Chris E. Forest

Chris E. Forest

  • Associate Professor of Climate Dynamics
  • Earth and Environmental Systems Institute Associate
  • Associate Director, Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM)
507 Walker Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-0710


  1. BS -- Applied Math, Engineering, and Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  2. PhD -- Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Specialties:



Chris E. Forest joined the faculty in 2008 as Associate Professor of Climate Dynamics in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at The Pennsylvania State University.  He is also currently affiliated wth the Department of Geosciences, an associate in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and associate director for the Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management. He served as a lead author on the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the chapter on the evaluation of climate models and on a report for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program examining the estimates of temperature trends in the atmospheric and surface climate data. He was elected to serve on the Electorate Nominating Committee for the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research focuses on quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions and their implications for assessing climate risks. He has a B.S. in applied mathematics, engineering, and physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Selected Publications

  • Ceres, R.L., C.E. Forest, and K. Keller, Understanding the detectability of potential changes to the 100-year peak storm surge, Climatic Change, in press, doi:10.1007/s10584-017-2075-0, 2017.
  • Hoffman, A.L., A. Kemanian, and C.E. Forest, Analysis of climate signals in the crop yield record of Sub-Saharan Africa, Global Change Biology, doi:10.1111/gcb.13901, 2017.
  • Oddo, P.C., B.S. Lee, G.G. Garner, V. Srikrishnan, P.M. Reed, C.E. Forest, K. Keller, Improved sea-level rise and storm surge projections increase economically optimal investments in coastal protection. Risk Analysis, doi: 10.1111/risa.12888, 2017. 
  • Tsai, C.-Y., Forest, C.E., and D. Pollard, Assessing the contribution of internal climate variability to anthropogenic changes in ice sheet volume, Geophys. Res. Let., 44, 62616268, doi:10.1002/2017GL073443, 2017.
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon. Committee on Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon, Board on Environmental Change and Society. (Members: M.L. Cropper (Cochair), R.G. Newell (Cochair), M. Allen, M. Auffhammer, C.E. Forest, I.Y. Fung, J. Hammitt, H.D. Jacoby, R. Kopp, W. Pizer, S. Rose, R. Schmalensee, J.P. Weyant). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, doi:10.17226/24651, 2017.  
  • Ruckert, K.L., G. Shaffer, D. Pollard, Y. Guan, T.E. Wong, C.E. Forest, and K. Keller, Assessing the Impact of Retreat Mechanisms in a Simple Antarctic Ice Sheet Model Using Bayesian Calibration. PLoS ONE 12(1):e0170052. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170052, 2017.

  • Qian, Y., C. Jackson, F. Giorgi, B. Booth, Q.-G. Duan and C. Forest, D. Higdon, Z. J. Hou, and G. Huerta, Uncertainty Quantification in Climate Modeling and Projection, Bul. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 5, 821–824, doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00297.1, 2016.

  • Ruckert, K.L., A.M.R. Bakker, Y. Guan, C.E. Forest, and K. Keller, The effects of time-varying observation errors on semi-empirical sea-level projections, Climatic Change, doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1858-z, 2016.
  • Gleckler, P.J., P.J. Durack, R.J. Stouffer, G.C. Johnson, and C.E. Forest, Industrial Era Global Ocean Heat Uptake Doubles in Recent Decades, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2915, 2016. 
  • Sriver, R.L., \textbf{C.E. Forest}, and K. Keller, Effects of initial conditions uncertainty on regional climate variability: An analysis using a low-resolution CESM ensemble, Geophys. Res. Let., doi:10.1002/2015GL064546, 2015.
  • Tsai, C.-Y., C.E. Forest, and T. Wagener, On the use of SST-forced teleconnection patterns to estimate precipitation effects on regional river basins, Clim. Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2449-1, 2014.
  • W. Li, and C. E. Forest, Estimating the sensitivity of the atmospheric teleconnection patterns to SST anomalies using a linear statistical method., J. Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00231.1, 2014. 
  • A. Hoffman, C. E. Forest, and W. Li, On the use of SST-forced teleconnection patterns to estimate dust emissions and depositions at sub-continental scales, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., DOI: 10.1002/2014JD021682, 2014. 
  • G. Flato, J. Marotzke, B. Abiodun, P. Braconnot, S. C. Chou, W. Collins, P. Cox, F. Driouech, S. Emori, V. Eyring, C. Forest, P. Gleckler, E. Guilyardi, C. Jakob, V. Kattsov, C. Reason and M. Rummukainen, Evaluation of Climate Models. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)}]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. pp. 741--866, 2013. 
  • D. J. Rowlands, D. J. Frame, D. Ackerley, T. Aina, B. B. B. Booth, C. Christensen, M. Collins, N. Faull, C. E. Forest, B. S. Grandey, E. Gryspeerdt, E. J. Highwood, W. J. Ingram, S. Knight, A. Lopez, N. Massey, F. McNamara, N. Meinshausen, C. Piani, S. M. Rosier, B. M. Sanderson, L. A. Smith, D. A. Stone, M. Thurston, K. Yamazaki, Y. H. Yamazaki, and M. R. Allen, Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble, Nature Geoscience, 5, 256--260 doi:10.1038/NGEO1430, 2012.
  • M. Webster, A.P. Sokolov, J.M. Reilly, C. E. Forest, S. Paltsev, A. Schlosser, C. Wang, D. Kicklighter, M. Sarofim, J. Melillo, R.G. Prinn and H.D. Jacoby.  Analysis of Climate Policy Targets under Uncertainty, Climatic Change, 112:569--583, doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0260-0, 2012.
  • Libardoni, A. G., and C. E. Forest, Sensitivity of distributions of climate system properties to the surface temperature dataset,  Geophys. Res.  Lett., 38, L22705, doi:10.1029/2011GL049431, 2011.
  • Sokolov, A.P., C.E. Forest, and P.H. Stone,  Sensitivity of Climate Change Projections to Uncertainties in the Estimates of Observed Changes in Deep-Ocean Heat Content, Clim. Dyn., doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0556-1, 2010.
  • Sokolov, A.P., P.H. Stone, C.E. Forest, R.G. Prinn,  M.C. Sarofim, M. Webster, S. Paltsev, C.A. Schlosser,   D. Kicklighter, S. Dutkiewicz, J. Reilly, C. Wang, B. Felzer,  J. Melillo, and H.D. Jacoby,  Probabilistic Forecast for Twenty-First-Century Climate Based on Uncertainties in Emissions (Without Policy) and Climate Parameters. J. Climate, 22, 5175--5204. doi:10.1175/2009JCLI2863.1, 2009. 
  • B. Sansó and C. Forest, Statistical Calibration of Climate System Properties. J. Royal Stat. Soc. A.,  Appl. Statist., Vol. 58, Part 4, p.485–503, 2009. 
  • P.A. Stott and C.E. Forest, Ensemble climate predictions using climate models and observational constraints. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 365, doi:10.1098/rsta.2007.2075, pp 2029–2052, 2007. 
  • C.E. Forest, P.H. Stone, A.P. Sokolov, M.R. Allen, and M.D. Webster, Quantifying Uncertainties in Climate System Properties with the use of Recent Climate Observations, Science, 295, pp 113-117, 2002.

Papers in Review or Preparation

  • Tsai, C.-Y., Forest, C.E., and D. Pollard, The role of internal climate variability on projecting Antarctica’s contribution to future sea-level rise, submitted to J. Climate, August 2017.
  • Forest, C.E., Inferred Net Aerosol Forcing Based on Historical Climate Changes: A Review, Submitted to: Current Climate Change Reports, Revised and resubmitted: 4 Oct 2017.
  • Libardoni, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov, and E. Monier, Understanding Internal Variability Leads to Narrower Estimates of Climate Sensitivity, in preparation, 2017. (Based on PhD Thesis)
  • Libardoni, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov, and E. Monier, Estimates of Climate System Properties Incorporating Recent Climate Change, in preparation, 2017. (Based on PhD Thesis)
  • Libardoni, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov, and E. Monier, Baseline Evaluation of Model Parameter Estimates in the Updated MIT Earth Systems Model, in preparation, 2017. (Based on PhD Thesis)