Jennifer Francis

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Jennifer A. Francis
ResidenceMarion, Massachusetts
Alma materUniversity of Washington, San Jose State University, University of New Hampshire, Durham
Spouse(s)Peter Francis
ChildrenHolly, Tucker
Scientific career
FieldsAtmospheric sciences, Climate change in the Arctic
ThesisArctic process and climate studies with the TOVS satellite sounder (1994)
Doctoral advisorDrew A. Rothrock

Jennifer Ann Francis became a senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in 2018, after being a research professor at Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences starting in 1994.


Francis received a B.S. in meteorology from San Jose State University in 1988 and a PhD in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington in 1994.[1]


From 1987 to 1988, she was a research assistant at the Ames Research Center. From 1988 to 1994, while attending the University of Washington, she was a research assistant at the department of Polar Science Center there. From 1994 through 2018 she was a research professor at Rutgers University's School of Environmental and Biological Sciences's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in North Brunswick, New Jersey. On October 18, 2018, she joined the staff of Woods Hole Research Center, in Falmouth, Massachusetts as a senior scientist.[2]


Francis's research focuses on climate change in the Arctic, and has published over 40 scientific papers on the topic.[3] It is also her opinion that warming in the Arctic may be changing the jet stream, which, in turn, may be leading to abnormal weather patterns such as an unusually long winter in the United Kingdom,[4][5] the 2013 Colorado floods,[6] and the unusually cold conditions across much of the southern United States in early 2014.[7][8] Specifically, Francis argues that the heating and cooling of Arctic seawater (the Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the world) has slowed down the jet stream, resulting in weather conditions persisting for longer than they usually would.[9][10] That the warming in the Arctic is linked to extreme weather elsewhere in the world is a view supported by some of Francis's research, such as a study published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2012.[11][12]


Francis was born and raised in Marion, as was her husband Peter. Between 1980 and 1985 they circumnavigated the world, including the Arctic, by sail. They have two children, Holly and Tucker with whom they spent a year sailing in Central America in 2009 and 2010.[1]


  1. ^ a b Meteorologist to give talk on “Our Whacky Weather and Climate Change: Are They Connected?”, Wicked Local, March 11, 2013, Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  2. ^ Atmospheric scientist Dr. Jennifer Francis joins WHRC, Woods Hole Research Center, Dave McGlinchey, October 18, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  3. ^ Francis, Jennifer (5 March 2012). "Linking Weird Weather to Rapid Warming of the Arctic". Yale Environment 360. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Climate Change and Sandy". NOVA19 (TV series). PBS. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  5. ^ Mooney, Chris (25 April 2013). "WATCH: The Alarming Science Behind Climate Change's Increasingly Wild Weather". Mother Jones. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  6. ^ Dankosky, John (20 September 2013). "Why Climate Change Ups the Odds of Fires, Floods". NPR. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  7. ^ Johnson, Terrell (6 January 2014). "Is The Record Cold Arctic Outbreak Tied To Global Warming?". Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  8. ^ Ghosh, Pallab (15 February 2014). "Wavier jet stream 'may drive weather shift'". BBC. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  9. ^ Morin, Monte (13 September 2012). "Record loss of Arctic ice may trigger extreme weather". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  10. ^ Francis, Jennifer (21 September 2012). "Shrinking Arctic ice and the wicked backlash on our weather". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  11. ^ Francis, J. A.; Vavrus, S. J. (2012). "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes". Geophysical Research Letters. 39 (6): n/a. Bibcode:2012GeoRL..39.6801F. doi:10.1029/2012GL051000.
  12. ^ Freedman, Andrew (12 September 2012). "'Astonishing' Ice Melt May Lead to More Extreme Winters". Climate Central. Retrieved 26 October 2013.

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