Prinn, Ronald G. MIT 



Phone: (617) 253-2452
Office: MIT Bldg. 54-1312A

TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science,
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS);
Director, Center for Global Change Science (CGCS);
Director, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change (JPSPGC);
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA 02139, U.S.A.

Professor Prinn's research interests incorporate the chemistry, dynamics, and physics of the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets, and the chemical evolution of atmospheres. He has been a faculty member at MIT since 1971, and headed the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences from 1998 to 2003. He is currently involved in a wide range of projects in atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry, climate science, and integrated assessment of science and policy regarding climate change. He leads the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), in which the rates of change of the concentrations of the trace gases involved in the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion have been measured continuously over the globe for the past three decades. He is pioneering the use of inverse methods, which use such measurements and three-dimensional models to determine trace gas emissions and understand atmospheric chemical processes, especially those processes involving the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere. He is also working extensively with social scientists to link the science, economics and policy aspects of global change. He has co-led the development of a unique integrated global system model coupling economics, climate physics and chemistry, and land and ocean ecosystems, which is used to estimate uncertainty in climate predictions and analyze proposed climate policies. He has made significant contributions to the development of national and international scientific research programs in global change. He served as one of the Lead Authors in the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2007. He has served as Chairman for Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and has chaired the Steering Committees for the IGBP/IAMAP International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project, the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Earth Sciences, and the U.S. Global Tropospheric Chemistry Program. He has been a member of the Steering Committees of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), and the NASA Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change, and a member of the IAMAP International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution, the NRC Space Science Board, the NRC Committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, the NASA Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee, and the NASA Earth System Sciences Committee. He has twice testified to the United States Congress on climate change science and its implications for policy. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a recipient of AGU's Macelwane Medal, and a Fellow of the AAAS. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific papers, co-authored Planets and their Atmospheres: Origin and Evolution (Academic Press), and edited or co-edited Global Atmospheric-Biospheric Chemistry (Plenum), Atmospheric Chemistry in a Changing World (Springer), and Inverse Methods in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (AGU).
Education: Sc.D., 1971, MIT; M.S., 1968, B.S., 1967, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

            Prinn photo


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Doctoral Students Thesis Current (or last known) Affiliation
Charles Gertler 2020 Extratropical Storm Tracks and the Mean State of the Atmosphere
AAAS Congressional Science Fellow
Michael J. McClellan 2018 Estimating Regional Nitrous Oxide Emissions Using Isotopic Ratio Observations and a Bayesian Inverse Framework
Tampa Bay Rays
Jimmy Gasore 2017 Quantifying Emissions of Carbon Dioxide and Methane in Central and Eastern Africa Through High Frequency Measurements and Inverse Modeling
Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Education
Anita Ganesan 2013 Quantifying Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from South Asia Through a Targeted Measurement Campaign University of Bristol
Laura Meredith 2012 Field Measurement of the Fate of Atmospheric H2 in a Forest Environment: from Canopy to Soil University of Arizona
Diane Ivy 2012 Trends and Inferred Emissions of Atmospheric High Molecular Weight Perfluorocarbons Stitch Fix
Eunjee Lee 2011 Impacts of Meteorology-Driven Seed Dispersal on Plant Migration: Implications for Future Vegetation Structure under Changing Climates NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Katherine Potter 2011 Nitrous oxide (N2O) isotopic composition in the troposphere: instrumentation, observations at Mace Head, Ireland, and regional modeling MIT
Jason Blake Cohen 2010 Urban-Scale Impacts on the Global-Scale Composition and Climate Effects of Anthropogenic Aerosols Sun Yat-sen University
Udaya Bhaskar Gunturu 2010 Aerosol-Cloud Interactions: A New Perspective in Precipitation Enhancement King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Xue Xiao 2008 Optimal Estimation of the Surface Fluxes of Chloromethanes Using a 3-D Global Atmospheric Chemical Transport Model Rice University
Matthew Alvarado 2008 Formation of Ozone and Growth of Aerosols in Young Smoke Plumes from Biomass Burning Atmospheric and Environmental Research
Elke Hodson 2008 The Municipal Solid Waste Landfill as a Source of Montreal Protocol-restricted Halocarbons in the United States and United Kingdom U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Arnico Panday 2006 The Diurnal Cycle of Air Pollution In the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal Ullens Education Foundation
Donnan Steele 2004 Investigations of Cloud Altering Effects of Atmospheric Aerosols using a New Mixed Eulerian-Lagrangian Aerosol Model Phoenician Resources
Yu-Han Chen 2003 Estimation of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Surface Fluxes using a 3-D Global Atmospheric Chemical Transport Model U.S. Department of Energy
Don Lucas 2003 Mechanistic, Sensitivity, and Uncertainty Studies of the Atmospheric Oxidation of Dimethylsulfide Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Stephanie Shaw 2001 The Production of Non-Methane Hydrocarbons by Marine Plankton Electric Power Research Institute
Jin Huang 2000 Optimal Determination of Global Tropospheric OH Concentrations Using Multiple Trace Gases MIT
Gary Kleiman 1999 Measurement and Deduction of Emissions of Short-lived Atmospheric Organo-chlorine Compounds Orbis Air
John Graham 1998 Seasonal Measurements of Nonmethane Hydrocarbons (NMHC) in a Sub-tropical Evergreen Forest in Southern China Clean Air Task Force
Yuexin Liu 1996 Modeling the Emissions of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Methane (CH4) from the Terrestrial Biosphere to the Atmosphere  
Wenwei Pan 1996 The Role of Aerosols in the Troposphere: Radiative Forcing, Model Response, and Uncertainty Analysis China Research Center for Public Policy
Natalie Mahowald 1996 Development of a 3-Dimensional Chemical Transport Model Based on Observed Winds and Use in Inverse Modeling of the Sources of CFCl3 Cornell University
Robert Boldi 1993 A Model of the Ion Chemistry of Electrified Convection Zayed University
Dana Hartley 1992 Deducing Trace Gas Emissions Using an Inverse Method in 3-D Chemical Transport Models Georgia Institute of Technology
Michele Sprengnether 1992 An Active Titration Method for the Local Measurement of Tropospheric Hydroxyl Radical Formerly at SUNY, Albany; Harvard
Neil Donahue 1991 Nonmethane Hydrocarbon Chemistry in the Remote Marine Atmosphere Carnegie Mellon University
Eduardo (Jay) Olaguer 1987 Solar activity and middle atmospheric dynamics Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Mary Anne Carroll 1983 An experimental study of the fluxes of reduced sulfur gases from a salt water marsh University of Michigan
Amram Golombek 1982 A global three-dimensional model of the circulation and chemistry of long-lived atmospheric species Formerly at IIBR
Dale Durran 1981 The effects of moisture on mountain lee waves University of Washington


  October 2020 several