The Purdue Climate Change Research Center's (PCCRC) mission is to increase scientific and public understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change through fundamental research and effective education and outreach.

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 […]

Person standing in front of plants in a science lab

Dry conditions may have helped a new type of plant gain a foothold on Earth

November 8, 2018

Story by Katherine Unger Baillie, University of Pennsylvania In the dramatically changing conditions of ancient Earth, organisms had to evolve new strategies to keep up. From the mid-Oligocene, roughly 30 million years ago, to the mid-to-late Miocene, about 5 million years ago, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere fell by a roughly a third. This same […]

ice sheet

Climate study points to western Canada as the route of human migration into North America

October 8, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — When and how the first humans reached North America is a complicated puzzle. Scientists believe these people arrived in Alaska after crossing the Bering Strait, only to be stopped by the enormous Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets. The migrants would eventually make their way down to the Americas via one of […]

person with power lines in background

How will climate change stress the power grid? Hint: Look at dew point temperatures

September 24, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new study suggests the power industry is underestimating how climate change could affect the long-term demand for electricity in the United States. The research, published today in the journal Risk Analysis, was led by the University at Buffalo and Purdue University. It describes the limitations of prediction models used by electricity […]

FARC rebels

Peace at a price: Scientists see threats to Colombia’s environment

September 12, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After more than five decades of hostility that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, Colombia has embarked on a new era of peace. But the peace brings its own risks: a chaotic transition could leave the country’s richly diverse forests unprotected and, ultimately, lead to a loss of resources and species […]

Algae covered pond

Climate change poses uncertain future for Indiana’s aquatic habitats

September 12, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Indiana’s average air temperatures are expected to rise by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-century, warming and reducing wintertime ice cover on the state’s lakes, streams, and rivers. At the same time, increases in winter and spring rainfall will likely wash more nutrients from farm fields into those water […]

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