Ben Santer is an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory (LLNL). His research focuses on such topics as climate model evaluation, the
use of statistical methods in climate science, and identification of natural and
anthropogenic “fingerprints” in observed climate records. Santer’s early research on the
climatic effects of combined changes in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols
contributed to the historic “discernible human influence” conclusion of the 1995 Report
by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His recent work has
attempted to identify anthropogenic fingerprints in a number of different climate
variables, such as tropopause height, atmospheric water vapor, the temperature of the
stratosphere and troposphere, ocean heat content, and ocean surface temperatures in
hurricane formation regions.
Santer holds a Ph.D. in Climatology from the University of East Anglia, England.
After completion of his Ph.D. in 1987, he spent five years at the Max-Planck Institute for
Meteorology in Germany, where he worked on the development and application of
climate fingerprinting methods. In 1992, Santer joined LLNL’s Program for Climate
Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison.
Santer served as convening lead author of the climate-change detection and
attribution chapter of the 1995 IPCC report. His awards include the Norbert Gerbier–
MUMM International Award (1998), a MacArthur Fellowship (1998), the U.S. Department
of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award (2002), a Distinguished Scientist Fellowship from the
U.S. Dept. of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (2005), a
Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union (2011), and membership in the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences (2011). He recently visited the Juneau Icefield in Alaska,
and enjoys rock-climbing, mountaineering, and exploring the beautiful state of California
with his wife Kris.