In order to conduct process studies to examine global change, NASDA and JAMSTEC established a joint project, the FRSGC, in October 1997.

The FRSGC is a 20-year project that is comprised of two 10-year phases. In 2001, 5 years after its establishment in 1997, the project underwent an interim evaluation to report on its progress and to indicate future directions for global change research.

In July 2004, JAMSTEC was restructured. The FRSCG became the FRCGC, and research activities based on a new five-year mid-term research plan commenced. As a new center, the FRCGC continues to conduct process studies to examine global change, and will develop models for the Earth Simulator, currently the fastest vector parallel computer in the world; the aim is to make highly reliable predictions of global change.

In order that it may invite a succession of eminent experts from around the world, the FRCGC uses a flexible employment system with limited assignment periods. One third of the 180 researchers currently working at the FRCGC are from overseas.

In March 2002, the Earth Simulator started operation at the JAMSTEC Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, where the FRCGC is also located. By fully utilizing these advanced facilities and resources, the FRCGC intends to pursue its mandate of predicting global change.