Ben Santer is an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). His research focuses on such topics as climate model evaluation, the use of statistical methods in climate science, and the identification of natural and human “fingerprints” in observed climate records. Santer’s early research on the climatic effects of combined changes in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols contributed to the historic “discernible human influence” conclusion of the 1995 Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His recent work has attempted to identify human fingerprints in a number of different climate variables, such as tropopause height, atmospheric water vapor, the temperature of the stratosphere and troposphere, ocean heat content, and ocean surface temperatures in hurricane formation regions.
Santer holds a Ph.D. in Climatology from the University of East Anglia, England. After completion of his Ph.D. in 1987, he spent five years at the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, where he worked on the development and application of climate fingerprinting methods. In 1992, Santer joined LLNL’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI).
Santer served as Convening Lead Author of the climate-change detection and attribution chapter of the 1995 IPCC report. His awards include a MacArthur Fellowship (1998), the U.S. Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award (2002), and membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2011). He enjoys rock-climbing, mountaineering, and exploring the beautiful state of California with his wife and son.