Peter Frumhoff

Director of Science and Policy and Chief Climate Scientist

Media Contact

Peter C. Frumhoff is director of science and policy and chief climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). He guides organizational-wide strategies to bring robust scientific expertise to bear on strengthening public understanding and public policies; guides innovative science and policy initiatives and post-doctoral fellowships; and serves as senior liaison with the scientific community, policymakers and the media.

A global change ecologist, Dr. Frumhoff has published widely at the nexus of climate science and policy including on the climate responsibilities of fossil fuel companies, the attribution of extreme events to climate change, the regional impacts of climate change, the role of forests and land use in climate mitigation, and the societal responsibilities of geoengineering researchers.

He serves on the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and the Board of Editors of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science at the US Department of Interior, and the Board of Editors of Ecological Applications.

He was a lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and lead author of the 2000 IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry. He has guided multiple regional climate impacts assessments, including the 2007 Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA).

Dr. Frumhoff was the 2014 Cox Visiting Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Previously, he taught at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Harvard University and the University of Maryland, and was a AAAS Science and Diplomacy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development.

Dr. Frumhoff is quoted frequently in print and online media and has given congressional testimony on multiple occasions. He received a PhD in ecology and MA in zoology from the University of California at Davis, and a BA in psychology from the University of California at San Diego.

Peter Frumhoff's selected publications

Licker, R., B. Ekwurzel, S C Doney, S R Cooley, I D Lima, R Heede and P C Frumhoff, 2019. Attributing ocean acidification to major carbon producers. Environmental Research Letters 14 https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab5abc

Lo, Y.T.E., D. Mitchell, A. Gasparrini, A.M. Vicedo-Cabrera, K. L. Ebi, P.C. Frumhoff, R. J. Millar, W. Roberts, F. Sera, S. Sparrow, P. Uhe and G. Williams 2019. Increasing mitigation ambition to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal avoids substantial heat-related mortality in U.S. cities. Science Advances 5 (6) https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau4373

Stephens, J.C., Frumhoff, P.C. and Yona, L., 2018. The role of college and university faculty in the fossil fuel divestment movement. Elem Sci Anth, 6(1), p.41. http://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.297

Frumhoff, P.C. and J.C. Stephens 2018 Towards legitimacy of the solar geoengineering research enterprise. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 20160459. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2016.0459

Ekwurzel B., J. Boneham, M. W. Dalton, R. Heede, M.R. Allen, and P. C. Frumhoff. 2017 The rise in atmospheric CO2, surface temperature and sea level from emissions traced to major carbon producers. Climatic Change 144:579–590. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-1978-0

Mitchell, D., C. Heaviside, S. Vardoulakis, C. Huntingford, G. Masato, B. Guillod, P. Frumhoff, A Bowery, D. Wallom and M. Allen. 2016 Attributing human mortality during extreme heat waves to anthropogenic climate change. Environmental Research Letters 11 https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074006

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

Rosenberg, A.R, L. 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, C. Wexler. 2015. Congress’s attacks on science-based rules. Science: 348: 964-966. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aab2939

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. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/8/080201

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 133:427-438. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1474-3

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 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1127-y

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 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1127-y