Climate and Natural Systems

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Correcting Our Course

Studying Earth's interconnected systems, climate and natural systems research helps us understand how human activities impact our planet's delicate balance, including climate change, to guide us towards sustainability.

From Research to Impact

Managing the risks of anthropogenic climate change poses significant challenges both now and in the future. Warmer and more extreme weather events will increase the risk of natural disturbances, increase the burden of pests and pathogens, threaten public health, and expose vulnerabilities in critical infrastructural systems. The burden of climate resilience and adaptation will fall unequally and inequitably, burdening people of color and rural and poor communities disproportionately.

Penn State has the critical mass to be a world leader in climate and natural systems. IEE’s commitment to supporting interdisciplinary research in energy and the environment means we have a unique opportunity to identify solutions to these impacts across natural, social, and built systems. 

Major initiatives within this theme include but are not limited to climate variability and change, ecosystem productivity and biodiversity, stressors and resilience, food and water security, and polar science.

    Penn State is dedicating research and its own activities to do everything possible to reduce carbon emissions. Penn State researchers, staff, and students are already addressing the challenges brought on by carbon emissions. It is Penn State's commitment to continue this important work.

    Climate and Natural Systems Research


    Featured IEE Researchers

    Professor, Anthropology
    Professor, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

    More Researchers by Topic

    Find more researchers studying climate and natural systems by clicking on any of the following topics:

    Climate Change Climate Modeling Ecosystem Change Atmosphere Resilience Sea Level Habitat Carbon Ice Temperature Warming 

    Climate and Natural Systems News

    Featured Stories

    Emerging research areas refocus Institute of Energy and the Environment themes


    The Institute of Energy and the Environment has revamped its research themes to better align them with the energy and environmental research being done at Penn State and to recognize the importance of community and justice.

    2024 Climate Solutions Symposium registration open


    Registration is open for the 2024 Climate Solutions Symposium, which is designed to bring people together to stimulate projects and partnerships where Penn State’s interdisciplinary research strengths can inform and transform climate solutions.

    Climate Solutions Symposium

    The climate crisis is here. It is impacting big cities and small communities in unprecedented and disproportionate ways. The crisis will continue unless we develop transdisciplinary solutions for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience now. 

    With Penn State’s excellence in climate change research as the backdrop, the two-day Penn State Climate Solutions Symposium highlighted innovations from numerous disciplines through dynamic workshops, keynote talks from leaders in the climate solutions space, and a poster session. The event also featured opportunities for attendees to network with like-minded individuals who are seeking climate solutions as collaborators, funders, or implementers.