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Michael Oppenheimer

Advisory Board member

Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton University and Director of the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. Oppenheimer has been an author of reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, since its First Assessment Report (1990). He served most recently as a coordinating lead author on IPCC’s Special Report on Oceans, Cryosphere and Climate Change, published in September 2019, and as a Review Editor of its Sixth Assessment Report, published in February 2022. Oppenheimer is coeditor-in-chief of the journal Climatic Change. He is a science advisor to the Environmental Defense Fund and member of the board of directors of two other NGOs, Climate Central and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. He is also a member of the Board of the Trust for Governors Island (NYC), the future site of a major climate science center focused on solutions to this problem. He is a Heinz Award winner and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His current research focuses on sea level rise, migration, and other impacts of climate change from the perspectives of science, adaptation, and risk. Much of his work has centered on defining the concept of “dangerous” climate change, a key aspect of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. Oppenheimer is the author of over 200 articles published in professional journals and is co-author (with Robert H. Boyle) of a 1990 book, Dead Heat: The Race against the Greenhouse Effect. He is also coauthor of the book Discerning Experts: The Practices of Scientific Assessment for Environmental Policy, published in 2019 by the University of Chicago Press. He has an SB degree from MIT in chemistry (1966) and a PhD from the University of Chicago in chemical physics (1970). He joined the Princeton faculty in 2002 after more than two decades with the Environmental Defense Fund (1981-2002), where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Program. Before joining the EDF staff, he was a postdoctoral fellow and then an Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (1971-1981).

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