MIT EAPS Directory

Ronald G. Prinn

TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science
Director of the Center for Global Change Science
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.


Say, D., A. J. Manning, L.M. Western, D. Young, A. Wisher, M. Rigby, S. Reimann, M.K. Vollmer, M. Maione, J. Arduini, P. B. Krummel, J. Mühle, C. M. Harth, B. Evans, R. F. Weiss, R. G. Prinn, S. O’Doherty (2021). Global trends and European emissions of tetrafluormethane (CF4), hexafluoroethane (C2F6) and octafluoropropane (C38). Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 2149-2164, 2021,

P. Wang, J. R. Scott, S. Solomon, J. Marshall, A. R. Babbin, M. Lickley, D. W. J. Thompson, T. DeVries, Q. Liang, R. G. Prinn (2021). On effects of the ocean on atmospheric CFC-11 lifetimes and emissions. PNAS, 2021, Vol. 118, No. 12, 2021528118.

Montzka, S. A., G.  S. Dutton, R. W. Portmann, M. P. Chipperfield, S. Davis, W. Feng, A. J. Manning, E.Ray, M. Rigby, B. D. Hall, C. Siso, J. D. Nance, P.B. Krummel, J. Mühle, D. Young, S. O’Doherty, P.K. Salameh, C.M. Harth, R. G. Prinn, R. F. Weiss, J. W. Elkins, H. Walter-Terrinoni, C. Theodoridi (2021), A decline in global CFC-11 emissions during 2018-2019, Nature, 590:7846 (428-4320),, 2021


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)