Within the Smithsonian Institution, global change research is conducted
at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the National Air and
Space Museum, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, theNational Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Tropical Research
Institute, and the National Zoological Park. Research is organized around themes of atmospheric
processes, ecosystem dynamics, observing natural and anthropogenic environmental change on daily to decadal time scales, and defining longer-term climate proxies present in the historical artifacts and records of the museums as well as in the geologic record at field sites.
Institution program strides to improve knowledge of the natural processes involved in global climate change, to provide a long-term repository of climate-relevant research materials for present and future studies and to bring this knowledge to various audiences, ranging from scholarly to the lay public. The unique contribution of the Smithsonian Institution is a long-term perspective - for example, undertaking
investigations that may require extended study before producing useful results and conducting
observations on sufficiently long (e.g., decadal) time scales to resolve human-caused
modification of natural variability.
Smithsonian Institution has a number of websites
which strive to educate the public about climate change research findings. The Smithsonian Education Online Conference on Climate Change
makes all of the live events from the conference held in 2009 available
as online recordings. The Natural History museum also highlights
climate change science through its Forces of Change and Ocean Portal websites.