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John Kutzbach

Senior Scientist
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Environmental Studies
Bascom-Plaenert Professor of Liberal Arts

Center for Climatic Research
Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
1125 Atmospheric, Oceanic & Space Science Bldg.
1225 W. Dayton St.
Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1695

Phone: (608) 238-0420
Fax: (608) 263-4190

Research Interests

I've been involved in studies of the earth's climate, past, present and future. My research focuses on: (1) present-day climate variability and simulations of future climate changes; (2) decade/century scale climate variability over recent millennia; (3) linkages between vegetation changes and climate changes; (4) the role of earth's orbital changes in producing the glacial/interglacial cycles and global monsoon cycles of the last few hundred thousand years; (5) the role of uplift of mountains and plateaus in producing major climatic changes over the past ten million years; and (6) the role of geographic changes associated with plate movements in producing climate changes over the past 250 million years.


Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. Awarded the "Revelle Medal" of the American Geophysical Union in 2006 (for outstanding contributions to Earth-system science). Awarded the "Milankovitch Medal" of the European Geophysical Society, France, 2001 (for pioneering and outstanding contributions to climate science); "Honorary Professor" status, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 1999; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2009 (for distinguished contributions in the field of climate change); Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 1994 (for outstanding contributions to climate studies); William Smith Award for Geological Sciences, London, 1994; Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, 1981; Senior Scientist Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, West Germany, 1978. NSF/NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, England, 1968.

All Publications

Selected Publications (about 30 out of 150)

Kutzbach, J. E., G. Chen, H. Cheng, R.L Edwards, Z. Liu (2013). Potential role of winter rainfall in explaining increased moisture in the Mediterranean and Middle East during periods of maximum orbitally-forced insolation seasonality. Climate Dynamics. DOI 10.1007/s00382-013-1692-1 (published online 2 March 2013).

Kutzbach, J. E., He, F. Vavrus, S. J., Ruddiman, W. F. (2013). The dependence of equilibrium climate sensitivity on climate state: Applications to studies of climates colder than present. Geophysical Research Letters 40: 3721–3726, doi:10.1002/grl.50724.

Kutzbach, J. E. , S. J. Vavrus, W. F. Ruddiman, G. Philippon-Berthier (2011). Comparisons of atmosphere-ocean simulations of greenhouse gas-induced climate change for pre-industrial and hypothetical ‘no-anthropogenic’ radiative forcing, relative to present day. The Holocene 21:793-801.

Kutzbach, J. E., W. F. Ruddiman, S.J. Vavrus, G. Philippon, (2010). Climate model simulation of anthropogenic influence on greenhouse-induced climate change (early agriculture to modern): the role of ocean feedbacks. Climatic Change 99:351-381.

Kutzbach, J. E., W. F. Ruddiman, S.J. Vavrus, G. Philippon (2009). Climate model test of anthropogenic influence on greenhouse-induced climate change (early agriculture to modern): the role of ocean feedbacks. Climatic Change. Published Online 3 September 2009, DOI 10.1007/s10584-009-9684-1.

Liu, Z., B. L. Otto-Bliesner, F. He, E. Brady, R. Tomas, P.U. Clark, A. Carlson, J. Lynch-Steiglitz, W. Curry, E. Brook, D. Erickson, R. Jacob, J. Kutzbach, J. Cheng (2009). Transient simulation of deglacial climate evolution with a new mechanism for Bolling-Allerod Warming. Science 325:310-314.

Vavrus, S., W.F. Ruddiman and J. E. Kutzbach (2008). Climate model tests of the anthropogenic influence on greenhouse-induced climate change: the role of early human agriculture, industrialization, and vegetation feedbacks. Quaternary Science Reviews 27:1410-1425.

Kutzbach, J. E., X. Liu, Z. Liu and G. Chen (2008). Simulation of the evolutionary response of global summer monsoons to orbital forcing over the past 280,000 years. Climate Dynamics 30 (6): 567-579.

Liu, Z., Y. Wang, R. Gallimore, F. Gasse, T. Johnson, P. deMenocal, J. Adkins, M. Notaro, I.C. Prentice, J. Kutzbach, R. Jacob, P. Behling, L. Wang, and E. Ong (2007). Simulating the transient evolution and abrupt change of Northern Africa atmosphere-ocean-terrestrial ecosystems in the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 26: 1818-1837.

Wyrwoll, Karl-Heinz, Z. Liu, G. Chen, J. E. Kutzbach and X. Liu (2007). Sensitivity of the Australian summer monsoon to tilt and precession forcing. Quaternary Science Reviews 26: 3043-3057.

Williams, S. Jackson, J. Kutzbach (2007). Projected distribution of novel and disappearing climates by 2100AD. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences.104:5738-5742.

Kutzbach, J.E., J. Williams, and S. Vavrus (2005). Simulated 21st century changes in regional water balance of the Great Lakes region and links to changes in global temperature and poleward moisture transport. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L17707, doi: 10.1029/2005GL023506.

Ruddiman, W. F., S. J. Vavrus, and J. E. Kutzbach (2005). A test of overdue-glaciation hypothesis. Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (1-2):1-10.

Liu, Z., M. Notaro, J. Kutzbach, and N. Liu (2005). Assessing Global Vegetation — Climate Feedbacks from Observations. Journal of Climate 19:787-814.

Booth, R. K., S. Jackson, S. Forman, J. Kutzbach, E. Bettis, J. Krieg, and D. Wright (2005). A severe continent-scale drought in mid-continental North America 4200 years ago and apparent global linkages. The Holocene 15:321-328.

Liu, Z. S. P. Harrison, J. Kutzbach, B. Otto-Bliesner (2004). Global monsoons in the mid-Holocene and oceanic feedback. Climate Dynamics 22:157-182.

An, Z., J.E. Kutzbach, W. Prell, and S. Porter (2001). Evolution of Asian monsoons and phased uplift of the Himalaya-Tibetan plateau since Late Miocene times. Nature 411:62-66.

Kutzbach, J.E., R. Gallimore, S.P. Harrison, P. Behling, R. Selin, and F. Laarif (1998). Climate and biome simulations for the past 21,000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 17(6-7): 473-506.

Kutzbach, J.E., W.F. Ruddiman, and W.L. Prell (1997). Possible effects of Cenozoic uplift and CO2 lowering on global and regional hydrology. In "Tectonic Uplift and Climate Change" (W.F. Ruddiman, ed.), Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, pp. 149-170.

Kutzbach, J.E., G. Bonan, J. Foley, and S.P. Harrison (1996). Vegetation and soil feedbacks on the response of the African monsoon to orbital forcing in the early to middle Holocene. Nature 384: 623-626.

TEMPO (Testing Earth System Models with Paleo-Observations) [Kutzbach, J.E, P.J Bartlein, J.A. Foley, S. Harrison, S. Hostetler, Z. Liu, I.C. Prentice, and T. Webb III] (1996). Potential role of vegetation feedback in the climate sensitivity of high-latitude regions: A case study at 6000 years B.P. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 10(4), 727-736.

Kutzbach, J.E., P.J. Guetter, P.J. Behling, R. Selin (1993). Simulated climatic changes: results of the COHMAP climate-model experiments. Chapter 4 In "Global Climates since the Last Glacial Maximum" (H.E. Wright, Jr, J.E. Kutzbach, T. Webb III, W.F. Ruddiman, F.A. Street-Perrott, and P.J. Bartlein, eds.), University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, pp. 24-93.

Kutzbach, J.E. and R.G. Gallimore (1989). Pangaean Climates: Megamonsoons of the Megacontinent. Journal of Geophysical Research 94, 3341-3358.

Kutzbach, J.E., P.J. Guetter, W.F. Ruddiman, and W.L. Prell (1989). The sensitivity of climate to Late Cenozoic uplift in Southern Asia and the American West: numerical experiments. Journal of Geophysical Research 94(D15), 18, 393-18, 407.

COHMAP Members (1988). Climatic changes of the last 18,000 years: Observations and Model Simulations. Science 241, 1043-1052.

Kutzbach, J.E. and P.J. Guetter (1986). The influence of changing orbital parameters and surface boundary conditions on climate simulations for the past 18,000 years. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 43(16), 1726-1759.

Kutzbach, J.E. and F.A. Street-Perrott (1985). Milankovitch forcing of fluctuations in the level of tropical lakes from 18 to 0 kyr BP. Nature 317, 130-134.

Kutzbach, J.E. and B.L. Otto-Bliesner (1982). The Sensitivity of the African-Asian Monsoonal Climate to Orbital Parameter Changes for 9000 yr B.P. in a Low-resolution General Circulation Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 39(6), 1177-1188.

Kutzbach, J.E. (1981). Monsoon climate of the Early Holocene: Climate Experiment with the Earth's Orbital Parameters for 9000 years ago. Science 214: 59-61.

Kutzbach, J.E. (1980). Estimates of past climate at paleolake Chad, North Africa, based on a hydrological and energy balance model. Quaternary Research 14(2), 210-223.

Kutzbach, J.E. (1970). Large-scale features of monthly mean northern hemisphere anomaly maps of sea-level pressure. Monthly Weather Review 98(9), 708-716.

Kutzbach, J.E. (1967). Empirical eigenvectors of sea-level pressure, surface temperature, and precipitation complexes over North America. Journal of Applied Meteorology 6(5), 791-802.

Kutzbach, J. E. (1965). The representation of scalar fields with functions orthogonal in polar coordinates. J. Applied Meteor. 4: 542-544.

Kutzbach, J.E. (1961). Investigations of modification of wind profiles by artificially controlled surface roughness. M.S. Thesis, Dept. of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.