Gerald Meehl

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Gerald Allen Meehl
Born (1951-05-21) May 21, 1951 (age 67)
Denver, Colorado
Alma materUniversity of Colorado
AwardsThe Editor's Award from the Journal of Climate in 1999, Jule G. Charney Award from the American Meteorological Society in 2009
Scientific career
FieldsClimatology, atmospheric science
InstitutionsNational Center for Atmospheric Research
ThesisInteractions between the Asian monsoons, the tropical Pacific, and the southern hemisphere extratropics (1987)

Gerald Allen "Jerry" Meehl is a climate scientist who has been a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research since 2001.

Early life and education[edit]

Meehl, who was born in Denver, is the son of a family of wheat farmers from Hudson. It was the conversations Meehl had with his father about the future weather, and how that might affect their crops, that sparked his interest in the weather and climate.[1] He received his B.S. (with distinction), M.S., and PhD from the University of Colorado.

Scientific career[edit]

He was a lead author of the sixth chapter of the IPCC Second Assessment Report, published in 1995,[2][3] and helped oversee the chapter about climate projections in the IPCC AR4, published in 2007.[4] He is an ISI highly cited researcher,[5] and is known for his research linking global warming to extreme weather.[6][7][8] He has also done much research into the use of global climate models. One of these studies, in which Meehl et al. showed that models could not reproduce recent warming without including anthropogenic influences, was featured in a 2004 review of climate science by the George W. Bush administration.[9] His research has also shown that record high temperatures in the continental United States were more than twice as common as record lows in the 2000s,[10][11] that it may soon be possible to predict heat waves three weeks in advance (rather than 10 days, which is the best current forecasts can do),[7][12] and that the global warming hiatus observed over the last 15 years or so may be caused by more heat accumulating in the deep ocean.[13][14][15] When Meehl joined Matthew England to publish one such study in Nature Climate Change in 2014,[16] Meehl said that this study "...makes the case that, though other factors could contribute somewhat to the early-2000s hiatus, the Pacific is a major driving force in producing naturally-occurring climate variability that can overwhelm the warming from ever-increasing greenhouse gases to produce the hiatus." He also proposed that this occurred because of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation switching to its negative phase.[17] In September 2014, Meehl et al. published another study on this topic, in which they attempted to simulate the hiatus with currently available climate models. They found that these models were able to simulate the hiatus, and concluded that it was largely caused by natural variability.[18][19]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1999, Meehl received the editor's award from the Journal of Climate. He also received the Jule G. Charney Award from the American Meteorological Society in 2009,[2] and was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2014.[20]

Other writings[edit]

Meehl has also written several historical books about World War II in the Pacific. His interest in World War II began when he heard his uncles tell stories about their experiences fighting in the war when he was growing up, and he focused on the Pacific because he was sent on an expedition to Tutuila while an undergraduate at the University of Colorado.[1]


  1. ^ a b Branan, Nicole (December 2006). "World War II inspires climatologist" (PDF). University of Colorado. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Gerald A. Meehl CV" (PDF). University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-07. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Climate Change 1995" (PDF). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 1995. p. 58. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  4. ^ Eilperin, Juliet (3 February 2007). "Humans Faulted for Global Warming". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  5. ^ Highly Cited Researchers Search Results for "Gerald Meehl"
  6. ^ Borenstein, Seth (21 October 2006). "Future Forecast: Extreme Weather". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b Associated Press (28 October 2013). "Study: Killer heat waves may soon be forecast weeks away". USA Today. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  8. ^ Eilperin, Juliet (18 October 2005). "Warming to Cause Harsher Weather, Study Says". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  9. ^ Revkin, Andrew (31 August 2004). "Computers Add Sophistication, but Don't Resolve Climate Debate". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  10. ^ Meehl, G. A.; Tebaldi, C.; Walton, G.; Easterling, D.; McDaniel, L. (2009). "Relative increase of record high maximum temperatures compared to record low minimum temperatures in the U.S". Geophysical Research Letters. 36 (23). doi:10.1029/2009GL040736.
  11. ^ "Warning sign: Record Highs are Double the Lows". NBC News. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  12. ^ AP (28 October 2013). "Meteorologists may soon be able to predict heat waves weeks away". CBS News. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  13. ^ Meehl, G. A.; Hu, A.; Arblaster, J. M.; Fasullo, J.; Trenberth, K. E. (2013). "Externally Forced and Internally Generated Decadal Climate Variability Associated with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation". Journal of Climate. 26 (18): 7298. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00548.1.
  14. ^ Mooney, Chris (28 August 2013). "Is Global Warming Really Slowing Down?". Mother Jones. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  15. ^ Morello, Lauren (19 September 2011). "By Storing More Heat, Oceans Create 'Hiatus Periods' in Rise of Global Warming -- Study". New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
  16. ^ England, Matthew H.; McGregor, Shayne; Spence, Paul; Meehl, Gerald A.; Timmermann, Axel; Cai, Wenju; Gupta, Alex Sen; McPhaden, Michael J.; Purich, Ariaan; Santoso, Agus (9 February 2014). "Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus". Nature Climate Change. 4 (3): 222–227. doi:10.1038/nclimate2106.
  17. ^ Ogburn, Stephanie Paige (10 February 2014). "Stronger Winds over Pacific Ocean Help Slow Global Warming". Scientific American. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  18. ^ Meehl, Gerald A.; Teng, Haiyan; Arblaster, Julie M. (7 September 2014). "Climate model simulations of the observed early-2000s hiatus of global warming". Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/nclimate2357.
  19. ^ Davey, Melissa (8 September 2014). "Research shows surprise global warming 'hiatus' could have been forecast". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  20. ^ "DOE Climate Modeler Gerald Meehl Elected to AGU Fellow Class of 2014". US Department of Energy. 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015.