Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics (LEAP) is an NSF Science Technology Center (STC) launched in 2021.


Shortcomings in both climate science and computing capacities limit the accuracy of climate projections needed for optimal adaptation and resilience to climate change. Our team sees tremendous promise in developing a convergent approach integrating machine learning and climate simulations that can substantially reduce uncertainty in climate projections through 2050. This ambitious endeavor engages our nation’s top climate research laboratories (e.g., NCAR and NASA GISS) with major computing organizations (e.g., Google) and a diverse array of stakeholders, from companies to community organizations, that can benefit from more accurate projections.

Ameliorating this critical shortcoming is a worthy and necessary venture for our nation and the world, and could improve life for generations to come. Such ambitious goals are only achievable through a large-scale and long-term effort covering research, education, and knowledge transfer, such as provided by the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center (STC).

Strategic Vision

LEAP will revolutionize climate projections for informed climate adaptation. Achieving this vision should ensure that a large and broad range of public and private stakeholders have the required tools necessary for informed decision making when facing climate change.


LEAP’s mission is to increase the reliability, utility, and reach of climate projections through the integration of climate and data science. 


Our Mission will be achieved through the following Center Values:

  • Innovation: Integrate new knowledge and methods to explore, learn and create;
  • Diversity: Connect across and respect varied perspectives to achieve shared goals;
  • Legacy: Building lasting scientific knowledge and a new research community.

These values will help us reach our final key value:

  • Impact: Our work should make a difference in the adaptation to climate change.

Strategic Priorities/Goals

  1. Harness data to improve the reliability of the Community Earth System Model
  2. Establish and deploy a modern cloud computing infrastructure for climate data, LEAPangeo, in support of research, education, and knowledge transfer
  3. Create a new discipline: Climate Data Science
  4. Establish bidirectional knowledge transfer regarding climate projections with a broad range of public and private stakeholders
  5. Integrate diversity, equity and inclusion in LEAP research, education, and knowledge transfer efforts and activities

Strategic and Implementation Plan

LEAP’s Strategic and Implementation Plan 2021-2026 (Version 1, April 28, 2022) is publicly available on Zenodo.

Support LEAP

Help support our grand challenge to develop the next generation of climate model and climate projection for tailored adaptation.
Please contact Molly Lopez, Managing Director of LEAP, to start the conversation.