Research Interests of Alan Robock



Collaborators: Brian Toon (University of Colorado); Michael Mills (NCAR); Lili Xia, Gal Hochman, Joshua Coupe, Guangoh Jheong, and Hainan Zhong (Rutgers University)

In the 1980s much of my work addressed the problem of nuclear winter, the climatic effects of nuclear war, demonstrating long-term (several year) effects with a computer model, disproving the dirty snow effect, and discovering observational evidence of surface cooling due to forest fire smoke plumes in the atmosphere. I am now once again doing research in this area, using modern climate models to look at the climatic effects of regional nuclear conflicts, funded by the Open Philanthropy ProjectOur latest work (this link includes all our recent papers and PowerPoints) shows that even a "small" regional nuclear conflict could have severe global climatic effects, and that there are still enough nuclear weapons in global arsenals to produce nuclear winter, which would last much longer than previously thought.  This is the most serious environmental threat faced by humans and demands immediate policy attention.  Even Fidel Castro is interested.


Collaborators: Joanna Slawisnka and Brian Zambri (Rutgers University)

We are funded by NSF to study the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate using computer models and data analysis.  Our current project is to study the seasonal and decadal impacts of volcanic eruptions.  Our papers on volcanic eruptions and climate include studies of winter warming from large tropical eruptions, climatic effects of high-latitude eruptions (including how they have produced reduced precipitation and famine in Africa and Asia), radiative forcing from volcanic stratospheric aerosol clouds, evaluation of the volcanic record in ice cores, effects of supervolcanoes, and climate modeling of the long-term effects of volcanic eruptions.

I have produced a PowerPoint presentation of the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate that can be used for teaching undergraduate and graduate classes.  It is 107 MB, and you can get it by clicking here.  You will also need the movie, pin.AVI.  Visit here for the Model Intercomparison Project on the climatic response to Volcanic forcing (VolMIP).


Collaborators: Ben Kravitz (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), Lili Xia (Rutgers University), Simone Tilmes (NCAR)

Funded by NSF, we are evaluation the efficacy consequences of proposals to reduce incoming solar radiation to counteract global warming by injecting aerosol particles into the stratosphere or brightening marine clouds.  Our recent papers describe climate model simulations and the benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering, and the agricultural impacts of geoengineering.  Visit for the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP).

By the way, chemtrails are not real.  Contrails are.  See

Prepared by Alan Robock ( - Last updated on October 17, 2017