CICS identifies the following three major Themes:
• Theme 1: Climate and Satellite Research and Applications incorporates the development of new observing systems, or new climate observables from current systems.
• Theme 2: Climate and Satellite Observations and Monitoring, focuses on: (a) development and improvement of climate observables from current systems, and (b) development of all continental and global fields of climate parameters that can be used for climate analysis and climate model initialization.
• Theme 3: Climate Research and Modeling is the research component that brings together (a) climate observables, modeling and validation in a comprehensive integrated whole, and (b) observational products with model development efforts to enable research into the improvement of forecasts of climate system variability on space scales ranging from regional to global, and time scales from a week or two to centuries.
As CICS research has evolved since 2009 in response to NOAA’s needs, and for the benefit of the public Topic Areas have been identified to highlight the institute’s strengths.
• Data Fusion and Algorithm Development. This This research is focused on the use of satellite and complementary observations to create geophysical data sets related to various aspects of the global climate system.
• Calibration / Validation. This area of research is aimed at calibration and validation of satellite radiance data as well as products of algorithms that derive geophysical parameters to best represent the state of the Earth System.
• Future Satellite Programs. Activities under this topic are directed at developing and implementing new NOAA meteorological satellite systems, particularly GOES-R and JPSS.
• Climate Research, Data Assimilation and Modeling. This research topic aims at improving the understanding of the physics of climate through integration of information by data assimilation, particularly satellite-derived data sets, with models of the Earth System and its components.
• Land and Hydrology. The focus of this topic area is on the enhancement, refinement and validation of algorithms that derive land surface products from satellite observations with the purpose of improving global land-atmosphere feedback mechanisms that impact all living forms on the planet.
• Earth System Monitoring from Satellites. Research in this topic area focuses on the derivation and curation of data sets that describe crucial aspects of the Earth System (Atmosphere, Land, Ocean, Cryosphere) and the application of those data sets in the detection and monitoring of significant climate events
• Education, Climate Literacy, and Outreach. Activities include mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students on themes of relevance for NOAA, increase awareness of climate science and changes in the climate system, and raise the understanding of how climate data is collected, observed, analyzed, and used in research purposes.
• Decision Support Science. Research in this topic is focused on understanding and developing effective science policy processes, capacities, tools, and products to support the use of environmental scientific information by different end-users and in a range of decision contexts.
The table below illustrates the relationship between the Themes and the Topic Areas. CICS-MD has research on-going in all these topics.