MIT EAPS Directory

Ronald G. Prinn

TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science
Director of the Center for Global Change Science
Co-Director, MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

Ron Prinn's research incorporates the chemistry, chemical evolution, dynamics and physics of the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets. Current projects involve atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry, climate science, and integrated assessment of science and policy regarding climate change. He leads the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) that measures rates of changes of the concentrations of trace gases involved in the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion. He is pioneering the use of inverse methods using AGAGE measurements and 3D models to determine trace gas emissions and understand atmospheric chemical processes. Through his directorship of the Center for Global Change Science and the Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change he works with social scientists to link the science, economics, and policy aspects of global change. Prinn has co-developed a model which couples economics, climate dynamics, and land and ocean ecosystems to elucidate uncertainties in climate predictions.

Prinn, who has been a faculty member at MIT since 1971, served as Head of Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences from 1998 to 2003.


Lunt, M. F. and Rigby, M. and Ganesan, A. L. and Manning, A. J., et al. (2015) Reconciling reported and unreported HFC emissions with atmospheric observations Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 19, pp. 5927-5931, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1420247112

Thompson, R. L. and Stohl, A. and Zhou, L. X. and Dlugokencky, E., et al. (2015) Methane emissions in East Asia for 2000-2011 estimated using an atmospheric Bayesian inversion Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, vol. 120, no. 9, pp. 4352-4369, doi: 10.1002/2014jd022394

Wells, K. C. and Millet, D. B. and Bousserez, N. and Henze, D. K., et al. (2015) Simulation of atmospheric N2O with GEOS-Chem and its adjoint: evaluation of observational constraintsGeoscientific Model Development, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 3179-3198, doi: 10.5194/gmd-8-3179-2015

Zhuang, Q. L. and Zhu, X. D. and He, Y. J. and Prigent, C. and Melillo, J. M. and McGuire, A. D. and Prinn, R. G. and Kicklighter, D. W. (2015) Influence of changes in wetland inundation extent on net fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane in northern high latitudes from 1993 to 2004 Environmental Research Letters, vol. 10, no. 9, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/9/095009


Elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001) | Energy Journal Best Paper Award (1997) | V.I. Vernadsky Memorial Lecturer, V.I. Vernadsky Institute, USSR Academy of Sciences (1984) | Elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (1981) | American Geophysical Union James B. Macelwane Medal for significant contributions to the Geophysical Sciences by a young scientist of outstanding ability (1981) | University of New Zealand Postgraduate Scholar in Science (1968) | University of New Zealand Fowlds Prize for the most distinguished student in the faculty of science (1967) | University of New Zealand Junior Scholar (1964-1966)