Peter Frumhoff

Director of Science & Policy

Peter C. Frumhoff is director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and chief scientist of the UCS climate campaign. He ensures that UCS brings robust science to bear on our efforts to strengthen public policies, with a particular focus on climate change.A global change ecologist, Dr. Frumhoff has published and lectured widely on topics including climate change impacts, climate science and policy, tropical forest conservation and management, and biological diversity. He was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCCs) 2007 Fourth Assessment Report and the 2000 IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry, and served as chair of the 2007 Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment. He serves on the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science at the U.S. Department of the Interior, the board of directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, and the steering committee for the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS. He is an associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

In 2014, Dr. Frumhoff served as a Cox Visiting Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Previously, he has taught at Tufts University, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland. He also served as an AAAS Science and Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he designed and led conservation and rural development programs in Latin America and East Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in ecology and an M.A. in zoology from the University of California, Davis, and a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Frumhoff has been quoted widely, including by The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, National Journal, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on National Public Radio.

Peter Frumhoff's Selected Publications


Frumhoff, P.C., R. Heede, and N. Oreskes. 2015. The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers. Climatic Change 132(2): 157-171. doi: 10.1007/s10584-015-1472-5. Available here.

Frumhoff, P.C., V. Burkett, R.B. Jackson, R. Newmark, J. Overpeck, and M. Webber. 2015. Vulnerabilities and opportunities at the nexus of electricity, water and climate. Environmental Research Letters 10:080201. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/8/080201. Available here.

Mera, R., N. Massey, M. Allen, P. Mote, D.E.  Rupp, and P.C. Frumhoff. 2015. Climate change, climate justice and the application of probabilistic event attribution to summer heat extremes in the California Central Valley. Climatic Change, published online: doi: 10.1007/s10584-015-1474-3

Rosenberg, A.A., L.M. Branscomb, V. Eady, P.C. Frumhoff, G.T. Goldman, M. Halpern, K. Kimmell, Y. Kothari, L.D. Kramer, N.F. Lane, J.J. McCarthy, P. Phartiyal, K. Rest, R. Sims, and C. Wexler. 2015. Congress’s attacks on science-based rules. Science 348(6238): 964-966. doi: 10.1126/science.aab2939. Available here.

Allison, T.D., T.L. Root, and P.C. Frumhoff. 2014. Thinking globally and siting locally-renewable energy and biodiversity in a rapidly warming world. Climatic Change 126: 1-6. doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1127-y. Available here.

Sanford, T., P.C. Frumhoff, A. Luers, and J. Gulledge. 2014.  The climate policy narrative for a dangerously warming world. Nature Climate Change 4:164-166. doi:10.1038/nclimate2148. Available here.

Ekwurzel, B,, P C. Frumhoff, and J. McCarthy. 2011. Climate uncertainties and their discontents: Increasing the impact of assessments on public understanding of climate risks and choices Climatic Change 108: 791-802. doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0194-6. Available here.

Meyer, J.L., P.C. Frumhoff, S.P. Hamburg , and C. de la Rosa. 2010. Above the din but in the fray: environmental scientists as effective advocates. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8(6): 299-305. doi:10.1890/090143. Available here.

Gullison, R.E., P.C. Frumhoff, J.G. Canadell, C.B. Field, D.C. Nepstad, K. Hayhoe, R. Avissar, L.M. Curran, P. Friedlingstein, C.D. Jones, C. Nobre. 2007. Tropical forests and climate policy. Science: 316:985-986. doi 10.1126/science.1136163. Available here.

Frumhoff, P.C. J.J. McCarthy, J.M. Melillo, S.C. Moser, and D.J. Wuebbles. 2007. Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast: Science, Impacts and Solutions.  Synthesis Report of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA). Union of Concerned Scientists. Cambridge, MA.

Hayhoe, K, D. Cayan, C.B. Field, P.C. Frumhoff, E.P. Maurer, N. Miller, S.C. Moser, S. H. Schneider, K.Cahill, E.E. Cleland, L. Dale, R. Drapek, R.M. Hanemann, , L.S. Kalkstein, J. Lenihan, C.K. Lunch, R.P. Neilson, S. C. Sheridan and J.H. Verville. 2004. Emissions pathways, climate change and impacts on California. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(34): 12422-12427. doi 10.1073/pnas.0404500101. Available here.

Opinion Pieces

Fossil Fuel Firms Are Still Bankrolling Climate Denial Lobby Groups. The Guardian. March 25 2015. Available here.

Making Water-Smart Energy Choices in Colorado. Denver Post. Oct 15 2012 (with Alice Madden). Available here.

Toward One America on Climate Change. Multiple newspapers – McClatchy syndicate. February 23 2012 (with Andrew Hoffman). Available here.

Candidates must deal with facts, not wishes, on climate change. Multiple newspapers – McClatchy syndicate. September 16 2011 (with Kerry Emanuel). Available here.

The Limits of Doubt-Mongering. The Hill. February 23 2011 (with Naomi Oreskes). Available here.


Peter Frumhoff and a panel discussion (including Gus Speth) on “Who is Responsible for Climate Change?” on October 16, 2015 — watch a video of the event.

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