The Cooperative Institute for Climate Applications and Research (CICAR) was established in November 2003 as a research partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Columbia University In The City of New York. The CICAR research themes are: (1) modeling, understanding, prediction, and assessment of climate variability and change; (2) development, collection, analysis, and archiving of instrumental and paleoclimate data; and (3) development of the application of climate variability and change prediction and assessment to provide information for decision makers and assess risk to water resources, agriculture, health and policy.
CICAR’s mandate brings together scientists from NOAA climate-oriented organizations, in particular the Climate Program Office in Silver Spring, Maryland and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, and scientists of The Earth Institute, Columbia University, primarily the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) in Palisades, New York, to advance climate research, education and outreach.The NOAA funded research portfolio at Lamont grew out of a clear strategic vision of scientists at LDEO and NOAA. This vision stipulated that ocean observations and coupled ocean-atmosphere modeling are key to understanding long-term climate variability and change and to developing climate prediction capabilities. It also emphasized paleoclimate research as providing climate scenarios quite unlike those revealed in the short instrumental record, thus helping to expand our view of the Earth climate system and challenging our conceptual understanding and modeling capability. Actively pursuing these ideas, LDEO scientists have conducted research based on observations, both instrumental and proxy, analysis, and models and worked with NOAA to form programs and set research directions.