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 Center for Climate Sciences (3292): People
Graeme  Stephens's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-505
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Graeme Stephens
Director of the Center for Climate Sciences

Dr. Graeme Stephens received his Ph.D. in 1977 from the University of Melbourne. He was appointed to the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research in 1977 as a research scientist and promoted to senior research scientist in 1982. Dr Stephens joined the faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University as an associate professor in 1984 and was promoted to full professor in 1991 and subsequently to the rank of University Distinguished Professor in 2005. Professor Stephens has made major research contributions in three related areas; atmospheric radiative transfer, remote sensing and to the topic of cloud climate feedbacks. He has published over 250 peer reviewed publications, a text book on remote sensing, has a citation count of over 25000 and a H-index of 75 (2017). He has served as principal investigator the NASA CloudSat mission that has pioneered Earth observations of clouds and precipitation and currently serves as co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Group (SSG) for the Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Professor Stephens has received a number of awards in recognition of these contributions. Most recently he was elected as member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2016, elected as Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018, recipient of the Royal Meteorological Society's Mason Gold medal in 2018 and the IAMAS International Radiation Commission Gold Medal for career contributions to radiation sciences in 2008. Professor Stephens is also the recipient of the American Meteorological Society's Houghton and Jule Charney Awards and is Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also received the CSU Halliburton New Faculty Research Award, the CSU Abel Outstanding Faculty Research Award and was the Jule Charney Lecturer at AGU, fall 2011. Professor Stephens also received the Exceptional Public Service Medal, and multiple NASA Group Achievement Awards.

  • Ph.D. in Meteorology - 1977 - University of Melbourne - Melbourne, Australia
  • B.S. in Physics - 1973 - University of Melbourne - Melbourne, Australia

Research Interests
  • Atmospheric radiation
  • Radiative transfer
  • Remote sensing
  • Climate change and modeling
  • Atmospheric energetics
  • Hydrology


CloudSat Icon CloudSat
CloudSat is an experimental satellite that uses radar to study clouds and precipitation from space. CloudSat flys in orbital formation as part of the A-Train constellation of satellites (Aqua, CloudSat, CALIPSO, PARASOL, and Aura).

Professional Experience
  • Director of the Center for Climate Sciences, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (2010 - Present)
  • CIRA Director, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (2008-2010)
  • University Distinguished Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (2005-2010)
  • Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (1991-2005)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (1984-1991)
  • Affiliate Faculty, Department of Meteorology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1977-1984)
  • Senior Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Division of Atmospheric Research, Victoria, Australia (1979-1984)
  • Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Division of Atmospheric Research, Victoria, Australia (1977-1979)

Selected Awards
  • The Royal Society - Fellow
  • NASA CloudSat Mission - Primary Investigator (PI)
  • CSU Distinguished Professor Award
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS) - Fellow
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) - Fellow
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) - Distinguished Visiting Scientist
  • Journal of Atmospheric Science - Past Editor
  • Journal of Geophysical Research - Past Editor
  • AMS Committee on Atmospheric Radiation - Past Chairman
  • World Meteorological Association (WMO) Joint Scientific Committee on Radiation Fluxes - Past Chairman
  • CSU Halliburton New Faculty Research Award
  • National Research Council (NRC) - Member
  • Optics Society of America (OSA) - Member
  • AMS Henry G. Houghton Award
  • Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) - Member

Selected Publications
  1. Stephens, G.L. and M. Smalley, 2017; The Cloudy Nature of Tropical Rain, J. Geophys. Res., in prep
  2. Stephens, G.L. et al., 2017; Weather modification and the Aerosol-Cloud Interaction problem; commentary for Nature Geosciences, in prep
  3. Stephens G., M. Z. Hakuba, M. Lebsock, Q. Yue, B. H. Kahn, S. Hristova-Veleva, A. Rapp, C. Stubenrauch, G. S. Elsasser and J.Slingo, 2017; Observational evidence of a super Clausius-Clapeyron intensification of the tropical hydrological cycle, in prep for Geophys.Res.Lett.
  4. Li, J-L F, M. Richardson, Y. Hong, WL. Lee, Y-H Wang, J-Y Yu, E.Fetzer, G.Stephens and Y.Liu, 2017; Improved simulation of Antarctic sea ice due to the radiative effects of falling snow, Envir.Res.Lett., 12, 10.1088/1748-9326/aa7a17
  5. Su, H, J. H. Jiang, J. D Neelin, T. J. Shen, C. Zhai1, Q. Yue1, Z. Wang, L. Huang, , Y-S Choi, G. L. Stephens & Y. L. Yung, 2017; Tightening of tropical ascent and high clouds key to precipitation change in a warmer climate, Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15771
  6. Takahashi, H., Luo, Z. J., & Stephens, G. L. ,2017. Level of neutral buoyancy, deep convective outflow, and convective core: New perspectives based on 5 years of CloudSat data. J Geophys Res, 122(5), 2958-2969. DOI:10.1002/2016JD025969
  7. Takahashi H., M. Lebsock, K. Suzuki, G. Stephens and M. Wang, 2017; An Investigation of Microphysics and Sub-grid Scale Variability in Warm Rain Clouds using The A-Train Observations and A Multi-Scale Modeling Framework, J Geophys Res, DOI: 10.1002/2016JD026404
  8. Christensen, M. W., Y.-C. Chen, and G. L. Stephens (2016), Aerosol indirect effect dictated by liquid clouds, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 14,636-14,650, doi:10.1002/2016JD025245
  9. Malavelle, F., Haywood, J., Jones, A., Gettelman, A., Clarisse, L., Bauduin, S., Allan, R., Karset, I., Kristjánsson, J., Oreopoulos, L., Cho, N., Lee, D., Bellouin, N., Boucher, O., Grosvenor, D., Carslaw, K., Dhomse, S., Mann, G., Schmidt, A., Coe, H., Hartley, M., Dalvi, M., Hill, A., Johnson, B., Johnson, C., Knight, J., O'Connor, F., Partridge, D., Stier, P., Myhre, G., Platnick, S., Stephens, G.,Takahashi, H., & Thordarson, T., 2017; Strong constraints on aerosol-cloud interactions from volcanic eruptions. Nature, 546, 485-491, DOI: 10.1038/nature22974
  10. Haddad, Z., O. Sy, G. Stephens, S. Hristova-Veleva, 2017; Derived Observations from Frequently-Sampled Microwave Measurements of Precipitation. Part I: Relations to Atmospheric Thermodynamics, IEEE Trans. on Geosci. and Remote Sensing
  11. Haddad, Z., O. Sy , G. Stephens, S. Hristova-Veleva, 2017; Derived Observations from Frequently-Sampled Microwave Measurements of Precipitation. Part II:, IEEE Trans. on Geosci. and Remote Sensing
  12. Stephens, G.L., J Pelon, D. Winker, C. Treptke and D. Vane, 2017; CloudSat and CALIPSO within the A-Train: Ten years of actively observing the Earth system, Bull Amer.Met Soc., accepted
  13. Kahn, B.H., X Huang, G L. Stephens, W D. Collins, D R. Feldman, H Su, S Wong, and Q Yue, 2016; ENSO regulation of far- and mid-infrared contributions to clear-sky OLR, Geophys.Res.Lett, 10.1002/2016GL070263
  14. Jussi Leinonen, M. D Lebsock, G.L Stephens and K Suzuki, 2016; Improved Retrieval of Cloud Liquid Water from CloudSat and MODIS, J. Appl. Met Climatol., DOI:

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