CRU building

The Climatic Research Unit is widely recognised as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

Consisting of a staff of around twenty research scientists and students, the Unit has developed a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, including the global temperature record used to monitor the state of the climate system, as well as statistical software packages and climate models.

The aim of the Climatic Research Unit is to improve scientific understanding in three areas:

  • past climate history and its impact on humanity;
  • the course and causes of climate change during the present century;
  • prospects for the future.

The Unit undertakes both pure and applied research, sponsored almost entirely by external contracts and grants from academic funding councils, government departments, intergovernmental agencies, charitable foundations, non-governmental organisations, commerce and industry.

Alongside its research activities, the Unit has an educational role through its contribution to formal teaching with the School of Environmental Sciences (most notably, the MSc in Climate Change) and various forms of in-service training including postgraduate education. It is regarded as an authoritative source of information on both the science and policy aspects of climate change by the media and maintains a high public profile.

The staff of the Unit have an enviable publication record, contributing to both peer-review and popular journals as well as editing various newsletters and bulletins.

The Climatic Research Unit is part of the School of Environmental Sciences with close links to other research groups within the department such as the Tyndall Centre. The Unit undertakes collaborative research with institutes throughout the world on a diverse range of topics and is coordinating or contributing to a number of networking activities.