Department of Atmospheric Sciences | University of Illinois

Atmospheric Sciences | PEOPLE | FACULTY

michael schlesinger

I received my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering, and my Ph.D. degree in Meteorology, all from the University of California, Los Angeles. I direct the UIUC Climate Research Group within the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. I have expertise in the modeling, simulation and analysis of climate and climate change, and have interests in simulating and understanding past, present and possible future climates, climate impacts and climate policy. I have directed NATO and other conferences in Italy, England and the United States; have edited four books, most recently Human-Induced Climate Change: An Interdisciplinary Assessment.

My Climate Research Group (CRG) has tropospheric, tropospheric/lower-stratospheric, tropospheric/stratospheric and tropospheric/stratospheric/mesospheric GCMs - which can be run with and without the CRG's atmospheric photochemistry/species-transport model, either with sea surface temperature and sea ice thickness prescribed or simulated by either the CRG mixed-layer ocean model or the CRG oceanic GCM. The CRG has a coupled atmosphere/ocean general circulation model that has been used to simulate the slowdown and shutdown of the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. The CRG also has a coupled atmospheric general circulation/mixed-layer ocean-ice-sheet/asthenosphere model and a variety of simple climate models, including the model I developed in 1984 and later used to make projections of global temperature change to the year 2100 for the 1990 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other reports.

My research currently focuses on: (1) simulating and understanding the effects on climate of a human-induced melting of the Greenland ice sheet; (2) simulating and understanding the coupled climate-chemistry system, including the influences of the sun - both irradiance and energetic electron precipitation - and volcanoes.; (3) understanding and reducing the uncertainty in the estimation of climate sensitivity and climate feedbacks; and (4) performing integrative assessment of climate change, including further development of the robust adaptive decision strategy for mitigating and adapting to human-induced climate change.

Office: 208 Atmospheric Sciences
Phone: (217) 333-2192
E-mail: schlesin at
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Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. Meteorology, University of California at Los Angeles
  • M.S. Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles
  • B.S. Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles