Kristina Dahl

Principal Climate Scientist

Media Contact

Kristina Dahl is principal climate scientist for the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she provides scientific direction, strategic thinking, and technical and analytical expertise for the climate team as well as across UCS campaigns and programs. Dr. Dahl is also responsible for designing, executing, and communicating scientific analyses to make climate change more tangible to the general public, and to policymakers. Her research focuses on the impact of climate change, particularly sea level rise and extreme heat, on people and places. Much of her work involves spatial analyses and products, reflecting her lifelong passion for maps.

Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Dahl was the associate director of a school-wide climate change initiative at Rutgers University, and provided scientific guidance as a course scientist for the American Museum of Natural History’s Seminars on Science program, a set of online courses geared toward K-12 educators. She also served as a science communicator for Al Gore’s Climate Project, delivering presentations on global warming for K-12 students and adult learners.

Dr. Dahl earned a PhD in paleoclimate from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, and a BA in Earth sciences from Boston University. She has been quoted in Bloomberg, The Guardian, National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Republic, San Francisco Chronicle, The Weather Channel, and local news outlets.

Watch Dr. Dahl on FRANCE 24 English.

Selected publications

Dahl, K.A., J.T. Abatzoglou, C.A. Phillips, J.P. Ortiz-Partida, R. Licker, L.D. Merner, and B. Ekwurzel. 2023. Quantifying the contribution of major carbon producers to increases in vapor pressure deficit and burned area in western US and southwestern Canadian forests. Environmental Research Letters 18(064011).

Licker, R., K. Dahl, and J.T. Abatzoglou. 2022. Quantifying the impact of future heat extreme heat on the outdoor work sector in the United States. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 10(1): 00048.

Phillips, C.A., Astrid Caldas, Rachel Cleetus, Kristina A. Dahl, Juan Declet-Barreto, Rachel Licker, L. Delta Merner, J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida, Alexandra L. Phelan, Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Shuchi Talati, Christopher H. Trisos, and  Colin J. Carlson. 2020. Compound climate risks in the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature Climate Change.

Dahl, K., R. Licker, J.T. Abatzoglou, and J. Declet-Barreto. 2019. Increased frequency of and population exposure to extreme heat index days in the United States during the 21st century. Environmental Research Communications 1(2019) 075002. doi: 10.1088/2515-7620/ab27cf. Available here:

Pei, S., K.A. Dahl, T.K. Yamana, R. Licker, and J. Shaman. 2020. Compound risks of hurricane evacuation amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. GeoHealth 4(12). doi: 10.1029/2020GH000319. Available here:

Dahl, K.A., E. Spanger-Siegfried, A. Caldas, and S. Udvardy. 2017. Effective inundation of continental United States communities with 21st century sea level rise. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 5(37). Doi: 10.1525/elementa.234. Available here:

Dahl, K.A., M.F. Fitzpatrick, E. Spanger-Siegfried. 2017. Sea level rise drives increased tidal flooding frequency at tide gauges along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts: Projections for 2030 and 2045. PLOS-ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170949. Available here:

Carlson, C., G. Goldman, and K. Dahl. 2016. “Stormy seas, rising risks: Assessing undisclosed risk from sea level rise and storm surge at coastal US oil refineries.” In Communicating Climate-Change and Natural Hazard Risk and Cultivating Resilience, pp. 295-308. Springer International Publishing, Cham.