Dr Benjamin Sanderson


Make Our Planet Great Again (MOPGA) researcher
CNRS/CERFACS, Toulouse, France

Affiliate Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO USA

European Center for Research and Advanced Training in Scientific Computing
Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique
42, avenue Gaspard Coriolis, Toulouse F-31057 Cedex 1, France
E-mail: sanderson at cerfacs.fr

Research Interests

Climate Modeling Uncertainties, Scenarios, Ensembles, Machine Learning


  • 2018-: CERFACS, MOPGA researcher
  • 2008-2018: National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO
  • 2004-2007: DPhil, University of Oxford (AOPP)

Publications (Published or in press)

  1. Veronika Eyring, Peter M Cox, Gregory M Flato, Peter J Gleckler, Gab Abramowitz, Peter Caldwell, William D Collins, Bettina K Gier, Alex D Hall, Forrest M Hoffman, et al. Taking climate model evaluation to the next level. Nature Climate Change, page 1, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0355-ybib ]
  2. Benjamin M Sanderson, Cameron Wobus, Dave Mills, Claire Zarakas, Allison Crimmins, Marcus C Sarofim, and Chris Weaver. Informing future risks of record-level rainfall in the United States. Geophysical Research Letters, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL082362 [ bib ]
  3. KW Oleson, GB Anderson, B Jones, SA McGinnis, and B Sanderson. Avoided climate impacts of urban and rural heat and cold waves over the us using large climate model ensembles for rcp8. 5 and rcp4. 5. Climatic change, 146(3-4):377--392, 2018.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1504-1bib ]
  4. Yangyang Xu, Jean-François Lamarque, and Benjamin M Sanderson. The importance of aerosol scenarios in projections of future heat extremes. Climatic change, 146(3-4):393--406, 2018.https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1565-1bib ]
  5. Benjamin M Sanderson, Keith W Oleson, Warren G Strand, Flavio Lehner, and Brian C O’Neill. A new ensemble of GCM simulations to assess avoided impacts in a climate mitigation scenario. Climatic Change, 146(3-4):303--318, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-015-1567-zbib ]
  6. Flavio Lehner, Clara Deser, and Benjamin M Sanderson. Future risk of record-breaking summer temperatures and its mitigation. Climatic change, 146(3-4):363--375, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-016-1616-2bib ]
  7. Brian C O’Neill, James M Done, Andrew Gettelman, Peter Lawrence, Flavio Lehner, Jean-Francois Lamarque, Lei Lin, Andrew J Monaghan, Keith Oleson, Xiaolin Ren, et al. The benefits of reduced anthropogenic climate change (BRACE): a synthesis. Climatic change, 146(3-4):287--301, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-2009-xbib ]
  8. Nadja Herger, Gab Abramowitz, Reto Knutti, Oliver Angélil, Karsten Lehmann, and Benjamin M Sanderson. Selecting a climate model subset to optimise key ensemble properties. Earth System Dynamics, 9(1):135--151, 2018. https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-135-2018bib ]
  9. Travis Aerenson, Claudia Tebaldi, Ben Sanderson, and Jean-François Lamarque. Changes in a suite of indicators of extreme temperature and precipitation under 1.5 and 2 degrees warming. Environmental Research Letters, 13(3):035009, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aaafd6bib ]
  10. Michael Wehner, Dáithí Stone, Dann Mitchell, Hideo Shiogama, Erich Fischer, Lise S Graff, Viatcheslav V Kharin, Ludwig Lierhammer, Benjamin Sanderson, and Harinarayan Krishnan. Changes in extremely hot days under stabilized 1.5 and 2.0° c global warming scenarios as simulated by the HAPPI multi-model ensemble. Earth System Dynamics, 9(1):299--311, 2018 https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-299-2018bib ]
  11. C Wobus, C Zarakas, P Malek, B Sanderson, A Crimmins, M Kolian, M Sarofim, and CP Weaver. Reframing future risks of extreme heat in the United States. Earth's Future, 6(9):1323--1335, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000943bib ]
  12. Reto Knutti, Jan Sedláček, Benjamin M Sanderson, Ruth Lorenz, Erich M Fischer, and Veronika Eyring. A climate model projection weighting scheme accounting for performance and interdependence. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(4):1909--1918, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL072012bib ]
  13. Benjamin M Sanderson, Michael Wehner, and Reto Knutti. Skill and independence weighting for multi-model assessments. 2017. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-2379-2017bib ]
  14. Flavio Lehner, Sloan Coats, Thomas F Stocker, Angeline G Pendergrass, Benjamin M Sanderson, Christoph C Raible, and Jason E Smerdon. Projected drought risk in 1.5 C and 2 C warmer climates. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(14):7419--7428, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL074117bib ]
  15. Benjamin M Sanderson, Yangyang Xu, Claudia Tebaldi, Michael Wehner, Brian C O'Neill, Alexandra Jahn, Angeline G Pendergrass, Flavio Lehner, Warren G Strand, Lei Lin, et al. Community climate simulations to assess avoided impacts in 1.5 and 2 C futures. Earth System Dynamics, 8(3):827--847, 2017. https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-8-827-2017bib ]
  16. Benjamin DeAngelo, James Edmonds, David Fahey, and Benjamin Sanderson. Perspectives on climate change mitigation. 2017. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/usdeptcommercepub/579  [ bib ]
  17. Benjamin Sanderson and Michael Wehner. Weighting strategy for the fourth national climate assessment (appendix b). 2017. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/usdeptcommercepub/576/  [ bib ]
  18. Katharine Hayhoe, James Edmonds, Robert Kopp, Allegra LeGrande, Benjamin Sanderson, Michael Wehner, and Donald Wuebbles. Climate models, scenarios, and projections. 2017. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/usdeptcommercepub/589/bib ]
  19. BM Sanderson and MF Wehner. Model weighting strategy. Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, 1:436--442, 2017. https://science2017.globalchange.gov/downloads/CSSR_AppB.pdfbib ]
  20. Angeline G Pendergrass, Reto Knutti, Flavio Lehner, Clara Deser, and Benjamin M Sanderson. Precipitation variability increases in a warmer climate. Scientific reports, 7(1):17966, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17966-ybib ]
  21. Benjamin M Sanderson, Brian C O'Neill, and Claudia Tebaldi. What would it take to achieve the paris temperature targets? Geophysical Research Letters, 43(13):7133--7142, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL069563bib ]
  22. S Tilmes, BM Sanderson, and BC O'Neill. Climate impacts of geoengineering in a delayed mitigation scenario. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(15):8222--8229, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL070122bib ]
  23. Brian C O'Neill, Claudia Tebaldi, Detlef P van Vuuren, Veronika Eyring, Pierre Friedlingstein, George Hurtt, Reto Knutti, Elmar Kriegler, Jean-Francois Lamarque, Jason Lowe, et al. The Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) for CMIP6. Geoscientific Model Development, 9(9):3461--3482, 2016. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-3461-2016 [ bib ]
  24. Benjamin M Sanderson and Reto Knutti. Delays in US mitigation could rule out Paris targets. Nature Climate Change, 7(2):92, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3193bib ]
  25. Jennifer E Kay, Allison H Baker, Dorit Hammerling, Sheri A Michelson, Haiying Xu, et al. Evaluating lossy data compression on climate simulation data within a large ensemble. Geoscientific Model Development, 9(12), 2016.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/gmd-9-4381-2016bib ]
  26. Benjamin M Sanderson, Reto Knutti, and Peter Caldwell. Addressing interdependency in a multimodel ensemble by interpolation of model properties. Journal of Climate, 28(13):5150--5170, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00361.1bib ]
  27. Benjamin M Sanderson, Reto Knutti, and Peter Caldwell. A representative democracy to reduce interdependency in a multimodel ensemble. Journal of Climate, 28(13):5171--5194, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00362.1bib ]
  28. Nadja Herger, Benjamin M Sanderson, and Reto Knutti. Improved pattern scaling approaches for the use in climate impact studies. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(9):3486--3494, 2015. https://doi.org/ 10.1002/2015GL063569bib ]
  29. JT Fasullo, BM Sanderson, and KE Trenberth. Recent progress in constraining climate sensitivity with model ensembles. Current Climate Change Reports, 1(4):268--275, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40641-015-0021-7bib ]
  30. Angeline G Pendergrass, Flavio Lehner, Benjamin M Sanderson, and Yangyang Xu. Does extreme precipitation intensity depend on the emissions scenario? Geophysical Research Letters, 42(20):8767--8774, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL065854bib ]
  31. Peter M Caldwell, Christopher S Bretherton, Mark D Zelinka, Stephen A Klein, Benjamin D Santer, and Benjamin M Sanderson. Statistical significance of climate sensitivity predictors obtained by data mining. Geophysical Research Letters, 41(5):1803--1808, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GL059205  [ bib ]
  32. Benjamin M Sanderson. On the estimation of systematic error in regression-based predictions of climate sensitivity. Climatic change, 118(3-4):757--770, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-012-0671-6bib ]
  33. Alexandra K Jonko, Karen M Shell, Benjamin M Sanderson, and Gokhan Danabasoglu. Climate feedbacks in CCSM3 under changing CO2 forcing. part II: Variation of climate feedbacks and sensitivity with forcing. Journal of Climate, 26(9):2784--2795, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00479.1bib ]
  34. Gerald A Meehl, Warren M Washington, Julie M Arblaster, Aixue Hu, Haiyan Teng, Jennifer E Kay, Andrew Gettelman, David M Lawrence, Benjamin M Sanderson, and Warren G Strand. Climate change projections in CESM1 (CAM5) compared to CCSM4. Journal of Climate, 26(17):6287--6308, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00572.1bib ]
  35. Daniel J Rowlands, David J Frame, Duncan Ackerley, Tolu Aina, Ben BB Booth, Carl Christensen, Matthew Collins, Nicholas Faull, Chris E Forest, Benjamin S Grandey, et al. Broad range of 2050 warming from an observationally constrained large climate model ensemble. Nature Geoscience, 5(4):256, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1430bib ]
  36. Gerald A Meehl, Aixue Hu, Claudia Tebaldi, Julie M Arblaster, Warren M Washington, Haiyan Teng, Benjamin M Sanderson, Toby Ault, Warren G Strand, and James B White III. Relative outcomes of climate change mitigation related to global temperature versus sea-level rise. Nature Climate Change, 2(8):576, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1529bib ]
  37. Alexandra K Jonko, Karen M Shell, Benjamin M Sanderson, and Gokhan Danabasoglu. Climate feedbacks in CCSM3 under changing CO2 forcing. part I: Adapting the linear radiative kernel technique to feedback calculations for a broad range of forcings. Journal of Climate, 25(15):5260--5272, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00524.1bib ]
  38. Benjamin M Sanderson and Karen M Shell. Model-specific radiative kernels for calculating cloud and noncloud climate feedbacks. Journal of Climate, 25(21):7607--7624, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00726.1bib ]
  39. Benjamin M Sanderson and Reto Knutti. On the interpretation of constrained climate model ensembles. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(16), 2012. https://doi.org/10.1029/2012GL052665bib ]
  40. Benjamin M Sanderson. A multimodel study of parametric uncertainty in predictions of climate response to rising greenhouse gas concentrations. Journal of Climate, 24(5):1362--1377, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1175/2010JCLI3498.1bib ]
  41. Erich M Fischer, David M Lawrence, and Benjamin M Sanderson. Quantifying uncertainties in projections of extremes—a perturbed land surface parameter experiment. Climate dynamics, 37(7-8):1381--1398, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-010-0915-y  [ bib ]
  42. Benjamin M Sanderson, Brian C O’Neill, Jeffrey T Kiehl, Gerald A Meehl, Reto Knutti, and Warren M Washington. The response of the climate system to very high greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, 6(3):034005, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/6/3/034005bib ]
  43. Benjamin M Sanderson, Karen M Shell, and William Ingram. Climate feedbacks determined using radiative kernels in a multi-thousand member ensemble of AOGCMs. Climate dynamics, 35(7-8):1219--1236, 2010.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-009-0661-1bib ]
  44. Benjamin M Sanderson, C Piani, WJ Ingram, DA Stone, and MR Allen. Towards constraining climate sensitivity by linear analysis of feedback patterns in thousands of perturbed-physics gcm simulations. Climate Dynamics, 30(2-3):175--190, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-007-0280-7bib ]
  45. Benjamin M Sanderson, Reto Knutti, T Aina, C Christensen, N Faull, DJ Frame, WJ Ingram, C Piani, David A Stainforth, DA Stone, et al. Constraints on model response to greenhouse gas forcing and the role of subgrid-scale processes. Journal of Climate, 21(11):2384--2400, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1175/2008JCLI1869.1  [ bib ]
  46. C Piani, B Sanderson, F Giorgi, DJ Frame, C Christensen, and MR Allen. Regional probabilistic climate forecasts from a multithousand, multimodel ensemble of simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 112(D24), 2007. https://doi.org/10.1029/2007JD008712  [ bib ]
  47. Christopher G Knight, Sylvia HE Knight, Neil Massey, Tolu Aina, Carl Christensen, Dave J Frame, Jamie A Kettleborough, Andrew Martin, Stephen Pascoe, Ben Sanderson, et al. Association of parameter, software, and hardware variation with large-scale behavior across 57,000 climate models. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(30):12259--12264, 2007. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0608144104bib ]

Articles in Media

  • B.M. Sanderson, The planet loses, but U.S. is bigger loser if it withdraws from Paris climate agreement, Washington Post, 05/2017 https://wapo.st/2PZFEGE
  • B.M. Sanderson, 1.5ºC: Geophysically impossible or not? Realclimate commentary 10/2017 http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/10/1-5oc-geophysically-impossible-or-not/
  • B.M.Sanderson: Potential Trump science adviser says climate change is great, WIRED, https://www.wired.com/2017/02/potential-trump-science-adviser-says-climate-change-great/
    1. Book Chapters

    2. B.M. Sanderson, Uncertainty Quantification in Multi-Model Ensembles, Oxford Research Encyclopedia https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.707
    3. B.M. Sanderson and Reto Knutti. Climate change projections projections: Characterizing uncertainty using climate models. Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, pages 2097--2114, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_369bib ]