Curriculum Vitae

Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.

Ramanathan discovered the greenhouse effect of CFCs (cholorofluorocarbons; belongs to family of halocarbons) in 1975 and showed that a ton each of CFC-11 and CFC-12 has more global warming effect than 10000 tons of CO2. This discovery established the now accepted fact that non-CO2 gases are a major contributor to planet warming and also enabled the Montreal protocol to become the first successful climate mitigation policy. For this work, he was awarded the Tyler Prize by Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland in 2009. In 1980, Madden and Ramanathan were the first to make a statistical prediction that global warming will be detected above the background noise by 2000, a prediction which was verified by the IPCC-UN experts in 2001. He led a NASA study with its climate satellite to show that clouds had a net cooling effect on the planet and quantified the radiation interactions with water vapor and its amplification of the CO2 warming. He led international field campaigns, developed unmanned aircraft platforms for tracking brown clouds pollution worldwide. His work has led to numerous policies including the formation of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition by the United Nations.

He founded, designed, and leads Project Surya along with daughters Nithya Ramanathan and Tara Ramanathan; an extended effort to characterize and mitigate climate and health impacts of cooking with solid biomass as a way to protect the bottom three billion from climate change. He is now leading a University of California climate solutions effort which has launched a course on climate solutions that is expected to reach a million students or more.

He was honored as the science advisor to Pope Francis’ holy see delegation to the historic 2015 Paris climate summit and in addition advises California Governor Jerry Brown. He was named the UN Climate Champion in 2013; has been elected to the US National Academy and the Royal Swedish Academy which awards the Nobel prizes. Foreign Policy named him a thought leader in 2014; In 2018, He (with James Hansen) was named the Tang Laureate for sustainability science.

 

Born: Chennai, India. November 24, 1944

EDUCATION:

B.E., 1965 Annamalai University, India (Engg.)
M.Sc., 1970 Indian Institute of Science, India (Engineering Science.)
Ph.D., 1974 State University of New York at Stony Brook (Planetary Atmospheres)

 

RESEARCH POSITIONS:

1965-1967: Engineer, Shri Ram Refrigeration Industries, Secunderabad, India
1974-1976: National Research Council Post Doctoral Fellow, NASA Langley Research center and George Washington University, Hampton, VA
1976-82: Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
1979-2000: Principal Investigator, NASA Earth Radiation Budget Experiment & NASA-CERES
1982-1986: Senior Scientist, NCAR, Boulder, CO
1986-1990: Professor, Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1990-date: Distinguished Professor of Climate and Atmospheric Sciences; Also holds the  Victor C. Alderson Chair for Applied Ocean Sciences; University of California, San Diego, CA

1991-2013: Director, Center for Clouds, Chemistry and Climate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA
1996-2006: Founding Director, Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA
2012 to 2016: UNESCO  professor, TERI university, New Delhi, India.

 

OTHER POSITIONS:

2012-Now: Council Member, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City
1992-2014: Board of Directors, Tata Energy Research Institute-USA branch, Arlington.
1993: Chief Scientist, Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX)
1996-2002: Co-Chief Scientist, Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX)
1996-2002: Chair, International Steering Committee, INDOEX
1999-2003: Science Editorial Board, NASA Earth Observatory
2002-2012: Chair, Atmospheric Brown Cloud Project (ABC)

ELECTED TO NATIONAL  & GLOBAL  ACADEMIES: National Academy of Sciences, USA; Royal Swedish  Academy of Sciences; American Philosophical Society; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Indian Science Academy; The World Academy of Sciences.

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Societal Transformation for climate mitigation through education and formation of alliance between Science, Policy, Religion and Health care providers; Climate Solutions; Mitigation of Climate Change; Climate Dynamics; the Greenhouse Effect; Air Pollution; Clouds; Aerosols, Satellite Radiation Measurements and Global Climate Models.

COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIPS:

Council Member: Pontifical Academy of Sciences. 2012- Now.
Science Advisory Panel: Climate and Clean Air Coalition, UNEP Member, Global Climate Leadership Council; Univeristy of California. 2010- now.
Editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of ScienceMember, Science Directions Advisory Council, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2008-2010.
Advisory Committee, Stockholme Envoronment Institiute. 2013-2016.
Member, Strategic Advisory Board, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam, Germany. 2012-2015.
Chair, Pontifical Academy of Sciences “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene” Report, 2010-2011
Member, UNEP Black Carbon Advisory Board 2009-2011
Member, Committee for the 2008 Trieste Science Prize, 2008-2012
Chair, Committee on Strategic Advice on the US Climate Change Science Program, National Academy of Sciences, 2006-2010.
Member, Environment and Sustainability Steering Committee, University of California, San Diego, 2006-2010
International Advisory Board, International Union of Air Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Associations (IUAPPA), 2005-2010
Member, Ocean Research Awards Committee, American Meteorological Society, 2005-2008.
Member, Awards Oversight Committee, American Meteorological Society, 2005-2009
Member, Advisory Board, World Clean Air Congress, 2005-2008
Chair, Atmospheric Research Awards Committee, American Meteorological Society, 2005-2007
Member, Atmospheric Research Awards Committee, American Meteorological Society, 2004-2008.
Member, National Research Council Committee on Radiative Forcing, 2003-2005
Steering Committee Chair, National Aerosol-Climate Interactions Program, 2002-2004
Advisory Board Member, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2002-date
Los Alamos National Laboratory Committee, 2001-2004
Editorial Board, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences, 2000-2004
Member, Science Editorial Board, NASA Earth Observatory Committee, 1998-2005
Member, Social Behavioral and Economics Directorate Advisory Committee, National Science Foundation, 1997-2000
Chair, Executive Committee for Science Outreach, EOS-AM1, 1997-2000
Member, Scientific Steering Group, Rapid non-linear Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, 1997-1999
Associate Editor, Tellus A, 1995-date
Member, International Council of Scientific Unions, Advisory Committee on the Environment Review Team, 1994-1999
Member, National Research Council, Board on Sustainable Development, Councils Policy Division, 1993-1997
Member, Board of Reviewing Editors, Science, 1992-1997
Member, University of Alaska Advisory Panel, 1991-1994
Member, NAS Board on Global Climate Change, 1991-1994

COURSES TAUGHT: Four Dimensions of Climate Change; Bending the Curve; Climate Change Solutions; Radiative Transfer, Climate Dynamics, Global Warming-Scientific Basis, Introduction to Climate, Climate Change, Climate and Atmospheric Sciences.Bending the Curve; Ten Climate Solutions.

 

Full List of Honors

 

 

NARRATIVE OF MAJOR PUBLICATIONS

  1. Greenhouse Effect of Halocarbons and other Non-CO2 gases: Ramanathan discovered1 the super-strong greenhouse effect of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1975; in 19762 he showed that stratospheric ozone depletion will lead to a net cooling effect. These two studies started the field of climate-chemistry interactions. In 1985, he led3,4 the first international NASA/WMO/UNEP assessment on the climate effects of non-CO2 greenhouse gases and concluded that they are as important as CO2 to global climate change; a finding that was confirmed later by IPCC.

1). Ramanathan, V., 1975: Greenhouse Effect Due to Chlorofluorocarbons: Climatic Implications. Science, 190: 50-52.
2).Ramanathan,V., L. B. Callis and R. E. Boughner, 1976: Sensitivity of Surface Temperature and Atmospheric Temperature to Perturbations in Stratospheric Concentration of Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide. J. Atmos. Sci., 33: 1092-1112.
3).Ramanathan, V., R. J. Cicerone, H. B. Singh and J. T. Kiehl, 1985: Trace Gas Trends and Their Potential Role in Climate Change. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres, 90: 5547-5566.
4).Ramanathan, V. et al. (1985), Trace Gas Effects on ClimateAtmospheric Ozone 1985: assessment of our understanding of the processes controlling its present distribution and changeWMO Report, no. 16, pp. 821-893.

  1. Physics of CO2 Warming & Quantification of CO2 climate sensitivity: His attention also included the physics of carbon dioxide infrared absorption. He published a fundamental study1 on this topic showing the contribution by isotopic (C13, O17 and O18) and hot bands (transition from excited states) and combination bands of CO2. It is because of these weak bands of CO2 that its greenhouse effect will not saturate out even at concentrations hundred to thousand times the present-day value. This is likely the first study to point out that climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 ranges from 1.9 to 3.2 C… a range widely accepted now. The Swedish academy asked him to review the seminal Arrhenius greenhouse model for CO22.

1).Augustsson, T. and V. Ramanathan, 1977: A Radiative-Convective Model Study of the CO2-Climate Problem. J. Atmos. Sci., 34: 448-451.
2).Ramanathan, V. and A. M. Vogelmann: Greenhouse Effect, Atmospheric Solar Absorption and the Earth’s Radiation Budget: From the Arrhenius/Langley Era to the 1990s, 1997: Ambio, 26(1): 38-46.

III. Detection of CO2 Greenhouse Warming:  In 1980, he teamed up with R. Madden and undertook a statistical-dynamical study of the future warming due to CO2 and compared with the observed climate noise to make a scientific prediction that the CO2 global warming would be detected by 2000. This prediction was verified by IPCC in 2001.

1). Madden, R. A. and V. Ramanathan, 1980: Detecting Climate Change Due to Increasing CO2 in the Atmosphere. Science, 209: 763-768.

  1. Radiative Forcing: The term, Radiative Forcing, is the universally accepted metric for the global warming effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The paper below1 refers to the net change in the net radiative flux at the tropopause as radiative forcing and most likely, this was the first time the term was introduced or used. 1).Ramanathan, V., R. J. Cicerone, H. B. Singh and J. T. Kiehl, 1985: Trace Gas Trends and Their Potential Role in Climate Change. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres, 90: 5547-5566.
  2. Development of the National Community Climate Model: He was among a team of four which developed the first version of the National Center for Atmospheric Research community climate model (CCM) in the 1980s1,2. The model was used to explore the sensitivity of the mid latitude jet stream to radiative processes. This climate model, in its more advanced form, has now morphed into one of the most widely used climate models in the US.

1).Ramanathan, V., 1983: The Role of Longwave Radiative Processes in the General Circulation of the Lower Atmosphere. American Meteorological Society, October 31-4 November 1983: 120-125.
2).Pitcher, E. G., R. C. Malone, V. Ramanathan, M. L. Blackmon, K. Pure and W. Bourke, 1983: January and July Simulations with a Spectral General Circulation Model. J. Atmos. Sci., 40: 580-604.

  1. Satellite Radiation Budget Studies of Clouds and Water Vapor Greenhouse Effect : From 1979-1989, he led a NASA study that used the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) satellite to determine that clouds had a large global cooling effect1. In addition, he used ERBE with his students to determine the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere from space2 and to quantify the amplification of warming by water vapor3.

1) Ramanathan, V., R. D. Cess, E. F. Harrison, P. Minnis, B. R. Barkstrom, E. Ahmad, and D. Hartmann, 1989: Cloud-Radiative Forcing and Climate: Results from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment. Science, 243: 57-63. First satellite radiation budget study to show that background clouds have a large cooling effect on the planet.
2) Raval, A. and V. Ramanathan, 1989: Observational Determination of the Greenhouse Effect. Nature, 342: 758-761. First study to sow how satellite radiation budget data can be used to determine directly the greenhouse effects of the planet:  Inamdar, A. K. and V. Ramanathan, 1997: On Monitoring the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect from Space. Tellus, 49B: 216-230.
3) Inamdar, A. and V. Ramanathan, 1998: Tropical and Global Scale Interactions Among Water Vapor, Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect, and Surface Temperature. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres, 103(D24): 32,177-32,194.  Used satellite data to demonstrate the positive feedback effects of water vapor with surface warming and showed that the observed feedback was consistent with simulated feedback.

VII. Discovery of the Atmospheric Brown Clouds: He led (with Paul Crutzen) the Indian Ocean Experiment conducted with aircraft, ships and satellites in the 1990s. A series of studies1-4 conducted with the Indian Ocean Experiment data discovered the widespread Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs) over S. Asia. With students and researchers in his laboratory, he documented the large atmospheric heating by black carbon and surface dimming by black carbon and other pollutants in the brown clouds1,8.  He used observations and models with collaborators in India and the USA to show that the global dimming by brown clouds were largely responsible for the decrease of monsoon precipitation in India5 and later teamed with agricultural economists at UCSD to conclude that global warming by CO2 along with the brown clouds were decreasing rice harvest in India6. He later led a UNEP-sponsored study7 that showed that such wide spread atmospheric brown clouds were prevalent in other parts of the world. It also resulted in a major policy outcome, with the head of UNEP initiating a multi-national (South and East Asia; USA; Europe) program called: Atmospheric Brown Clouds.

 

VII: Development of Drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for Atmospheric Studies:  Beginning 2006, he and his team developed light weight unmanned aerial vehicles (50 kgs total weight) to track brown clouds from S. Asia, E. Asia and N. America.  For the first time these UAVs were stacked vertically to quantify the large atmospheric heating by black carbon at elevated layers of the atmosphere, which led him (along with his team) to conclude, for the first time, that black carbon was contributing to the retreat of the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers1. The group also demonstrated the use of light weight UAVs for making sophisticated measurements of turbulence fluxes3,4, aerosol-climate interactions2, and deposition of solar radiation fluxes in the atmosphere1.

1) Ramanathan V., M.V. Ramana, G. Roberts, D. Kim, C.E. Corrigan, C.E. Chung & D. Winker (2007). Warming trends in Asia amplified by brown cloud solar absorption. Nature, 448, 575-578 doi:10.1038/nature06019.
2)  Roberts, G.C., M.V. Ramana, C. Corrigan, D. Kim, and V. Ramanathan (2008). Simultaneous observations of aerosol– cloud–albedo interactions with three stacked unmanned aerial vehicles. PNAS, 105(21), 7370-7375.
3) Thomas, R.M., Lehman, K., Nguyen, Jackson, D.L., Wolfe, D., and Ramanathan, V. (2011) Measurement of turbulent water vapor fluxes using a lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle system,Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., 4, 5529-5568, 2011
4) 4)Wilcox, E., R. Thomas, P.S. Praveen, K. Pistone, F.A.-M. Bender and V. Ramanathan (2016), Black carbon solar absorption suppresses turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Early edition (October 4, 2016), doi:10.1073/pnas.1525746113

VIII. Short lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs): His original studies that began in the 1970s on the greenhouse effect of halocarbons and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases and the more recent studies on the large warming effect of black carbon, led him to conclude that mitigation of these  climate warming pollutants (black carbon, methane, ozone and HFCs) which stay in the atmosphere for a short time (hence the name SLCPs) will slow down global warming by as much as 50% by 20501,2 and reduce sea level rise by about a third by 21003. In addition to publishing numerous original papers on the SLCPs, he teamed up with UCSD political scientists to write influential papers4-6 in policy journals such as Foreign Affairs and OpEds in New York Times, which got the attention of policy makers and leaders such as the Head of UNEP, Secy of State Hillary Clinton and environmental minister of Sweden. This proposal has now been adopted by UNEP and 30 countries including USA. UNEP formed the Climate and Clean Air coalition in 2012 and he is one of its science advisors.

1) Ramanathan, V. and Xu, Y. (2010). The Copenhagen Accord for limiting global warming: Criteria, constraints, and available avenues., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 107 (18) 8055-8062. The primary study that brought all four SLCPs in a quantitative study of the mitigation issue and Shows how to limit global warming below 2 C using CO2 and SLCPs; shows global warming trend can be reduced by 0.60C by 2050. The paper proposed the concept of managing the energy budget of the planet in addition to managing the carbon budget. The UNEP assessment published in 2011, basically confirmed the findings of this study.
2)
Xu, Y., D. Zaelke, G. J. M. Velders, and V. Ramanathan (2013), The role of HFCs in mitigating 21st century climate change, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13(12), 6083–6089.
3)  Hu, A., Y. Xu, C. Tebaldi, W. M. Washington, and V. Ramanathan (2013), Mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants slows sea-level rise Nature Climate Change 3(5), 1–5, doi:10.1038/nclimate1869.
4) Wallack, J and Ramanathan, V. (2009) The Other Climate Changes, Why Black Carbon Also Matters, Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct 2009, pp. 105-113. Develops the policy angle for the short lived climate pollutants: Black Carbon and Ozone.
5) Molina, M., D. Zaelke, K. M. Sarma, S.O. Andersen, V. Ramanathan, and D. Kaniaru (2009), Reducing abrupt climate change risk using the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., doi/10.1073/pnas.0902568106, 6 pages. Develops the policy angle for HFCs, one of the 4 SLCPs.
6) Victor, D. G., C. F. Kennel, V. Ramanathan, (2012) The Climate Threat We Can Beat What It Is and How to Deal With It Foreign Affairs 91(3), 112-121. Policy piece on how to integrate SLCPs mitigation in the broader context of mitigation and adaptation.

VIII. Project Surya for clean cook stoves:  Ramanathan is now taking the knowledge on air pollution and its adverse effects on people and environment to actions in the field (www.projectsurya.org). He founded Project Surya which is mitigating black carbon and other climate warming emissions from solid biomass cooking in S. Asia and Kenya and is documenting their effects on public health and environment.  About 3 billion people around the world have no access to fossil fuels and use instead solid biomass (fire wood; dung and crops residues) for cooking. About 3 million die every year by inhaling the cooking smoke. He has witnessed his grandmother suffering from the smoke inhalation during cooking in her native village in S. India. The black carbon from the cooking smoke is also the first to the second largest source of black carbon in many parts of Asia and Africa. He has teamed up with Mr. Hafeez Rehman of TERI (India) and his daughter Nithya Ramanathan (founder of Nexleaf, a wireless sensor NGO) in Surya to link the village women using improved stoves to the carbon credit market directly1,2.                                                                                                                      1). Rehman, I.H., T. Ahmed, P.S. Praveen, A. Kar, and V. Rmanathan (2011) Black carbon emissions from biomass and fossil fuels in rural India Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 7289–7299. First study from Project Surya to document indoor and outdoor black carbon concentrations from cook stoves and show how the two are linked.                                                                                    2). T. Ramanathan, N. Ramanathan, J.Mohanty, I. H. Rehman, E. Graham and V. Ramanathan (2016), Wireless sensors linked to climate financing for globally affordable clean cooking, Nature Climate Change , Published online: October 31, 2016 [DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE3141]. For the first time, wireless sensors were used to monitor use of clean cook stoves on an individual house basis; and t distribute usage based carbon credits to rural women.

IX: Solutions to the Climate Change Problem:  Since 2015, he has led three major studies1,3, 4 to develop comprehensive solutions to the climate change problem.   In publication2, the current pathways of emissions and emission reductions are quantitatively modeled to come to the conclusion that climate change with current pathways has a 20% chance of morphing into an existential threat… perhaps the first such physical science based study to arrive at this conclusion.  It also identifies science pathways to mitigate dangerous warming.    The important aspect of the bending the curve report1  is that it calls for societal transformation as the top solution #2 and solution #3. Towards this goal, Ramanathan is working with the Vatican to form an alliance between science, policy and religion to have a transformational impact on society to take actions to protect both people and nature. In May 2014, he organized along with Prof Dasgupta of Cambridge Univ and Chancellor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo of Pontifical Academy of Science, a summit of thought leaders at the Vatican:    http://www.academiadelasciencias.va/content/accademia/en/events/2014/sustainable.html He briefed Pope Francis and wrote two major articles in Science5,6. In November of 2017, he is jointly organizing another meeting at the Vatican bringing in health care professionals on climate Change and Health:

1). V. Ramanathan, J. Allison, M. Auffhammer, D. Auston, A. D. Barnosky, L. Chiang, W. D. Collins, S. J. Davis, F. Forman, S. B. Hecht, D. M. Kammen, C-Y. C. Lin Lawell, T. Matlock, D. Press, D. Rotman, S. Samuelsen, G. Solomon, D. Victor, B. Washom and J. Christensen, 2016, Chapter 1. Bending the Curve: Ten Scalable Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability  , Collabra, 2(1): 15, pp. 1–17, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/collabra.55.  Led a 10-campus university of California study to arrive at 10 solutions to the climate change problem.  The solutions included science/technology pathways, societal transformation, governance, market instruments, technology innovations and atmospheric carbon extraction.
2) Xu, Y. and V. Ramanathan, Well below 2°C:Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, early online edition, Sept 14, 2017.  Using probability approach to assign risk categories to projected climate changes. The study concluded that there is a 5% to 20% probability of climate change posing existential threats. It proposes mitigation options that are still available to society.
3). Ramanathan, V., Molina, M.J., Zaelke, D., Borgford-Parnell, N., Xu, Y., Alex, K., Auffhammer, M., Bledsoe, P., Collins, W., Croes, B., Forman, F., Gustafsson, Ö, Haines, A., Harnish, R., Jacobson, M.Z., Kang, S., Lawrence, M., Leloup, D., Lenton, T., Morehouse, T., Munk, W., Picolotti, R., Prather, K., Raga, G., Rignot, E., Shindell, D., Singh, A.K., Steiner, A., Thiemens, M., Titley, D.W., Tucker, M.E., Tripathi, S., & Victor, D. Full: Well Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Fast Action Policies to Protect People and the Planet from Extreme Climate Change. Published by the Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development, Washington DC, Sept 14, 2017.  This report identifies the climate change problem as posing existential threats to all of society and species.   Develops a 4-building blocks and three levers approach for solving the problem in time.
4). V S. Sharma1, I.H. Rehman1, V. Ramanathan2, K. Balakrishnan3,  G. Beig4, G. Carmichael5, B. Croes6, S. Dhingra2, L. Emberson7, D. Ganguly8, S. Gulia8, O. Gustafsson9,  R. Harnish1,  C. Jamir10,  R. Krishnan4, S. Kumar2, M. G. Lawrence11,  J. Lelieveld12, Z. Li13, Nathan B. P14,  N. Ramanathan15, T. Ramanathan15, N. Shaw14, S.N. Tripathi16, D. Zaelke14, P. Arora1.. Breathing Cleaner Air: Ten Scalable Solutions for Indian Cities A self-organized task force report for the World Sustainable Development Summit, New Delhi, October 6, 2016. Chairs: V. Ramanathan, I. H. Rehman & S. Sharma. This report identifies 10 solutions to solve the air pollution problem in India.

 

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications: Annotated

For an extensive list and links to all his publication, please see Publications 

  • Ramanathan, V., 1975: Greenhouse Effect Due to Chlorofluorocarbons: Climatic Implications. Science, 190: 50-52. Discovery of the first Non-CO2 greenhouse effect
  • Ramanathan,V., L. B. Callis and R. E. Boughner, 1976: Sensitivity of Surface Temperature and Atmospheric Temperature to Perturbations in Stratospheric Concentration of Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide. J. Atmos. Sci., 33: 1092-1112. First study of the greenhouse effect of stratospheric ozone.
  • Donner, L. and V. Ramanathan, 1980: Methane and Nitrous Oxide: Their Effects on the Terrestrial Climate. J. Atmos. Sci., 37: 119-124. Shows methane and nitrous oxide has large greenhouse effect in the present climate.
  • Fishman, J., V. Ramanathan, P. J. Crutzen and S. C. Liu, 1980: Tropospheric Ozone and Climate. Nature, 282: 818-820. Evaluates the greenhouse effect of ozone from air pollution.
  • Madden, R. A. and V. Ramanathan, 1980: Detecting Climate Change Due to Increasing CO2 in the Atmosphere. Science, 209: 763-768. First study to predict that the greenhouse warming of CO2 will be detected by 2000.
  • Ramanathan, V., E. J. Pitcher, R. C. Malone and M. L. Blackmon, 1983: The Response of a Spectral General Circulation Model to Refinements in Radiative Processes. J. Atmos. Sci., 40: 605-630. This study led to the development of the NCAR Community Climate Model, one of the most used National Climate Model.
  • Ramanathan, V., R. J. Cicerone, H. B. Singh and J. T. Kiehl, 1985: Trace Gas Trends and Their Potential Role in Climate Change. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres, 90: 5547-5566. Showed that non-CO2 gases contribute as much as CO2. This paper introduces the phrase ‘ Radiative Forcing’ to describe the effect of manmade greenhouse gases on the radiation budget of the planet.
  • Ramanathan, V., L. Callis, R. Cess, J. Hansen, I. Isaksen, W. Kuhn, A. Lacis, F. Luther, J. Mahlman, R. Reck and M. Schlesinger, 1987: Climate-Chemical Interactions and Effects of Changing Atmospheric Trace Gases. Rev. of Geophy., 25: 1441-1482. First International assessment, led by Ramanathan, of the global warming effects of non-CO2 gases (sponsored by WMO/UNEP/NASA/NOAA and 6 European agencies. Warned that non-CO2 gases are contributing as much as CO2 to global warming.
  • Ramanathan, V., 1988: The Greenhouse Theory of Climate Change: A Test by An Inadvertent Global Experiment, Science , 240 293-299. A Review of the field as of 1980s.
  • Ramanathan, V., R. D. Cess, E. F. Harrison, P. Minnis, B. R. Barkstrom, E. Ahmad, and D. Hartmann, 1989: Cloud-Radiative Forcing and Climate: Results from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment. Science, 243: 57-63. First observational study to show that clouds have a large cooling effect on the planet. Uses Earth Radiation Budget Experiment.satellite data.
  • Raval, A. and V. Ramanathan, 1989: Observational Determination of the Greenhouse Effect. Nature, 342: 758-761. First study to sow how satellite radiation budget data can be used to determine directly the greenhouse radiative forcing of water vapor, CO2 and other gases.
  • Ramanathan, V. and W. Collins, 1991: Thermodynamic Regulation of Ocean Warming by Cirrus Clouds Deduced from Observations of the 1987 El Niño. Nature, 351: 27-32.
  • Identified the unstable super greenhouse effect of water vapor in the tropical Pacific ocean.
  • Ramanathan, V., B. Subasilar, G. Zhang, W. Conant, R. Cess, J. Kiehl, H. Grassl and L. Shi, 1995: Warm Pool Heat Budget and Shortwave Cloud Forcing: A Missing Physics? Science, 267: 499-503. Used ship, aircraft and satellite data to show that absorption of solar radiation by the atmosphere is significantly larger than that simulated by climate models. This study led to the  Indian Ocean experiment and the identification of the large radiative forcing effect of black carbon.
  • Inamdar, A. and V. Ramanathan, 1998: Tropical and Global Scale Interactions Among Water Vapor, Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect, and Surface Temperature. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres, 103(D24): 32,177-32,194.  Used satellite data to demonstrate the positive feedback effects of water vapor with surface warming and showed that the observed feedback was consistent with simulated feedback.
  • Satheesh, S.K. and V. Ramanathan, (2000). Large Differences in Tropical Aerosol Forcing at the Top of the Atmosphere and Earth’s surface. Nature, 405: 60-63.  Using INDOEX data to show the large solar absorption by black carbon.
  • Ramanathan, V., P. J. Crutzen, et al (2001). The Indian Ocean Experiment: An Integrated Assessment of the Climate Forcing and Effects of the Great Indo-Asian Haze. J. Geophys. Res. Atmospheres,106, (D 22), 28371-28399. First field experiment with aircraft, ships, surface stations and satellites to Reports the discovery of the wide spread atmospheric brown clouds in the tropical Indian ocean and south Asia and its radiative forcing.
  • Ramanathan, V., P. J. Crutzen, J. T. Kiehl and D. Rosenfeld, (2001). Aerosols, Climate, and The Hydrological Cycle. Science, 294, 2119-2124
  • Ramanathan, V., C. Chung, D. Kim, T. Bettge, L. Buja, J. T. Kiehl, W. M. Washington, Q. Fu, D. R. Sikka, and M. Wild, (2005). Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Impacts on South Asian Climate and Hydrological Cycle. PNAS, Vol. 102, No. 15, 5326-5333. First study that used coupled Ocean-Atmosphere climate model to suggest that atmospheric brown clouds are responsible for the observed decrease in the monsoon rainfall.
  • Auffhammer, M., V. Ramanathan, and J. R. Vincent (2006). Integrated model shows that atmospheric brown clouds and greenhouse gases have reduced rice harvests in India, PNAS, 10.1073/pnas.0609584104. A study that linked reduced rainfall and greenhouse warming to reduction in rice yield in India. Won the Cozzarelli prize.
  • Ramanathan V., M.V. Ramana, G. Roberts, D. Kim, C.E. Corrigan, C.E. Chung & D. Winker (2007). Warming trends in Asia amplified by brown cloud solar absorption. Nature, 448, 575-578 doi:10.1038/nature06019. Used multiple drones or unmanned aereal vehicles, stacked vertically for the first time, to measure the atmospheric heating by black carbon from S. Asia and link it with the large warming over the elevated regions of Himalayas and Tibet.
  • Ramanathan, V. and G. Carmichael (2008). Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon. Nature Geoscience, 1, 221-227. This global observational study showed black carbon is the second largest global warming contributor.
  • Ramanathan, V., and Y. Feng (2008). On avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system: Formidable challenges ahead. Natl. Acad. Sci., 105, 14245-14250. Shows for the first time, the manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have already committed the planet to 2.5C warming. Introduces how short lived climate pollutants can be used to mitigate climate change.
  • Wallack, J and Ramanathan, V. (2009) The Other Climate Changes, Why Black Carbon Also Matters, Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct 2009, pp. 105-113. Develops the policy angle for the short lived climate pollutants: Black Carbon and Ozone.
  • Molina, M., D. Zaelke, K. M. Sarma, S.O. Andersen, V. Ramanathan, and D. Kaniaru (2009), Reducing abrupt climate change risk using the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions, Natl. Acad. Sci., doi/10.1073/pnas.0902568106, 6 pages. Develops the policy angle for HFCs, one of the 4 SLCPs.
  • Ramanathan, V. and Xu, Y. (2010). The Copenhagen Accord for limiting global warming: Criteria, constraints, and available avenues., Nat. Acad. Sci., 107 (18) 8055-8062. The primary study that brought all four SLCPs in a quantitative study of the mitigation issue and Shows how to limit global warming below 2 C using CO2 and SLCPs; shows global warming trend can be reduced by 0.60C by 2050. The paper proposed the concept of managing the energy budget of the planet in addition to managing the carbon budget. The UNEP assessment published in 2011, basically confirmed the findings of this study.
  • Victor, D. G., C. F. Kennel, V. Ramanathan, (2012) The Climate Threat We Can Beat What It Is and How to Deal With It Foreign Affairs 91(3), 112-121. Policy piece on how to integrate SLCPs mitigation in the broader context of mitigation and adaptation.
  • Rehman, I.H., T. Ahmed, P.S. Praveen, A. Kar, and V. Rmanathan (2011) Black carbon emissions from biomass and fossil fuels in rural India Chem. Phys., 11, 7289–7299. First study from Project Surya to document indoor and outdoor black carbon concentrations from cook stoves and show how the two are linked.
  • Xu, Y., D. Zaelke, G. J. M. Velders, and V. Ramanathan (2013),The role of HFCs in mitigating 21st century climate change,  Chem. Phys., 13(12), 6083–6089.
  • Pistone, K., I. Eisenman, and V. Ramanathan (2014).Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 3322-3326. Pistone was my PhD student, First study to use earth radiation budget to demonstrate the darkening of the arctic caused by the sea ice retreat and quantified the magnitude of the sea ice-albedo feedback.
  • Ramanathan, N. Ramanathan, J.Mohanty, I. H. Rehman, E. Graham and V. Ramanathan (2016),Wireless sensors linked to climate financing for globally affordable clean cooking, Nature Climate Change , Published online: October 31, 2016 [DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE3141]. For the first time, wireless sensors were used to monitor use of clean cook stoves on an individual house basis; and t distribute usage based carbon credits to rural women.
  • Ramanathan, J. Allison, M. Auffhammer, D. Auston, A. D. Barnosky, L. Chiang, W. D. Collins, S. J. Davis, F. Forman, S. B. Hecht, D. M. Kammen, C-Y. C. Lin Lawell, T. Matlock, D. Press, D. Rotman, S. Samuelsen, G. Solomon, D. Victor, B. Washom and J. Christensen, 2016, Chapter 1. Bending the Curve: Ten Scalable Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability  , Collabra, 2(1): 15, pp. 1–17, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/collabra.55.  Led a 10-campus university of California study to arrive at 10 solutions to the climate change problem.
  • Xu, Y. and V. Ramanathan, Well below 2°C:Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, early online edition, Sept 14, 2017.  Using probability approach to assign risk categpries to projected climate changes. The study concluded that there is a 5% to 20% probability of climate change posing existential threats. It proposes mitigation options that are still available to society.

 

International Assessments and Reports Chaired (or Vice Chair) by Ramanathan

  • Ramanathan, V., Molina, M.J., Zaelke, D., Borgford-Parnell, N., Xu, Y., Alex, K., Auffhammer, M., Bledsoe, P., Collins, W., Croes, B., Forman, F., Gustafsson, Ö, Haines, A., Harnish, R., Jacobson, M.Z., Kang, S., Lawrence, M., Leloup, D., Lenton, T., Morehouse, T., Munk, W., Picolotti, R., Prather, K., Raga, G., Rignot, E., Shindell, D., Singh, A.K., Steiner, A., Thiemens, M., Titley, D.W., Tucker, M.E., Tripathi, S., & Victor, D.Full: Well Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Fast Action Policies to Protect People and the Planet from Extreme Climate Change. Published by the Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development, Washington DC, Sept 14, 2017.
  • V Sharma1, I.H. Rehman1, V. Ramanathan2, K. Balakrishnan3, G. Beig4, G. Carmichael5, B. Croes6, S. Dhingra2, L. Emberson7, D. Ganguly8, S. Gulia8, O. Gustafsson9,  R. Harnish1,  C. Jamir10,  R. Krishnan4, S. Kumar2, M. G. Lawrence11,  J. Lelieveld12, Z. Li13, Nathan B. P14,  N. Ramanathan15, T. Ramanathan15, N. Shaw14, S.N. Tripathi16, D. Zaelke14, P. Arora1.. Breathing Cleaner Air: Ten Scalable Solutions for Indian Cities A self-organized task force report for the World Sustainable Development Summit, New Delhi, October 6, 2016. Chairs: V. Ramanathan, I. H. Rehman & S. Sharma
  • Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone: Summary for Decision Makers. United Nations Environment Programme, 2011 (Link) Chair: D. Shindell. Vice Chairs: F. Raes, V. Ramanathan
  • Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 2-4 April 2011 15pp. Co-Chairs: V. Ramanathan, PJ Crutzen, L. Bengtsson
  • To Fight Climate Change, Clear the Air, The New York Times Op ED, November 27, 2010. V. Ramanathan and D. Victor. The Oped piece that was picked up by policy makers that formed climate and clean air coalition.
  • Committee on the Strategic Advice on the US Climate Change Science Program (2009), Restructuring Federal Climate Research to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change, The National Academies Press: Washington D.C., 254 pp. Chair: V. Ramanathan
  • Ramanathan, V., et al, 2008: Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia, published by the United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi, Kenya, pp. 1-360 UNEP ABC Home.
  • Ramanathan, V. et al. (1985), Trace Gas Effects on Climate, Atmospheric Ozone 1985: assessment   of our understanding of the processes controlling its present distribution and change, WMO Report, 16; Vol III. Chapter: 15. First International assessemnt of CO2 and non-CO2 effects on climate change.
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