Climate change is highly heterogeneous over the globe, with strong regionality. Scientific community need to better understand the timing and magnitude of regional climate change, and environmental and socio-economic consequences of the changes. Climate in East Asia is characterized with seasonal shifting of prevailing wind and fluctuation of precipitation and temperature. Monsoon system has major impacts on life and economy in the region; meanwhile, intensified human activities and rapid economic development will likely cause feedbacks to regional climate through modifying land surface and atmospheric chemistry. Meeting those science challenges requires understanding of the physical science basis of climate change, consideration of its impacts on all spheres of human activity, and development of policy strategies and actions.
Established in 1978, the CAS Key Lab of Regional Climate-Environment for East Asia (TEA) is dedicated to enhance scientific understanding on the ever changing climate and environment, to build the capability of predicting changes in global-regional linkages in the Earth System and risks of such changes, and to provide sound scientific basis for sustainable development in the region through the use of field experiments, satellite remote sensing, modeling, and synthesis. TEA strives to serve society by directing its observation and synthesis to decision making and public awareness related to emerging issues of climate impacts, extreme events and natural disasters, and related environmental problems. TEA is also the START Regional Center for East Asia.
Major progresses were made in development of regional environmental model system (RIEMS), interactions among land use, ecosystems, and monsoon climate, mechanisms and impacts of extreme climate events such as mega-drought, and effects of urbanization on climate. TEA currently has 42 employees, including 2 academicians and 12 senior professors in multiple disciplines such as atmospheric physics, atmospheric chemistry, geosciences, and ecology, along with over 30 graduate students.