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Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences at Princeton Universitymarker. Prior to joining Princeton he was Chief Scientist with Environmental Defense Fund, where he managed the Climate and Air Program. Prior to his position at the Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Oppenheimer served as Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Lecturer on Astronomy at Harvard Universitymarker. He received an S.B. in chemistry from M.I.T.marker, a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicagomarker, and pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysicsmarker.

Among Oppenheimer’s other current professional positions are a multi-year appointment as Visiting Professor at NYU School of Law and as a Science Advisor to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Broadly speaking, Oppenheimer’s research interests focus on the science of Earth’s atmosphere and public policy governing it, particularly with respect to climate change and its impacts. Much of his research aims to understand the potential for "dangerous" outcomes of increasing levels of greenhouse gases by exploring the effects of global warming on ecosystems such as coral reefs, on the ice sheets, on sea level, and on patterns of human migration. He also studies the role of scientific uncertainty, scientific learning, and the scientific assessment process in decisions on problems of the global environment. His research on policy initiatives includes analyses of emissions trading, and implications of alternative carbon and climate management strategies including bio-fuels, carbon capture and storage, and geo-engineering.

Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, serving as a Lead Author on the Third and Fourth Assessment reports. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC special report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Adaptation. Oppenheimer has authored more than 100 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. During 2009, he became Editor-in-Chief of a new journal section, Climatic Change Letters.

Oppenheimer has appeared with actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio on The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as other television programs such as the 2006 Discovery Channel show entitled Global Warming: What You Need to Know, with Tom Brokaw. He also appeared on the 12 February 2007 episode of The Colbert Report.

Oppenheimer lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Selected Publications

Google Scholar search on author:M-Oppenheimer in physical sciences

BA Bradley, M. Oppenheimer, and DS Wilcove (2009) Climate Change and Plant Invasions: Restoration Opportunities Ahead?, Global Change Biology, 15, 1511–1521, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01824.x

J. Smith et al (2009) Assessing dangerous climate change through an update of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ‘‘reasons for concern’’,PNAS (www.pnas.org_cgi_doi_10.1073_pnas.0812355106)

D Morrow, R Kopp, M Oppenheimer (2009) Toward ethical norms and institutions for geo-engineering research, Environ. Res. Lett. 4 (2009) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/4/4/045106

T. Searchinger et al (2009) Fixing a critical climate accounting error, Science 326, 527–528, DOI: 10.1126/science.1178797

M.Oppenheimer, BC O’Neill and M Webster (2008), Negative learning, Climatic Change 89, 155-172 DOI 10.1007/s10584-008-9405-1

Donner et al (2006) Global Assessment of Coral Bleaching and Required Rates of Adaptation under Climate Change Global Change Biology, 11, 1–15, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.01073.x

M Oppenheimer 1998. "Global warming and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet" Nature Vol. 393, pp. 325 - 332. 28 May 1998. full text PDF

TW Hartquist, A Dalgarno, M Oppenheimer 1980. "Molecular diagnostics of interstellar shocks"Astrophysical Journal v. 236, no. 1.

M Oppenheimer, A Dalgarno 1974. "The Fractional Ionization in Dense Interstellar Clouds" Astrophysical Journal v. 192, no. 1, pp. 29-32.

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