Chris E. Forest

Chris E. Forest

  • Professor of Climate Dynamics
  • Earth and Environmental Systems Institute Associate
  • Director, Penn State Center for Earth System Modeling, Analysis, and Data (ESMAD)
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 is Professor of Climate Dynamics in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at The Pennsylvania State University and joined the faculty in 2008.  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 is the Director for the Penn State Center for Earth System Modeling, Analysis, and Data (ESMAD).   He served as an IPCC AR5 lead author on the Evaluation of Climate Models chapter 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 has served on the Electorate Nominating Committee for the Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences Section of the AAAS and is currently the Chair of the Topical Group for the Physics of Climate for the American Physical Society (APS GPC).  He served as an author on the National Academies report on "Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon" His research focuses on basic understanding of climate dynamics, quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions, and understanding how to use climate information 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.

Google Scholar: Chris E. Forest


Recent Publications

  • Helgeson, C., R. E. Nicholas, K. Keller, C. E. Forest, and N. Tuana. Attention to values helps shape convergence research, Climatic Change, 170:17,, 2022.
  • Ceres*, R.L., C.E. Forest, and K. Keller, Trade-offs and synergies in managing coastal flood risk: A case study for New York City, Journal of Flood Risk Management, First published: 11 November 2021,, 2021. 
  • Veltman, K., C.A. Rotz, L. Chase, J. Cooper, C.E. Forest, P.A. Ingraham, R.C. Izaurralde, C.D. Jones, R.E. Nicholas, M.D. Ruark, W. Salas, G. Thoma, O. Jolliet, Assessing and reducing the environmental impact of dairy production systems in the northern US in a changing climate, Agricultural Systems, 192,, 2021. 
  • Snyder, G.J., S. LeBlanc, D. Crane, H. Pangborn, C.E. Forest, A. Rattner, L. Borgsmiller, S. Priya, Distributed and localized cooling with thermoelectrics, Joule, 5(4),, 2021. 
  • Williams*, M.Z., M. Gervais, C.E. Forest, Causes and impacts of sea ice variability in the sea of Okhotsk using CESM-LE, Climate Dynamics,, 2021. 
  • Tsai*, C.-Y., Forest, C.E., and D. Pollard, The role of internal climate variability in projecting Antarctica’s contribution to future sea-level rise, Climate Dynamics, 55, 1875–1892,, 2020. 
  • Bopp, G.P., B.A. Shaby, C.E. Forest, and A. Mejia, Projecting Flood-Inducing Precipitation with a Bayesian Analogue Model. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics (JABES),
  • Hoffman*, A., A. Kemanian, and C.E. Forest, The response of maize, sorghum, and soybean yield to growing-phase climate revealed with machine learning, Env. Research Letters,, 2020.
  • Libardoni*, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov, and E. Monier, Underestimating Internal Variability Leads to Narrow Estimates of Climate Sensitivity, Geophys. Res. Letters, 46,, 2019. 
  • Baker, H.S., T. Woollings, C.E. Forest, M.R. Allen, The Linear Sensitivity of the North Atlantic Oscillation and Eddy-Driven Jet to SSTs, J. Climate, 32, 6491-–6511,, 2019. 
  • Ceres*,R.L., K. Keller, and C.E. Forest, Optimization of multiple storm surge risk mitigation strategies for an Island City On a Wedge, Environmental Modelling and Software,, 2019. 
  • Rolph*, K.A., C.E. Forest, and M.D. Ruark, The role of non-CO2 mitigation options within the dairy industry for pursuing climate change targets, Env. Research Letters,, 2019. 
  • Libardoni*, A.G., C.E. Forest, A.P. Sokolov, and E. Monier, Estimates of climate system properties incorporating recent climate change, Adv. Stat. Clim. Meteorol. Oceanogr., 4, 19–36,, 2018.  
  • 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, Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 3313–3325,, 2018. 
  • Sokolov, A., Kicklighter, D., Schlosser, A.,Wang, C., Monier, E., Brown-Steiner, B., R. Prinn, C. Forest, X. Gao, A. Libardoni*, and S. Eastham, Description and Evaluation of the MIT Earth System Model (MESM), Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 10, 1759–1789., 2018.  
  • Forest, C.E., Inferred Net Aerosol Forcing Based on Historical Climate Changes: A Review, Current Climate Change Reports, doi:10.1007/s40641-018-0085-2, 2018. 
  • Ceres*, R.L., C.E. Forest, and K. Keller, Understanding the detectability of potential changes to the 100-year peak storm surge, Climatic Change, 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.

Selected Publications

  • 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., 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.