across the globe. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and thunderstorms, are likely to get worse as well. But in order to predict […]

Trees with Purdue 150 logo

Purdue-led group prepares state for life with changing climate

January 10, 2019

This past November, Jeff Dukes and Jonathon Day took turns returning phone calls. Reporters from all over Indiana – and some in Illinois and Kentucky – wanted to know what tourism in the state would look like over the coming decades as climate changes. Dukes, director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center, talked to […]

Aerial view of field with some snow

Why it’s so hard to forecast a white Christmas

December 14, 2018

No matter how you might feel about cold weather, who doesn’t dream of a white Christmas? Every December, forecasts abound on the probability of a snow-filled holiday.  Austin Pearson, Purdue Extension director in Tipton County and climatology expert, said it’s almost impossible to predict Christmas snowfall more than three days in advance. Even 24 hours […]

Tropical peatlands in Peru (photo from aircraft)

Major natural carbon sink may soon become a carbon source

November 20, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Until humans can find a way to geoengineer ourselves out of the climate disaster we’ve created, we must rely on natural carbon sinks, such as oceans and forests, to suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. These ecosystems are deteriorating at the hand of climate change, and once destroyed they may […]

Bike rider in forest

Longer, hotter summers to challenge Indiana tourism business

November 12, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – By 2050, a month of the best weather for attracting summer tourists to Indiana will be replaced by hotter days that will be too uncomfortable for outdoor activity. Warmer temperatures will also limit many popular winter activities. That prediction is according to the latest Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment report, “Tourism […]

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