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The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division (ESD) of National Aeronautics and Space Administrations Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The ESD is part of GSFCs Sciences and Exploration Directorate.
GISS is located at Columbia University in New York City. The institute is a laboratory in the Earth Sciences Division of NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center and is affiliated with the Columbia Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science. T Keith Glennan has approved in 1960 and built in 1961 by Dr. Robert Jastrow to do basic research in space sciences in support of GSFC programs.
Research areas included the structure of Earth, Moon, and other planetary bodies; the atmospheres of Earth and the other planets; the origin and evolution of the solar system; the properties of interplanetary plasma; Sun-Earth relations; and the structure and evolution of stars. The institute was sited in New York on the premise that conducting theoretical research in the space sciences would be facilitated by being near the leading universities in the greater metropolitan area. Further, it was thought that the location would promote interest at the universities in NASA programs.
The institutes early study of the Earth and planetary atmospheres using data collected by satellites, space probes, and space probes eventually led to GISS becoming a leading center of atmospheric modeling and of climate change.
Research at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) emphasizes a broad study of global change, which is an interdisciplinary initiative addressing natural and man-made changes in our environment that occur on various time scales from one-time forcings such as volcanic explosions, to seasonal and annual effects such as El Niño, and on up to the millennia of ice ages and that affect the habitability of our planet.