MIT EAPS Directory

Kerry A. Emanuel

Cecil & Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science
Co-Director of the Lorenz Center

Kerry Emanuel is a prominent meteorologist and climate scientist who specializes in moist convection in the atmosphere, and tropical cyclones. His research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection, the role of clouds, water vapor, and upper-ocean mixing in regulation of climate, and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction.

Emanuel received an S.B. degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Ph.D. in Meteorology (1978) both from MIT. After completing his doctorate, he joined the faculty of the Atmospheric Sciences department of the University of California at Los Angeles where he remained for three years, with a brief hiatus filming tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas.

In 1981 he joined the faculty of the Department of Meteorology at MIT and was promoted to Full Professor in 1987 in what had since becomes the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). In 1989 he assumed directorship of EAPS Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, a post he held until 1997. Subsequently he chaired the EAPS Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate from 2009 to 2012. He is co-founder of the MIT Lorenz Center, a climate think tank which fosters creative approaches to learning how climate works.

Professor Emanuel is the author or co-author of over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and three books, including Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes, published by Oxford University Press, and What We Know about Climate Change, published by the MIT Press.



Balaguru, K. and Foltz, G. R. and Leung, L. R. and D' Asaro, E. and Emanuel, K. A. and Liu, H. L. and Zedler, S. E. (2015) Dynamic Potential Intensity: An improved representation of the ocean's impact on tropical cyclones Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 16, pp. 6739-6746, doi: 10.1002/2015gl064822

Chavas, D. R. and Lin, N. and Emanuel, K. (2015) A Model for the Complete Radial Structure of the Tropical Cyclone Wind Field. Part I: Comparison with Observed Structure* Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, vol. 72, no. 9, pp. 3647-3662, doi: 10.1175/jas-d-15-0014.1

Cronin, T. W. and Emanuel, K. A. and Molnar, P. (2015) Island precipitation enhancement and the diurnal cycle in radiative-convective equilibrium Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, vol. 141, no. 689, pp. 1017-1034, doi: 10.1002/qj.2443

Daloz, A. S. and Camargo, S. J. and Kossin, J. P. and Emanuel, K., et al. (2015) Cluster Analysis of Downscaled and Explicitly Simulated North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Tracks Journal of Climate, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 1333-1361, doi: 10.1175/jcli-d-13-00646.1

Dwyer, J. G. and Camargo, S. J. and Sobel, A. H. and Biasutti, M. and Emanuel, K. A. and Vecchi, G. A. and Zhao, M. and Tippett, M. K. (2015) Projected Twenty-First-Century Changes in the Length of the Tropical Cyclone Season Journal of Climate, vol. 28, no. 15, pp. 6181-6192, doi: 10.1175/jcli-d-14-00686.1

Emanuel, K. (2015) Effect of Upper-Ocean Evolution on Projected Trends in Tropical Cyclone Activity Journal of Climate, vol. 28, no. 20, pp. 8165-8170, doi: 10.1175/jcli-d-15-0401.1

Kossin, J. P. and Karl, T. R. and Knutson, T. R. and Emanuel, K. A. and Kunkel, K. E. and O'Brien, J. J. (2015) Reply to "Comments on 'Monitoring and Understanding Trends in Extreme Storms: State of Knowledge'" Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 96, no. 7, doi: 10.1175/bams-d-14-00261.1

Kowch, R. and Emanuel, K. (2015) Are Special Processes at Work in the Rapid Intensification of Tropical Cyclones? Monthly Weather Review, vol. 143, no. 3, pp. 878-882, doi: 10.1175/mwr-d-14-00360.1

Neumann, J. E. and Emanuel, K. A. and Ravela, S. and Ludwig, L. C. and Verly, C. (2015) Risks of Coastal Storm Surge and the Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Red River Delta, VietnamSustainability, vol. 7, no. 6, pp. 6553-6572, doi: 10.3390/su7066553

Neumann, J. E. and Emanuel, K. and Ravela, S. and Ludwig, L. and Kirshen, P. and Bosma, K. and Martinich, J. (2015) Joint effects of storm surge and sea-level rise on US Coasts: new economic estimates of impacts, adaptation, and benefits of mitigation policy Climatic Change, vol. 129, no. 1-2, pp. 337-349, doi: 10.1007/s10584-014-1304-z

O'Neill, M. E. and Emanuel, K. A. and Flierl, G. R. (2015) Polar vortex formation in giant-planet atmospheres dues to moist convection Nature Geoscience, vol. 8, no. 7, pp. 523-U118

Reed, A. J. and Mann, M. E. and Emanuel, K. A. and Lin, N. and Horton, B. P. and Kemp, A. C. and Donnelly, J. P. (2015) Increased threat of tropical cyclones and coastal flooding to New York City during the anthropogenic era Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 41, pp. 12610-12615, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1513127112

Reed, A. J. and Mann, M. E. and Emanuel, K. A. and Titley, D. W. (2015) An analysis of long-term relationships among count statistics and metrics of synthetic tropical cyclones downscaled from CMIP5 models Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, vol. 120, no. 15, pp. 7506-7519, doi: 10.1002/2015jd023357

Walsh, K. J. E. and Camargo, S. J. and Vecchi, G. A. and Daloz, A. S., et al. (2015) HURRICANES AND CLIMATE The US CLIVAR Working Group on Hurricanes Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 96, no. 6, pp. 997-1017, doi: 10.1175/bams-d-13-00242.1

Wing, A. A. and Emanuel, K. and Solomon, S. (2015) On the factors affecting trends and variability in tropical cyclone potential intensity Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 20, pp. 8669-8677, doi: 10.1002/2015gl066145

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Heritage Award, Deerfield Academy (2012) | Honorary Doctorate, Augsburg College (2009) | Member, National Academy of Sciences (2007) | The David B. Stone Medal, New England Aquarium (2007) | Bernhard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer, American Meteorological Society (2007) | Louis J. Battan Author’s Award, American Meteorological Society (2007) | The Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, American Meteorological Society (2007) | Fellow, American Meteorological Society (1995) | The Banner I. Miller Award (with Richard Rotunno), American Meteorological Society (1992) | The Meisinger Award, American Meteorological Society (1986)