John Kutzbach

John KutzbachProfessor Emeritus of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Environmental Studies
Center for Climatic Research, UW-Madison


Ph.D., Meteorology, 1966
M.S., Meteorology, 1961
B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1960

Research areas:

Climate Dynamics, Past, Present, and Future Climates

Selected Publications:

Kutzbach, J.E., J. Williams, and S. Vavrus (2005). Simulated 21st century changes in regional water balance of the Great Lakes region and links to changes in global temperature and poleward moisture transport. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L17707, doi: 10.1029/2005GL023506.

Kutzbach, J.E., W.F. Ruddiman, and W.L. Prell (1997). Possible effects of Cenozoic uplift and CO2 lowering on global and regional hydrology. In "Tectonic Uplift and Climate Change" (W.F. Ruddiman, ed.), Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, pp. 149-170.


Dr. Kutzbach has been involved in studies of the earth's climate, past, present and future. His research focuses on:

  • Studies of present-day climate variability and future climate changes
  • Decade/century scale climate variability over recent millennia
  • Linkages between vegetation changes and climate changes
  • The role of earth's orbital changes in producing the glacial/interglacial cycles of the last few hundred thousand years
  • The role of uplift of mountains and plateaus in producing major climatic changes over the past ten million years
  • The role of geographic changes associated with plate movements in producing climate changes over the past 250 million years

Here are some highlights of the awards Dr. Kutzbach has received:

  • Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2006
  • Awarded the "Revelle Medal" of the American Geophysical Union in 2006 (for outstanding contributions to Earth-system science)
  • Awarded the "Milankovitch Medal" of the European Geophysical Society, France, 2001(for pioneering and outstanding contributions to climate science)
  • "Honorary Professor" status, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 1999
  • Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, 1994 (for outstanding contributions to climate studies)
  • William Smith Award for Geological Sciences, London, 1994; Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, 1981; Senior Scientist Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, West Germany, 1978