With the enormous interest in climate and climate related issues from all parts of society, the importance of a research school on changing climates is self-evident. Climate change is impacting the high latitudes more rapidly and significantly than any other region of the Earth due to complex feedback processes between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere as well as the lithosphere. Climate change has led to an increasing demand from society on the climate research community for process understanding, improved scenarios, reduced uncertainties, and more reliable data for mitigation and impact studies. To meet this demand, fundamental research on the physics and chemistry of the various components of the climate system (e.g. atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and cryosphere), and their mutual interactions is pivotal. This requires a new generation of researchers who have strong in-depth knowledge in their specific parts of the climate system, but at the same time are equipped with a broader knowledge to comprehend the overall picture in the coupled Earth System. Furthermore, the demand from society to be informed about changing climates can only be met when researchers are able to communicate with experts from other disciplines as well as to a layman person. These qualifications require skills that ideally have to be covered in any graduate program.

The main objective of CHESS is to establish an internationally recognised Norwegian research-training environment for PhD candidates in the realm of changing climates in the coupled Earth System.

The mission of CHESS is thus to provide a facilitator for transmission of in-depth knowledge in the realm of the respective study field of the PhD students, as well as for inter-disciplinary knowledge in the dynamics of the coupled Earth System. Training will also entail the political and societal impacts of climate change, thereby providing the necessary skills to play an active role in the tremendously important discussion on predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate change.