Ronald G. Prinn

Director, Center for Global Change Science;
Director, MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science

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Atmospheric scientist known for pioneering methods to track emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases, and linking climate science and policy.

Ron Prinn’s research incorporates the chemistry, chemical evolution, dynamics and physics of the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets. Current projects involve 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) that measures rates of changes of the concentrations of trace gases involved in the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion. He is pioneering the use of inverse methods using AGAGE measurements and 3D models to determine trace gas emissions and understand atmospheric chemical processes. Through his directorship of the Center for Global Change Science and the Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change he works with social scientists to link the science, economics, and policy aspects of global change. Prinn has co-developed a model which couples economics, climate dynamics, and land and ocean ecosystems to elucidate uncertainties in climate predictions.

Prinn, who has been a faculty member at MIT since 1971, served as Head of Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences from 1998 to 2003.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2017 • Bose Institute Centenary Lecturer, Kolkata, India,
  • 2001 • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1984 • V.I. Vernadsky Memorial Lecturer, USSR Academy of Sciences
  • 1981 • Fellow, AmericanGeophysical Union
  • 1981 • James B. Macelwane Medal, AmericanGeophysical Union