Climate Statistics

Our work in climate statistics is motivated by the need to understand potential climate changes under rising CO2 levels and their impact on human societies. We apply statistics to understand the properties of both observations and large-scale climate models. We seek to characterize changing climate means, variability, and extremes, and also to emulate them: to develop reduced-form statistical models that capture important aspects of the changing climate system. We study the dynamics driving model behavior; our work focuses on impacts-relevant factors including temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, and their interactions. 

Impacts of Global Change

The natural world on which human society relies is rapidly changing. Socioeconomic forces alone are re- shaping our relationship to the environment, and changing climate adds many further stressors. We focus on advancing the understanding of these changes, their interactions, and how human society may be affected. We address areas including global agricultural productivity and adaptive capacity; food security and land-use change; freshwater demand, availability and quality; global forest carbon and emissions; and population dynamics and coastal infrastructure.  

Economics and Robustness

Climate change and energy supply challenges will have substantial impacts on both human society and the natural world. These impacts confront humanity with the need to make what will be in the aggregate trillion-dollar decisions. Given that no plausible policy will avoid all consequences, decision makers must also plan for a world with changed climate.  Our work focuses on integrating uncertain information into characterizations of expected climate damages in order to more accurately assess the costs and benefits of climate change, and identifying decision making strategies that are robust to inevitable uncertainties. 

Other Research Efforts

We also have focused research efforts in the following areas. Click to learn more: