Dr. Alex C Ruane

Dr. Alex C Ruane

  • RSCH AST, ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY & DYN
  • 212.678.5640
  • NASA GISS
  • 2880 Broadway
  • New York , NY 10025
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Alex Ruane is a Research Physical Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where he is co-Director of the GISS Climate Impacts Group, and an adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research in New York City. Alex serves as the Research Coordinator and Climate Team Leader for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP; www.agmip.org), an international, transdisciplinary project connecting climate science, crop modeling, and economic modeling to place regional agricultural impacts of climate change into their global economic context to assess uncertainties, vulnerability, and world food security both today and in the future. 


    Alex is a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC AR6), Working Group 1 Chapter 12: 'Climate information for regional impact and for risk assessment'. As part of his contribution he facilitates interactions between the IPCC working groups on climate science (WG1) and climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (WG2). He is also a member of the Core Writing Team for the IPCC Synthesis Report that combines findings across all Working Groups and Special Reports of the AR6 Cycle. Dr. Ruane is also the founder and Co-Chair of the Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation, and Climate Services (VIACS) Advisory Board for the Sixth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), facilitating engagement between the climate modeling community and the VIACS communities that apply climate model outputs for societal benefit. Alex also serves on the Expert Committee for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF), where he co-chairs the 'Fostering Systems Thinking' Working Group.


    Alex’s research uses a variety of climate and impacts assessment models to examine the influence of climate variability and change on a variety of sectors including agriculture, water resources, urban areas, infrastructure, energy, and human health, leading to the development of adaptation strategies and decision support tools for stakeholders and policy makers who need to understand vulnerabilities and uncertainties to successfully manage risk. Alex's work with AgMIP includes protocol design and climate-linked analyses across crops, livestock, economics, health, and food security on a continuum of time scales including the recent past, near-real-time present, and long-term projections including system changes. Alex led the Coordinated Climate-Crop Modeling Project (C3MP; www.agmip.org/c3mp) in its investigations of climate sensitivity at more than 1000 worldwide crop and livestock simulation sets, and has developed the AgMERRA climate forcing dataset to support agricultural impacts modeling. In all his work Alex develops new methods to tailor climate scenarios for unique applications around the world, and investigates observational methods, high-frequency variations, and extreme characteristics of hydroclimate.


    Alex conducted his doctoral work studying the water cycle in the climate group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego, and received a B.S. in atmospheric science at Cornell University. His undergraduate thesis was built around a model of the Jovian atmosphere.

    Research Interests

    Climate Impacts

    Understanding how climate variability and climate change affect our society and natural systems.

    Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change

    Assessing climate change impacts on the agriculutral sector of the United States and other developed and developing countries in order to identify and prioritize adaptation strategies.

    Climate Change Impact Scenarios

    Developing climate scenarios from cutting edge models and observations that capture important climate changes in ways that enable impacts modeling and analysis.

    Water Cycle Analysis

    Understanding major reservoirs and fluxes of water throughout the climate system at different time scales.

    Publications

    For a list of Alex Ruane's publications, please visit: https://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/authors/aruane.html

    Current Projects

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP; see www.agmip.org) connects leading climate, crop, livestock, and economic modelers to better assess climate impacts on food security and global agricultural production.  My work helps build and assess transdisciplinary, multi-model frameworks that gauge climate impacts and allows for the testing of adaptations from the field to international policy levels.  AgMIP Climate activities include the analysis of various historical climate and weather products, evalutation of future model simulations, and creation of climate scenarios for a number of agricultural modeling applications.

    The Agricultural Productivity Indicator and Analysis System (APIAS)

    APIAS investigates climate impacts on US agriculture using crop models run across the Conterminous United States at 0.25x0.25 degree resolution.  Simulations are run over the 1980-2010 period with historical conditions (to mimic recent seasons) and smoothed historical data (to capture the effect of intraseasonal extremes), as well as the 2010-2040 period to anticipate future impacts.  Results help identify hotspots of recent and projected climate impacts on the agricultural sector in order to prioritize the development of adaptations.

    Coordinating Lead Author and Core Writing Team member for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC AR6)

    Alex is Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC AR6 Working Group I Chapter 12: Climate information for regional impact and for risk assessment. This chapter examines the connection between climate data and information that is useful for gauging hazards, impacts, and risk across regions and sectoral assets. As Coordinating Lead Author Dr. Ruane (and a team of two other CLAs) guide a team of ~15 chapter authors in the Chapter 12 assessment. Chapter 12, which is a novel chapter in AR6 and the last in WGI, also serves as a handshake between WGI and WGII (Climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability), so Dr. Ruane participates in planning and lead author meetings for both Working Groups. Alex is also a member of the Core Writing Team for the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report.

    Positions/Employment

    8/2010 - Present

    Research Scientist

    NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York

    Co-Director of the GISS Climate Impacts Group

    Teaching Experience

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD, La Jolla, CA
    • Forum Founder and Developer, SIO 209: ESP Climate Change Forum. 2006
    • Created weekly course investigating the areas of legitimate scientific debate in climate science, challenging misconceptions and assumptions of both climate skeptics and advocates of change.
      SIO 209: Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies for Climate Change 2007
      SIO 209: Interdisciplinary Policy Solutions to Scientific Problems in the Environment 2006
      SIO 209: Energy Policy, 2006 
       

    Education

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA. 2002-2007
    • Ph.D. Earth Sciences: June, 2007
    • Dissertation Title: “Diurnal to Annual Variations in the Atmospheric Water Cycle”
    • Research Summary: Examined the simulation and observation of the atmosphere using a water and energy budget approach, with particular attention to the transient properties of hydrometeorological phenomena in the atmosphere and at the land surface. Global and regional reanalyses were evaluated for their abilities to match observations of variance and moisture transfers at diurnal to seasonal frequencies, as well as their sensitivities to land-surface schemes and convective parameterizations.
       
    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 1998-2002
    • B.S. Atmospheric Science magna cum laude with honors, 2002.
    • Honors Thesis Title: “Examining Wave Propagation Patterns in the Jovian Atmosphere Using the EPIC Model”
    • Research Summary: Advised by Dr. Joseph Harrington (Planetary Science), examined the response of Jupiter’s atmosphere to observed heating patterns, finding meridional and altitudinal variations in propagation behaviors.

       

    Professional Societies

    The American Meteorological Society, 2001 - 2012
    Former Co-President of Cornell Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (CCAMS): 2001
    The American Geophysical Union, 2002 - Present

    Awards

    James E Irvine Award for Best Paper, International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists; 2013
    DISCCRS V Symposium Fellow, National Science Foundation: 2010
    NASA/ORAU Postdoctoral Program Fellow, NASA GISS: 2007-2009
    Assisted in the development of the "Feel the Heat" award-winning exhibit; Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA: 2007
    American Geophysical Union Outstanding Student Paper Award; Hydrology Section at the Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA: 2006
    American Meteorological Society’s Summer Policy Colloquium Fellow: 2006
    California Space Institute and California Space Grant Consortium recipient, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA: 2003-2004
    Scripps Admiral Nimitz Fellowship, Scripps Institution of Oceanography: 2002-2003
    Academic Excellence Award for the Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University: 2002
    New York NASA Space Grant Consortium recipient, Cornell University: 2001

    Special Experience

    Scientific Advisor, “Hot: One World, One Climate” curriculum development, New York, NY: 2013-present
    • Helped develop curriculum, teaching approaches, and online tolls and resources for middle- and secondary-school math, science, social studies, and English teachers looking for an integrated and applied unit on global change. Participated in teacher trainings and professional development.

    Fellow, the American Meteorological Society’s Summer Policy Colloquium, Washington, DC: 2006
    • Gained invaluable access and insight into the policy-making process of the federal government, as well as outside groups that have a stake in environmental science policy.

    Member/Coordinator, the Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) Group, Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD, La Jolla, CA, 2002-2008
    • Led the growth and expansion of group focused on the societal impacts relating to environmental science and policy, with attention placed on identifying career opportunities outside of academia.

    Scientific Contributor, Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA: 2007
    • Advised the development of “Feeling the Heat”, an award-winning climate change exhibit displaying for three years at the Birch Aquarium; assisted in related staff training.

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Alex Ruane is a Research Physical Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where he is co-Director of the GISS Climate Impacts Group, and an adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research in New York City. Alex serves as the Research Coordinator and Climate Team Leader for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP; www.agmip.org), an international, transdisciplinary project connecting climate science, crop modeling, and economic modeling to place regional agricultural impacts of climate change into their global economic context to assess uncertainties, vulnerability, and world food security both today and in the future. 


    Alex is a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC AR6), Working Group 1 Chapter 12: 'Climate information for regional impact and for risk assessment'. As part of his contribution he facilitates interactions between the IPCC working groups on climate science (WG1) and climate impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (WG2). He is also a member of the Core Writing Team for the IPCC Synthesis Report that combines findings across all Working Groups and Special Reports of the AR6 Cycle. Dr. Ruane is also the founder and Co-Chair of the Vulnerability, Impacts, Adaptation, and Climate Services (VIACS) Advisory Board for the Sixth Phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), facilitating engagement between the climate modeling community and the VIACS communities that apply climate model outputs for societal benefit. Alex also serves on the Expert Committee for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF), where he co-chairs the 'Fostering Systems Thinking' Working Group.


    Alex’s research uses a variety of climate and impacts assessment models to examine the influence of climate variability and change on a variety of sectors including agriculture, water resources, urban areas, infrastructure, energy, and human health, leading to the development of adaptation strategies and decision support tools for stakeholders and policy makers who need to understand vulnerabilities and uncertainties to successfully manage risk. Alex's work with AgMIP includes protocol design and climate-linked analyses across crops, livestock, economics, health, and food security on a continuum of time scales including the recent past, near-real-time present, and long-term projections including system changes. Alex led the Coordinated Climate-Crop Modeling Project (C3MP; www.agmip.org/c3mp) in its investigations of climate sensitivity at more than 1000 worldwide crop and livestock simulation sets, and has developed the AgMERRA climate forcing dataset to support agricultural impacts modeling. In all his work Alex develops new methods to tailor climate scenarios for unique applications around the world, and investigates observational methods, high-frequency variations, and extreme characteristics of hydroclimate.


    Alex conducted his doctoral work studying the water cycle in the climate group at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego, and received a B.S. in atmospheric science at Cornell University. His undergraduate thesis was built around a model of the Jovian atmosphere.

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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