The Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (Institut Català de Ciències del Clima, IC3) was founded in mid-2008 as a new research center within the CERCA Program, visualizing the firm commitment of Catalan society and Government in confronting one of the most important challenges that our Earth has been faced with to date. Climate change is already having a huge impact worldwide, and the Mediterranean region in particular is one of the areas of the world where, unfortunately, those impacts are expected to be major and more severe. The need to understand how our climate behaves, what makes the Mediterranean area so responsive and how to anticipate the most likely negative consequences that this threat poses to our people’s lives and economies prompted the creation of this small core of research in the heart of Barcelona.
When IC3 was created, it became the first independent research center in Spain devoted to studying the most fundamental problems in climate science and climate impacts, and one of the few in existence to date in the Mediterranean region. Contemporary challenges urged new and visionary ways of tackling the complicated nature of these scientific problems, as new science requires new views and insights. Those unique research milestones often lie at the boundaries between traditional disciplines and require a combination of methods and different educational backgrounds to approach them optimally. Despite the limited resources allocated to IC3at this initial stage, its people are extremely grateful to our society for the effort made every day in making this new and exciting adventure possible; that is, to be able to delve into the interlinks of climate variability and change on a daily basis. IC3 scientists are entirely committed to this task, they are completely aware of the role they must play in the international arena and will try as hard as they can to dedicate themselves to their research goals. IC3 was born to become an international research reference institution in the climate sciences, in a unique attempt to better understand the complex interactions between climate and the biosphere.
IC3 is expected to achieve leadership in the Mediterranean region and Europe, and though we are still far from reaching this, we are strongly and successfully heading in the right direction. Despite our small group of scientists, we are rapidly gaining international recognition both individually and as a center, for both our individual research and for the important projects, initiatives and committees around the world in which the institute is now participating. Regardless of the difficulties we are facing, I am proud of the way the Institute is beginning to advance in the scientific field, and I am absolutely convinced that with the support of our trustees and donors, IC3 will soon establish itself and become a complete success as a new scientific beacon of knowledge in just a few short years.
We are all excited to be a part of this challenge.
IC3 Founding Director of the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (2008-2013)