James E. Hansen

Adjunct Professor
Research Affiliation: 
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
2880 Broadway
New York
(212) 678-5619
Fields of interest: 
Radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres; modeling current climate trends and projecting humans' potential impacts on climate.

As a college student in Iowa, I was attracted to science and research by James Van Allen's space science program in the physics and astronomy department. Since then, it only took me a decade or so to realize that the most exciting planetary research involves trying to understand the climate change on earth that will result from anthropogenic changes of the atmospheric composition.

One of my research interests is radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres, especially interpreting remote sounding of the earth's atmosphere and surface from satellites. Such data, appropriately analyzed, may provide one of our most effective ways to monitor and study global change on the earth. The hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained, so that the key information can be obtained.

I am also interested in the development and application of global numerical models for the purpose of understanding current climate trends and projecting humans' potential impacts on climate. The scientific excitement in comparing theory with data, and developing some understanding of global changes that are occurring, is what makes all the other stuff worth it.

Ph.D. (Physics)
University of Iowa
M.S. (Astronomy)
University of Iowa
B.A. (Physics and Mathematics)
University of Iowa
Selected Publications:
Large historical changes of fossil-fuel black carbon aerosols, Novakov, T.; Ramanathan, V.; Hansen, J. E.; Kirchstetter, T. W.; Sato, M.; Sinton, J. E.; Sathaye, J. A. , Geophysical Research Letters, Mar 26, Volume 30, Issue 6, p.-, (2003), Doi 10.1029/2002gl016345
Behavior of tropopause height and atmospheric temperature in models, reanalyses, and observations: Decadal changes, Santer, B. D.; Sausen, R.; Wigley, T. M. L.; Boyle, J. S.; AchutaRao, K.; Doutriaux, C.; Hansen, J. E.; Meehl, G. A.; Roeckner, E.; Ruedy, R.; Schmidt, G.; Taylor, K. E. , Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Jan 3, Volume 108, Issue D1, p.-, (2003), Doi 10.1029/2002jd002258
Global atmospheric black carbon inferred from AERONET, Sato, M.; Hansen, J.; Koch, D.; Lacis, A.; Ruedy, R.; Dubovik, O.; Holben, B.; Chin, M.; Novakov, T. , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, May 27, Volume 100, Issue 11, p.6319-6324, (2003), DOI 10.1073/pnas.0731897100