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Chris E. Forest

Chris E. Forest

  • Associate Professor of Climate Dynamics
  • Earth and Environmental Systems Institute Associate
  • Associate Director, Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM)
507 Walker Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-0710


  1. PhD -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Specialties:

Dr. Forest uses the MIT Integrated Global System Model to examine the uncertainty of climate projections and their relation with uncertainty in forcing parameters as well as climate system feedbacks controlling both the magnitude and rate of the response. This work contributes to uncertainty estimates of future climate in which emissions scenarios for stabilization are considered in addition to business-as-usual scenarios. Dr. Forest is currently exploring how to characterize uncertainty in regional climate change and how these uncertainties should be included in climate change impacts relevant to decision making and policy development. His group is using the NCAR Community Atmospheric Model (CAM3.1, CAM3.5, and CAM4.0) to explore structural model uncertainties related to the response to tropical sea-surface temperature patterns.


Dr. Forest joined the faculty in the Department of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University in 2008 after 12 years as a Research Scientist at MIT working in the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. He served as a Lead Author on the Climate Change Science Program SAP1.1 Report examining the estimates of temperature trends in the atmospheric and surface climate data and contributed to the IPCC AR4 Working Group 1 Chapter 11. He was an IPCC AR5 Lead Author on Chapter 9, "Evaluation of Climate Models" in Working Group 1. Dr. Forest was elected to serve on the Electorate Nominating Committee (ENC) through February 2018 for the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Forest graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990 with a BS in Applied Math, Engineering, and Physics and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 with a PhD in Meteorology (thesis advisors: Kerry A. Emanuel and Peter Molnar).

Selected Publications

  • W. Li, and C. E. Forest, Where is the tropical sea surface temperature important for the low frequency variability of the atmospheric teleconnection patterns?, J. Climateaccepted, 2014.
  • A. Hoffman, C. E. Forest, and W. Li, On the use of SST-forced teleconnection patterns to estimate dust emissions and depositions at sub-continental scales, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., DOI: 10.1002/2014JD021682, 2014.
  • G. Flato, J. Marotzke, B. Abiodun, P. Braconnot, S. C. Chou, W. Collins, P. Cox, F. Driouech, S. Emori, V. Eyring, C. Forest, P. Gleckler, E. Guilyardi, C. Jakob, V. Kattsov, C. Reason and M. Rummukainen, Evaluation of Climate Models. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)}]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. pp. 741--866, 2013. 
  • E. Monier, J. Scott, A. Sokolov, C.E. Forest and A. Schlosser, An Integrated Assessment Modeling Framework for Uncertainty Studies in Global and Regional Climate Change: The MIT IGSM-CAM (version 1.0), Geoscientific Model Development, 6, 2063\3202085, 2013.
  • A. G. Libardoni,  and C. E. Forest, Correction to ``Sensitivity of distributions of climate system properties to the surface temperature data set,'' Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 2309--2311, doi:10.1002/grl.50480, 2013.
  • W. Li, C. E. Forest, and J.J. Barsugli, Comparing two methods to estimate the sensitivity of regional climate simulations to tropical SST anomalies, \textit{J. Geophys. Res.}, 117, D20103, doi:10.1029/2011JD017186, 2012.
  • J. J. Waters, J. L. Evans, and C. E. Forest, Large-scale diagnostics of tropical cyclogenesis potential using environment variability metrics and logistic regression models, J. Climate, 25, pp 6092-6107, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00359.1, 2012.
  • D. J. Rowlands, D. J. Frame, D. Ackerley, T. Aina, B. B. B. Booth, C. Christensen, M. Collins, N. Faull, C. E. Forest, B. S. Grandey, E. Gryspeerdt, E. J. Highwood, W. J. Ingram, S. Knight, A. Lopez, N. Massey, F. McNamara, N. Meinshausen, C. Piani, S. M. Rosier, B. M. Sanderson, L. A. Smith, D. A. Stone, M. Thurston, K. Yamazaki, Y. H. Yamazaki, and M. R. Allen, Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble, Nature Geoscience, 5, 256--260 doi:10.1038/NGEO1430, 2012.
  • M. Webster, A.P. Sokolov, J.M. Reilly, C. E. Forest, S. Paltsev, A. Schlosser, C. Wang, D. Kicklighter, M. Sarofim, J. Melillo, R.G. Prinn and H.D. Jacoby.  Analysis of Climate Policy Targets under Uncertainty, Climatic Change, 112:569--583, doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0260-0, 2012.
  • Libardoni, A. G., and C. E. Forest, Sensitivity of distributions of climate system properties to the surface temperature dataset,  Geophys. Res.  Lett., 38, L22705, doi:10.1029/2011GL049431, 2011.
  • Sokolov, A.P., C.E. Forest, and P.H. Stone,  Sensitivity of Climate Change Projections to Uncertainties in the Estimates of Observed Changes in Deep-Ocean Heat Content, Clim. Dyn., doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0556-1, 2010.
  • Sokolov, A.P., P.H. Stone, C.E. Forest, R.G. Prinn,  M.C. Sarofim, M. Webster, S. Paltsev, C.A. Schlosser,   D. Kicklighter, S. Dutkiewicz, J. Reilly, C. Wang, B. Felzer,  J. Melillo, and H.D. Jacoby,  Probabilistic Forecast for Twenty-First-Century Climate Based on Uncertainties in Emissions (Without Policy) and Climate Parameters. J. Climate, 22, 5175--5204. doi:10.1175/2009JCLI2863.1, 2009.
  • B. Sansó and C. Forest, Statistical Calibration of Climate System Properties. J. Royal Stat. Soc. A.,  Appl. Statist., Vol. 58, Part 4, p.485–503, 2009.
  • C.E. Forest, P.H. Stone, and A.P. Sokolov, Constraining Climate Model Parameters from Observed 20th Century Changes. Tellus, Vol. 60A, 911–920, 2008.
  • B. Sansó, C. Forest, D. Zantedeschi, Inferring Climate System Properties from a Computer Model; and Rejoinder. Bayesian Analysis, Vol. 3, Num. 1, p1–38, p57–62. 2008.
  • C. E. Forest, Paleoaltimetry: A Review of Thermodynamic Methods, Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry, 66, Chapter 7, DOI: 10.2138/rmg.2007.66.7, 2007.
  • P.A. Stott and C.E. Forest, Ensemble climate predictions using climate models and observational constraints. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 365, doi:10.1098/rsta.2007.2075, pp 2029–2052, 2007.
  • M. Webster, C. Forest, J. Reilly, M. Babiker, D. Kicklighter, M. Mayer, R. Prinn, M. Sarofim, A. Sokolov, P. Stone, C. Wang, Uncertainty Analysis of Climate Change and Policy Response, Climatic Change, 61, pp 295–320, 2003.
  • C.E. Forest, P.H. Stone, A.P. Sokolov, M.R. Allen, and M.D. Webster, Quantifying Uncertainties in Climate System Properties with the use of Recent Climate Observations, Science, 295, pp 113-117, 2002.