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Katharine Hayhoe

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Katharine Hayhoe
Hayhoe in 2018
Katharine Anne Scott Hayhoe

(1972-04-15) April 15, 1972 (age 52)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
SpouseAndrew Farley
AwardsChampion of the Earth (2019)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisA Standardized Framework for Evaluating the Skill of Regional Climate Downscaling Techniques (2010)
Doctoral advisorDonald Wuebbles
Academic work
InstitutionsTexas Tech University
Main interests
Websitekatharinehayhoe.com Edit this at Wikidata

Katharine Anne Scott Hayhoe (born 1972) is a Canadian atmospheric scientist. She is a Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor and an Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Public Law at the Texas Tech University Department of Political Science.[1] In 2021, Hayhoe joined the Nature Conservancy as Chief Scientist.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Hayhoe was born on April 15, 1972,[3] in Toronto, Ontario.[4] Her father, Doug Hayhoe, was a science educator and missionary. When Hayhoe was nine, her family moved to Cali, Colombia, where her parents served as missionaries and educators.[5]

Hayhoe received her Bachelor of Science degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto in 1994.[6] She began her college career studying astrophysics, but upon taking a course on climate science to fulfill a course requirement, she shifted her focus to atmospheric science, which she ultimately specialized in at graduate school.[7]

Hayhoe attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy.[8] Her PhD committee was chaired by Donald Wuebbles, who recruited her for a research project assessing the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Hayhoe, who is an evangelical Christian, is the daughter of missionaries.[10] She has stated that admitting her life as a Christian and a scientist is "like coming out of the closet".[11] Her father, Doug Hayhoe, is a former science and technology coordinator for the Toronto District School Board,[12] and emeritus professor of education at Tyndale University College and Seminary in Toronto.[13] Hayhoe credits her father as an inspiration with regard to her belief that science and religion do not have to conflict with one another.[14]

She met her husband, Andrew Farley, while doing graduate studies at the University of Illinois. Farley is an author, pastor, and The Grace Message - https://andrewfarley.org/ SiriusXM radio host who leads The Grace Message, a Christian ministry.[15]

Research career[edit]

Hayhoe has worked at Texas Tech since 2005.[16] She has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed abstracts, journal articles, and other publications including the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth National Climate Assessment for the US Global Change Research Program, as well as the National Academy of Sciences report “Climate Stabilization Targets”.[17]

Shortly after the Third Assessment was released, Hayhoe said, "Climate change is here and now, and not in some distant time or place," adding that, "The choices we're making today will have a significant impact on our future.[18]" She co-authored the American Association for the Advancement of Science's What We Know[19] and How We Respond [20] reports. Most recently, she co-authored the book Downscaling Techniques for High-Resolution Climate Projections: From Global Change to Local Impacts (Cambridge University Press, 2021).[21]


In 2014, Hayhoe was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People.[22] In 2017, she was named one of FORTUNE’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders.[23] She has also been named to Foreign Policy’s list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers twice, in 2014 and 2019.[24] Also in 2019, Hayhoe was named one of the United Nations Champions of the Earth in the science and innovation category.[25]

Hayhoe has received honorary doctorates from Colgate University, Victoria University at the University of Toronto, Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto, and Trinity College (CT).[26] She has received the American Geophysical Union's Climate Communication and Ambassador Awards,[27] and is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Scientific Affiliation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an honorary fellow of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.[28] In 2023 Hayhoe was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[29]

Climate communications[edit]

In addition to her research on climate change, Hayhoe is known for her communication around climate change and her advocacy efforts around climate action. Professor John Abraham has called her "perhaps the best communicator on climate change."[10] Hayhoe has also spoken at the Nobel Peace Prize forum and appeared at the White House with former President Barack Obama and the actor Leonardo DiCaprio at the first South by South Lawn festival.[30]

Hayhoe's TED talk, “The most important thing you can do to fight climate change” has over 4 million views.[31] She has also written a book, “Saving Us: A climate scientist’s case for hope and healing in a divided world.”[32] She is active on over a dozen social media channels, writes regularly for Scientific American,[33] and her newsletter, Talking Climate, shares good news, “not-so-good” news, and something people can do about climate change every week.[34]

In her communication, she emphasizes the importance of not engaging with people she refers to as “dismissive,”[35] after the Yale Program on Climate Communication’s Six Americas.[1] On September 28, 2018, she said, "The six stages of climate denial are: It's not real. It's not us. It's not that bad. It's too expensive to fix. Aha, here's a great solution (that actually does nothing). And – oh no! Now it's too late. You really should have warned us earlier."[36]

Outreach to Christian communities[edit]

In a 2019 op-ed in the New York Times titled “I’m a Climate Scientist who believes in God,” Hayhoe explains that, “I chose what to study precisely because of my faith, because climate change disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable, those already most at risk today. To me, caring about and acting on climate was a way to live out my calling to love others as we’ve been loved ourselves by God."[37]

In 2009, she and her husband, Andrew Farley, co-authored a book called A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, which outlines the ways in which climate science reflects conservative Christian beliefs.[38][39] The book resulted in word-of-mouth referrals across various Christian communities, who began to invite Hayhoe to speak at Christian colleges, churches, and other conservative groups. In the book, she stated that acceptance of climate change does not mean "that we have to believe in evolution or a four billion year old earth". Notably, when Hayhoe first met her husband and co-author, he was skeptical of global warming, but shifted his views.[30] She notes that she was able to change his mind over the course of a year and a half, with the help of data collected on a NASA website that documents rising global temperatures over time. Hayhoe has recognized that those debates with her husband sharpened her skills as a communicator engaging audiences skeptical of climate science.[7]

The effectiveness of her outreach efforts to Christian communities have been the subject of study. She delivers lectures that are rooted in scripture and focus on the benefits of collective action to mitigate the effects of climate change.[40] A 2017 study tested the effectiveness of a climate lecture Hayhoe delivered to students at the predominantly evangelical school Houghton College, in which she devoted time to a discussion of theology-based ethics and delivered information about climate change through a lens of evangelical tradition.[41] Following her lecture, students exhibited more willingness to accept that global warming is a true phenomenon and had an increased awareness of the expert scientific consensus. A subsequent study showed that the more doubtful the audience, the greater the gains after listening to a recorded presentation by Hayhoe on climate science, impacts, and solutions.[42]

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Hayhoe notes: "When we tie that to our Christian values there’s no conflict. In fact, quite the opposite – our faith demands that we act on this issue."[7]

Television and video[edit]

In 2014, Hayhoe served as a science advisor to the documentary TV series Years of Living Dangerously, an Emmy Award–winning Showtime series that details how climate change has already impacted lives around the world. She was featured in the first episode of the series, meeting with actor Don Cheadle to discuss why she believed her Christian faith and her belief in the need to act on climate were not at odds, as well as the fourth episode.[5]

Hayhoe also hosted and produced a digital series with PBS called Global Weirding: Climate, Politics, and Religion, which launched September 2016 and ran through March 2019.[43][44]

Newt Gingrich book[edit]

Hayhoe wrote a chapter of a book by Newt Gingrich about climate change in 2009, and, in 2011, was told by Gingrich's co-author, Terry Maple, that it had been accepted.[45] Gingrich announced in late 2011 that this chapter was dropped on his request, saying, "We didn't know that they were doing that, and we told them to kill it."[46]

Upon finding out that her chapter had been dropped, Hayhoe stated, "I had not heard that" and tweeted that she had spent over 100 unpaid hours working on the chapter.[47] Some have speculated that Gingrich dropped her chapter because Marc Morano, who is not a scientist, wrote many articles on his website, Climate Depot, attacking her findings.[45] This, as well as her appearing on Bill O'Reilly's TV show, led to her receiving nearly 200 hate-mail messages the following day.[6][48] Shortly after, the conservative political action committee American Tradition Institute filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act for Hayhoe's public university employer to release her notes and emails related to the writing of the unpublished chapter for the Gingrich book.[49]


  • "Katharine Hayhoe". Google Scholar.
  • Hayhoe, Katharine; Farley, Andrew (2009). A climate for change: global warming facts for faith-based decisions. FaithWords. ISBN 978-0-446-54956-1. OCLC 318100426.
  • Kotamarthi, Rao; Hayhoe, Katherine; Mearns, Linda O; Wuebbles, Donald J; Jacobs, Jennifer; Jurado, Jennifer (February 5, 2021). Downscaling Techniques for High-Resolution Climate Projections: From Global Change to Local Impacts. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-60126-9. OCLC 1241683497.
  • Hayhoe, Katharine (September 21, 2021). Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World (First ed.). New York, NY: One Signal Publishers. ISBN 978-1-9821-4383-1. OCLC 1262751074.[50]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D." Texas Tech University: Department of Political Science. Archived from the original on August 19, 2022.
  2. ^ Freedman, Andrew (March 1, 2021). "Climate 'champion' Katharine Hayhoe joins Nature Conservancy as chief scientist". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ "Katharine H Farley – United States Public Records". FamilySearch. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  4. ^ Marsden, William (April 24, 2015). "Canadian's Crusade to Convert Christians to Climate Change Belief". National Post. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Mooney, Chris (May 2, 2014). "How To Convince Conservative Christians That Global Warming Is Real". Mother Jones. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Thanh Ha, Tu (January 10, 2012). "Canadian climate scientist finds fame, hate mail in U.S." The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Kroh, Kiley (April 14, 2014). "Meet the surprising star of Showtime's new climate change series". Think Progress. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Gewin, Virginia (June 25, 2014). "Turning point: Katharine Hayhoe". Nature. 510 (7506): 567. doi:10.1038/nj7506-567a.
  9. ^ A standardized framework for evaluating the skill of regional climate downscaling techniques (PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Illinois. May 19, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Banerjee, Neela (December 7, 2011). "Spreading the global warming gospel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  11. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". pbs.org. WGBH-TV. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  12. ^ "Missionary from Toronto winning converts – on climate change". Toronto Star. January 9, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  13. ^ "Dr. Doug Hayhoe", faculty listing, Tyndale University College and Seminary, accessed May 6, 2014
  14. ^ Mooney, Chris (May 3, 2014). "Why Should Evangelical Christians Care About Climate Change?". Slate. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "The Grace Message with Dr. Andrew Farley". andrewfarley.org. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  16. ^ Galbraith, Kate (September 22, 2011). "Katharine Hayhoe: The TT Interview". Texas Tribune. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  17. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". scholar.google.com. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  18. ^ "Report: Climate Change is 'Here and Now'". wltx.com. May 6, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  19. ^ Molina, McCarthy, Wall, Alley, Cobb, Cole, Das, Diffenbaugh, Emanuel, Frumkin, Hayhoe, Parmesan, Shepherd. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), https://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/whatweknow_website.pdf
  20. ^ American Association for the Advancement of Science (2019). How We Respond: Community Responses to Climate Change. https://howwerespond.aaas.org
  21. ^ Kotamarthi, R., Hayhoe, K., Mearns, L. O., Wuebbles, D., Jacobs, J., & Jurado, J. (2021). Downscaling Techniques for High-Resolution Climate Projections: From Global Change to Local Impacts (1st Edition). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108601269.
  22. ^ Cheadle, Don (April 23, 2014). "Katharine Hayhoe: The World's 100 Most Influential People". TIME.com. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  23. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". Fortune. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  24. ^ "Foreign Policy's 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  25. ^ Environment, U. N. (September 16, 2019). "Professor Katharine Hayhoe". Champions of the Earth. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  26. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D. | Faculty | Political Science | TTU". www.depts.ttu.edu. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  27. ^ "AGU - American Geophysical Union". www.agu.org. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  28. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  29. ^ "New Members Elected in 2023". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. April 19, 2023. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  30. ^ a b Schwartz, John (October 10, 2016). "Katharine Hayhoe, a Climate Explainer Who Stays Above the Storm". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Hayhoe, Katharine (December 14, 2018), The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it, retrieved September 27, 2023
  32. ^ Saving Us. September 21, 2021. ISBN 978-1-7971-2053-9.
  33. ^ "Stories by Katharine Hayhoe". Scientific American. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  34. ^ Hayhoe, Katharine (September 25, 2023). "Talking Climate with Katharine Hayhoe | Substack". www.talkingclimate.ca. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  35. ^ "https://twitter.com/KHayhoe/status/1654151498668949504?s=20". X (formerly Twitter). Retrieved September 27, 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  36. ^ What the Coronavirus Means for Climate Change By Meehan Crist, The New York Times, March 27, 2020
  37. ^ Hayhoe, Katharine (October 31, 2019). "Opinion | I'm a Climate Scientist Who Believes in God. Hear Me Out". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  38. ^ Samenow, Jason. "Climate leaders Sullivan and Hayhoe make TIME 100 Most Influential People", The Washington Post, April 24, 2014
  39. ^ Gertz, Emily (July 3, 2014). "Meet The Scientist Who Might End The Climate Culture Wars". Popular Science. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  40. ^ Fessler, Leah (February 6, 2018). "The Christian climate professor bridging the gap between science and faith". Quartz at Work. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  41. ^ Nuccitelli, Dana (August 28, 2017). "Study: Katharine Hayhoe is successfully convincing doubtful evangelicals about climate change | Dana Nuccitelli". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  42. ^ Hayhoe, Doug; Bloom, Mark A.; Webb, Brian S. (February 2019). "Changing evangelical minds on climate change". Environmental Research Letters. 14 (2): 024016. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aaf0ce. ISSN 1748-9326.
  43. ^ Global Weirding | PBS, retrieved October 20, 2019
  44. ^ Plait, Phil (November 1, 2016). "What Is Global Weirding?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  45. ^ a b Roberts, David (January 17, 2012). "Chatting with the climate scientist Newt dissed". Grist. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  46. ^ Sheppard, Kate (January 6, 2012). "Newt Dumps Christian Climate Scientist". Mother Jones. Foundation for National Progress. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  47. ^ Huisenga, Sarah (December 30, 2011). "Gingrich kills chapter on climate change in upcoming book". CBS News. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  48. ^ Dawson, Bill (January 30, 2012). "Texas Tech Scientist Sees Intimidation Effort Behind Barrage of Hate Mail". Texas Climate News. Huston Advanced Research Center. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  49. ^ Clynes, Tom (June 21, 2012). "The Battle Over Climate Science". Popular Science. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  50. ^ Associated Press. "Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe has book out in September". ABC News. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  51. ^ Environment, U. N. (September 16, 2019). "Professor Katharine Hayhoe". Champions of the Earth.
  52. ^ "Canadian Professor Katharine Hayhoe named UN Champion of the Earth". UNEP. September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  53. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe Named United Nations' Champion of the Earth". Eos. September 18, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  54. ^ Ephron, Dan. "Climate Change Prophet". Foreign Policy. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  55. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe Honored With Stephen H. Schneider Award | Texas Tech Today | TTU". today.ttu.edu. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  56. ^ "Katharine Hayhoe". Fortune. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  57. ^ "Friend of the Planet: Katherine Hayhoe | National Center for Science Education". ncse.ngo. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  58. ^ Romm, Joe (April 24, 2014). "Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Star of Showtime Climate Series, Makes TIME 100 Most Influential People List". ThinkProgress.
  59. ^ Zaimov, Stoyan (April 24, 2014). "TIME's 100 Most Influential People: Evangelical Christian Scientist Featured for Climate Change Work". Christian Post.
  60. ^ Cheadle, Don. "Katharine Hayhoe: The World's 100 Most Influential People". TIME.com. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  61. ^ "American Geophysical Union Announces 2014 Awards, Medals, and Prizes Honorees". AGU Newsroom. Retrieved October 19, 2019.

External links[edit]