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; develops new cross-program science and policy initiatives; 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. 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, lead author of the 2000 IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry and Chair of the 2007 Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment. He has also 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.

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

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. Sci Adv. 5 (6)

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.

Frumhoff, P.C. and J.C. Stephens 2018 Towards legitimacy of the solar geoengineering research enterprise. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 20160459.

Goldman, G.T., K. Mulvey, P.C. Frumhoff, R. Sethi, S. Pferman, and H. Commoss. 2017. A methodology for assessment of corporate responsibility on climate change: A case study of the fossil energy industry. Journal of Environmental Investing 8:160-181.

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.

Frumhoff, P.C. and J.C. Stephens 2017 The siren call of US funding for solar geoengineering research. pp 28-31 in Burns, E., DW Keith, E. Parson, and G. Wagner, eds. Report on the Forum on U.S. Solar Geoengineering Research Washington, D.C March 24, 2017

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. Environ. Res. Lett. 11

Frumhoff, P.C., R. Heede, and N. Oreskes. 2015. The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers. Climatic Change 132(2): 157-171.

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. Environ. Res. Lett. 10:080201.

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.

Opinion pieces

Should oil companies pay for ciimate change? Yes, there is evidence. (with Ann Carlson). San Francisco Chronicle, March 21 2018 Available here. Fossil Fuel Firms Are Still Bankrolling Climate Denial Lobby Groups. (with Naomi Oreskes). The Guardian. March 25 2015.

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

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

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

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