Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Roger Pielke Sr. group

Our group studies land-atmosphere interactions on the local, mesoscale, regional, and global scales

Clouds and fog move over mountains with yellow aspen trees
Clouds and fog move over mountains in the East River Watershed in Colorado.
- Gijs de Boer

The Pielke research group focuses on land-atmosphere interactions on the local, mesoscale, regional, and global scales. These interactions include biophysical, biogeochemical, and biogeographic effects. The RAMS model is a major tool used in this research. RAMS has been coupled to two different ecosystem-dynamics models (CENTURY and GEMTM) as part of these studies. Also applied is the CCM3 atmospheric global model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Our studies range from the tropics into the high Arctic regions. Our group has also applied RAMS to atmospheric-ocean interactions, including Arctic sea-ice feedbacks. We have investigated these nonlinear interactions within the Earth's climate system using the coupled RAMS model, as well as simplified nonlinear mathematical models.

Research Themes

  • Climate Variability & Change
  • Environmental Vulnerability
  • Hurricane Modeling
  • Land-Atmosphere Interactions
  • Large Eddy/Turbulent Boundary-Layer Modeling

Research Areas

  • Land-Atmosphere Interactions
  • Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions
  • Climate System Dynamics
  • Nonlinear Mathematical Study of Atmospheric and Climate Processes
  • Large Eddy Simulation (LES) Modeling
  • Mesoscale Modeling

Collaborations/Other Activities

Collaborations/Other Activities: 

Colorado Climate Center, information on the weather and climate patterns of the State of Colorado
RAMS, the Regional Atmosphere Modeling System, and atmospheric tool used in most of the group's studies
Climate Science, the Weblog of the Roger Pielke Sr. Research Group
SGS LTER Shortgrass Steppe (SGS) Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) project
Who cites our research? 

December 12, 2019: University of Alabama at Huntsville News Release:  Wetlands, crops can mitigate storm damage to coastal cities, study led by UAH finds.  See the release here.

July 11, 2018:  National Science Foundation News Release:  Scientists study connection between Great Plains precipitation and agricultural irrigation. See the release here.

June 3, 2014,  2013 Editors' Citations for Excellence in Refereeing.  Eos, Vol. 95, No. 22. PDF

May 29, 2014: PDF Pielke Sr., R.A., 2014:  Written Testimony for the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Hearing on “Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process for the Process for the Fifth Assessment Report” May 29, 2014, Washington, DC, 11 pp. See the Questions for the Record. PDF Also watch the video from the Hearing at:

April 19, 2013 Third Edition of Mesoscale Meteorological Modeling to be published at the end of the year! Look for it soon.

September 29, 2011 Roger A. Pielke Sr., TD Walter Bean Visiting Professor, University of Waterloo, 'Climate Change - Is Our Weather More Violent?' 570 All News Radio Interview.

March 8, 2011 Roger A. Pielke Sr.' Oral Testimony to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power entitled “Climate Science and EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation" Written Testimony View the Hearing Website

February 9, 2011 Large dams can affect local climates, says new study Read the paper here.

March 22, 2010 Our weblog, Climate Science, awarded the Recommended Reading Site award by Reef Tank.

August 20, 2009 Our weblog - is moving! Check us out at our new location

April 2, 2009 Roger That! Reef Tanks and Climate Research Read Roger Pielke Sr.' interview at the Reef Tank, the Online Community of Reef Hobbyists.

November 5, 2008 A new paper is now available: Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55.

October 6, 2008 The Citizen's Guide to Colorado Climate Change Foundation Report is now available online. View the full report! or the article by Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: Global climate models - Many contributing influences. Citizen's Guide to Colorado Climate Change, Colorado Climate Foundation for Water Education, pp. 28-29.

July 17, 2008: Dr. Roy Spencer from The University of Alabama at Huntsville presented a special seminar at CU Boulder today. Spencer, R.W., and W.D. Braswell, 2008: Feedback vs. Chaotic Radiative Forcing: “Smoking Gun” Evidence for an Insensitive Climate System? (Download pdf of ppt: spencer-ppt) (Download flyer: spencer-7-17-08)

June 26, 2008 "A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System is Required In the Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Effective Climate Policy". Written Testimony by Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr., For the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing “Climate Change: Costs of Inaction” – Honorable Rick Boucher, Chairman. View PDF of Oral Summary

May 8, 2008 The Role of Landscape Change on the Climate System Right Side News article - The Right News for Americans. VIEW PDF

April 23, 2008 Is the Earth still recovering from the "Little Ice Age"? A possible cause of global warming. A special presentation by Dr. Syun Akasofu.

February 18, 2008 As a follow up to the August 2007 NSF sponsored workshop on Detecting the Atmospheric Response to the Changing Face of the Earth: A Focus on Human-Caused Regional Climate Forcings, Land-Cover/Land-Use Change, and Data Monitoring held in Boulder, Colorado, two journal special issues are being planned. The first special issue generally dealing with papers under the climate theme will be through the International Journal of Climatology. The second special issue dealing with mesoscale, boundary layer processes will be through Boundary-Layer Meteorology. The timeline for submitting the papers is expected to be finalized shortly. The call for submitting original papers is open to the larger community and not restricted to those who participated in the August Workshop. Authors interested in submitting a paper to either of these special issues can contact Dev Niyogi at for additional information. IJOC website; Journal Website


November 27, 2007 Climate Science Is Relaunching As An Information Source! As a result of very positive encouragement from many Climate Science Weblog readers, Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. has decided to relaunch the website, but with a slightly different format. Read about it at the above link.

August 25, 2007 Climate Science Weblog is Retiring!

March 7, 2007 Course Correction: Pielke Calls for New Direction in Climate Science (PDF)

March 2, 2007
Mist in kris tallen bol (in Dutch) (PDF)

February 27, 2007
Everyone’s clamouring to cut CO2 but what does the science say? (PDF)

February 9, 2007
Voice of America News Interview: Global Warming Report (AUDIO) Also see our weblog at Thursday February 9 2007 Voice Of America Interview "Global Warming Report"

March 30, 2006
The Son Also Rises, Nature, Vol 440, 597-599. (PDF)

August 25, 2005
Roger Pielke Sr.'s Official Statement to the Media Regarding his Resignation from the CCSP Committee (PDF)

July 12, 2005
New weblog "Climate Science" discussing climate and weather issues

May 17, 2005
Deep Freeze and Sea Breeze: Changing Land and Weather in Florida, NASA Earth Observatory (PDF)

May 8, 2005
All hail the backyard weather watchers, USA Today article featuring Nolan Doesken

February 1, 2005
Citrus Chill: The orange juice business might be giving Florida the chills, Earthwatch Radio.

Read the paper by Marshall et al. in MWR (PDF)

Storming the State: Volunteers recruited and trained to help measure precipitation (PDF), Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station 2004 Annual Report

December 16, 2004
Tiny Air Particles Change How Much Carbon Plants Absorb, NASA Feature

Read the paper by Niyogi et al. in GRL (PDF)

November 21, 2004
A broader perspective on climate change is needed, Discussion Forum, IGBP Global Change NewsLetter, 59, 16-19. (PDF)

See also Discussion Forum: How Good are Climate Projections? (PDF)

November 16, 2004
Wetland Changes Affect South Florida Freezes, NASA News.

Read the paper: Marshall, C.H., R.A. Pielke Sr., and L.T. Steyaert, 2004: Has the conversion of natural wetlands to agricultural land increased the incidence and severity of damaging freezes in south Florida? Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 2243-2258. (PDF)

August 1, 2004
Some thoughts on the surface-mid tropospheric temperature trend differences (PDF), based on the Fu et al. Nature paper published May 6, 2004

February 17, 2004
New figures placing the European summer heat wave in global context (PDF), courtesy of Thomas N. Chase

February 12, 2004
Colorado State University Professor And State Climatologist Named To Join Prestigious AGU Fellow Membership, CSU News. (PDF)

February 9, 2004
Strategic Research Needs: Interdisciplinary Research/Technology Transfer by Roger Pielke Sr (PDF)

November 5, 2003
Colorado State Study Shows Land-Use Changes In Florida May Have Altered Climate, Led To Increase In Crop Freezes, CSU News.

Read the paper: Marshall, C.H. Jr., R.A. Pielke Sr., and L.T. Steyaert, 2003: Crop freezes and land-use change in Florida. Nature, 426, 29-30. (PDF)

April 23, 2003
Carbon Monoxide Emissions Controls Achieving Results, The National Academies (PDF)

October 1, 2002
Landcover Changes May Rival Greenhouse Gases As Cause Of Climate Change, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (PDF)

Read the paper: Pielke Sr., R.A., G. Marland, R.A. Betts, T.N. Chase, J.L. Eastman, J.O. Niles, D. Niyogi, and S. Running, 2002: The influence of land-use change and landscape dynamics on the climate system- relevance to climate change policy beyond the radiative effect of greenhouse gases. Phil. Trans. A. Special Theme Issue, 360, 1705-1719. (PDF)

Related peer-reviewed papers regarding this press release:

  • Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke, T.G.F. Kittel, R. Nemani, and S.W. Running, 1996: The sensitivity of a general circulation model to global changes in leaf area index. J. Geophys. Res., 101, 7393-7408. (PDF)
  • Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke, T.G.F. Kittel, R.R. Nemani, and S.W. Running, 2000: Simulated impacts of historical land cover changes on global climate in northern winter. Climate Dynamics, 16, 93-105. (PDF)
  • Nemani, R.R., S.W. Running, R.A. Pielke, and T.N. Chase, 1996: Global vegetation cover changes from coarse resolution satellite data. J. Geophys. Res., 101, 7157-7162. (PDF)
  • Pielke Sr., R.A., 2001: Comments on "IPCC report cautiously warns of potentially dramatic climate change impacts". EOS, 84, 394, 396. (PDF)
  • Pielke Sr., R.A., 2001: Influence of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soils on the prediction of cumulus convective rainfall. Rev. Geophys., 39, 151-177. (PDF)
  • Pielke, R.A. Sr., 2002: Overlooked issues in the U.S. National Climate and IPCC assessments. Climatic Change, 52, 1-11. (PDF)
  • Cotton, W.R. and R.A. Pielke, 1995: Human impacts on weather and climate, Cambridge University Press, New York, 288 pp.

September 4, 2002
August Storms Too Little Too Late, Coloradoan

July 25, 2002
Roger Pielke Sr.'s testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations' hearing "The U.S. National Climate Change Assessment: Do the Climate Models Project a Useful Picture of Regional Climate?" (audio)

May 2002
"More Heat Over Greenhouse Gases" by Herman, B.M, X. Zeng, T. Chase, and R. Pielke, Physics Today (PDF)

November 2001
AASC Policy Statement on Climate Variability and Change, American Association of State Climatologists. Pielke, R.A., Sr., 2002: State Climatologists Issue Policy on Climate Change. EOS, Vol 83, #15 (PDF)

October 31, 2001
Roger Pielke, Sr. during Fox News Interview

Feburary 18, 2001
Atmospheric Scientist Says Land-Use Change, Other Factors Make Future Climate Unpredictable, CSU News