Ken Caldeira

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Kenneth Caldeira is an atmospheric scientist who works at the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Global Ecology. He researches ocean acidification, climate effects of trees, intentional climate modification, and interactions in the global carbon cycle/climate system.[1][2][3][4][5] He also acted as an inventor for Intellectual Ventures, a Seattle-based invention and patent company headed up by Nathan Myhrvold.[6]

Caldeira's work was featured in 14 May 2012 article in The New Yorker, entitled "The Climate Fixers"[5] and in a 20 November 2006 article in The New Yorker, entitled "The Darkening Sea."[1] In 2007, he contributed two op-ed pieces on the subject of global warming to The New York Times.[2][3] He was named a "Hero Scientist of 2008" by New Scientist magazine.[7] He was listed as number 36 out of 100 Agents of Change in Rolling Stone magazine's 2 April 2009 list of 100 "artists and leaders, policymakers, writers, thinkers, scientists and provocateurs who are fighting every day to show us what is possible."[8]

In response to the controversy caused by the book SuperFreakonomics over Caldeira's view on geoengineering, Caldeira rejected the suggestion that he had said, "Carbon dioxide is not the right villain". He responded by posting on his website, "Carbon dioxide is the right villain...insofar as inanimate objects can be villains."[9] He said that while the other statements attributed to him by authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner are "based in fact", the casual reader could come up with a misimpression of what he [Caldeira] believes.[10]

In 2011, Caldeira resigned as a lead author of an IPCC AR5 chapter, stating "Again, I think the IPCC has been extremely useful in the past, and I believe the IPCC could be extremely useful in the future. [...] My resignation was made possible because I believe that the chapter team that I was part of was on the right track and doing an excellent job without my contribution. Had I had a scientific criticism of my chapter team, you can be assured that I would have stayed involved. So, my resignation was a vote of confidence in my scientific peers, not a critique." [11]

In 2013, with other leading experts, he was co-author of an open letter to policy makers, which stated that "continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity's ability to avoid dangerous climate change."[12]


In the 1980s, Caldeira worked as a software developer.[1] He received his Ph.D in Atmospheric Sciences in 1991 from the New York University Department of Applied Science.[13] From 1991 to 1993, Caldeira worked at Penn State University as a post-doctoral researcher. He then worked as an Environmental Scientist and Physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory until 2005, when he began his current position at the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology.


  1. ^ a b c "The Darkening Sea The New Yorker". 20 November 2006. 
  2. ^ a b "When Being Green Raises the Heat". The New York Times. 16 January 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "How to Cool the Globe". The New York Times. 24 October 2007. 
  4. ^ "New Study Warns of Total Loss of Arctic Tundra". The New York Times. 1 November 2005. 
  5. ^ a b "The Climate Fixer The New Yorker". 14 May 2012. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Science Heroes and Villains of 2008 New Scientist". 22 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "The RS 100 Agents of Change Rolling Stone". 2 April 2009. 
  9. ^ Caldeira Lab webpage. Retrieved 2010-05-15
  10. ^ Jeff Goodell (2009-10-21). "Geoengineering the Planet: The Possibilities and the Pitfalls (interview with Caldeira)". Yale Environment 360. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  11. ^ New Directions for the Intergovernmental Climate Panel By Andrew Revkin, NY Times, December 21, 2011
  12. ^
  13. ^ Final Prospectus for Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.2, Biography: Ken Caldeira (updated 14 February 2006), Retrieved on 2008-10-24

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