Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Goddard Institute for Space Studies

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, is a component laboratory of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Space Flight Center
The Goddard Space Flight Center is a major NASA space research laboratory established on May 1, 1959 as NASA's first space flight center. GSFC employs approximately 10,000 civil servants and contractors, and is located approximately northeast of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. GSFC,...

  Earth-Sun Exploration Division and a unit of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Current research at GISS emphasizes global climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...


GISS was established in May 1961 by Robert Jastrow
Robert Jastrow
Robert Jastrow was an American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist. He was a leading NASA scientist, populist author and futurist.- Biography :...

 to do basic research in space sciences in support of Goddard programs. It was then called the Goddard Space Flight Center Institute for Space Studies but quickly became known as the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

GISS is currently directed by James E. Hansen.


In November 2004, Climatologists Drew Shindell
Drew Shindell
Drew Shindell is an ozone specialist and climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. His research is concerned with global climate change, climate variability, and atmospheric chemistry...

 and Gavin Schmidt
Gavin Schmidt
Gavin A. Schmidt is a climatologist and climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. He works on the variability of the ocean circulation and climate, using general circulation models . He has also worked on ways to reconcile paleo-data with models...

 of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, received Scientific American
Scientific American
Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

 magazine's Top 50 Scientist award.

Climate change research

A key objective of Goddard Institute for Space Studies research is prediction of climate change in the 21st century. The research combines paleogeological record, analysis of comprehensive global datasets (derived mainly from spacecraft observations), with global models of atmospheric, land surface, and oceanic processes.

Climate science predictions are based substantially on historical analysis of Earth's paleoclimate (climate through geological ages), and the sea-level/ temperature/ carbon dioxide record.

Changes in carbon dioxide associated with continental drift, and the decrease in volcanism as India arrived at the Asian continent, allowed temperatures to drop & Antartic ice-sheets to form. This resulted in a 75m drop in sea level, allowing our present-day coastlines & habitats to form and stabilize.

Global change studies at GISS are coordinated with research at other groups within the Earth Sciences Division, including the Laboratory for Atmospheres, Laboratory for Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences, and Earth Observing System science office.

Popular culture

  • The institute is housed at the corner of West 112th St. and Broadway
    Broadway (New York City)
    Broadway is a prominent avenue in New York City, United States, which runs through the full length of the borough of Manhattan and continues northward through the Bronx borough before terminating in Westchester County, New York. It is the oldest north–south main thoroughfare in the city, dating to...

     in New York City in Columbia University's Armstrong Hall. The building houses Tom's Restaurant
    Tom's Restaurant (Manhattan)
    Tom's Restaurant is a diner located at 2880 Broadway on the corner of 112th Street in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City...

    , which was the exterior for the restaurant in Seinfeld
    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

    and the subject of the Suzanne Vega
    Suzanne Vega
    Suzanne Nadine Vega is an American songwriter and singer known for her eclectic folk-inspired music.Two of Vega's songs reached the top 10 of various international chart listings: "Luka" and "Tom's Diner"...

     song Tom's Diner
    Tom's Diner
    "Tom's Diner" is an a cappella pop song written in 1981 by American singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega. It was first released as a track on the January 1984 issue of Fast Folk Musical Magazine. When first featured on one of her own studio albums, it appeared as the first track of her Solitude Standing...


See also

  • Earth Simulator
    Earth Simulator
    The Earth Simulator , developed by the Japanese government's initiative "Earth Simulator Project", was a highly parallel vector supercomputer system for running global climate models to evaluate the effects of global warming and problems in solid earth geophysics...

  • EdGCM
    The Educational Global Climate Model or ' is a fully functional global climate model that has been ported for use on desktop computers...

  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
    National Center for Atmospheric Research
    The National Center for Atmospheric Research has multiple facilities, including the I. M. Pei-designed Mesa Laboratory headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. NCAR is managed by the nonprofit University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and sponsored by the National Science Foundation...

  • Robert Jastrow
    Robert Jastrow
    Robert Jastrow was an American astronomer, physicist and cosmologist. He was a leading NASA scientist, populist author and futurist.- Biography :...

External links