Shaina Sadai

Hitz Fellow for Litigation-Relevant Science

Shaina Sadai is the Hitz Fellow for Litigation-Relevant Science at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Her research interests include sea level rise, ice sheet dynamics, future climate projections, and climate justice. Dr. Sadai's two-year fellowship is focused on exploring climate attribution of sea level rise and global methane emissions. Following from her prior research into sea level rise, climate justice, and the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement, she is particularly interested in how international law can be applied to the changes sea level rise will bring.

Prior to joining UCS, Shaina’s work was a combination of research, teaching, and advocacy. Her recent dissertation research focused on projecting changes in global climate and sea level resulting from Antarctic Ice Sheet instability, and the climate justice implications of modeling results. She was previously an American Geophysical Union Voices for Science policy fellow and attended the COP26 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. In addition to her research into sea level rise at the intersections of science, policy, and political power, she has also worked on sea level rise from the perspective of multispecies climate justice.

Dr. Sadai is also an award-winning professor and has developed university level courses on climate change and climate justice and conducted research into the educational benefits of interdisciplinary climate education. She earned her PhD at UMass Amherst in the Department of Earth, Geographic, and Climate Sciences. She also holds a MS in applied mathematics, a BS in astronomy/astrophysics, and a BS in physics from UMass Amherst.

Selected publications

Sadai, S., Spector, R. A., DeConto, R., and Gomez, N. 2022. The Paris Agreement and climate justice: Inequitable impacts of sea level rise associated with temperature targets. Earth's Future, 10, e2022EF002940.

Dong, Y., Pauling, A. G., Sadai, S., Armour, K. C. 2022. Antarctic ice-sheet meltwater reduces transient warming and climate sensitivity through the sea-surface temperature pattern effect. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL101249.

Sadai, S., Condron, A., DeConto, R., Pollard, D. 2020. Future climate response to Antarctic Ice Sheet melt caused by anthropogenic warming, Science Advances. 6(39), 1–9.

DeConto, R.M., Pollard, D., Alley, R.B., Velicogna, I., Gasson, E., Gomez, N., Sadai, S., Condron, A., Gilford, D.M., Ashe, E.L., and Kopp R.E., Li, D., Dutton, A. 2021. The Paris Climate Agreement and future sea-level rise from Antarctica. Nature 593(May), 83–89.