Rachel Warren

University of East Anglia



Rachel Warren is Professor of Global Change and Environmental Biology at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, UK.  Her research focuses on the production of policy relevant science related to climate change and sustainability.  A particular recent focus has been the quantification of the climate change impacts that can be avoided by timely mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular in relation to risks to biodiversity. She was a coordinating lead author of the 5th (2014) assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and lead author of the 4th assessment which was awarded the Nobel Peace prize on 2007.   Presently she is a lead author of the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C warming.  She has produced over 70 peer reviewed publications and over 40 scientific reports to government departments. 

Rachel has a track record in interdisciplinary synthesis, bringing together scientists from a wide range of disciplines and international institutions to provide answers to policy relevant questions posed by decision makers.  Examples of this include the production of key synthesis products and risk assessments for the Summary for Policy Makers of the IPCC’s Fourth and Fifth Assessments, including the well-known ‘burning embers’ diagram illustrating how risks accrue with global warming.  Other examples include her leadership of Tyndall Centre contributions to EU projects, the UK Climate Change Risk Assessments, HM Treasury’s Stern Review, and the AVOIDing dangerous climate change projects for the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change.The latter have delivered key policy relevant science that has informed the UK negotiating position within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.   Rachel recently won UEA’s Consultancy of the Year Award.  

Her academic background and training is in physics and the natural sciences at Cambridge University.  After completion of her PhD she pursued an interest in atmospheric sciences and rapidly became involved in policy relevant research, a purpose to which she remains committed today.  She has assisted in national, European and international policy development relating to combating stratospheric ozone depletion, acid deposition, eutrophication, and (since 2002) climate change. In particular, her former work at the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories provided evidence on the environmental acceptability of CFC substitutes, leading to inclusion of fluorocarbons in the Kyoto Protocol, winning the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratories Outstanding Scientific Paper Award.  At Imperial College, her integrated modelling work was used in the development of international UN ECE protocols and to underpin the UK’s participation within these.  

Rachel has 20 years’ experience leading and managing interdisciplinary teams to deliver policy relevant science.  Since 2009 she has worked with large teams to raise over £3m of funds as a principal investigator and a further £4 million as a co-investigator.  Since 2002 she has led the Community Integrated Assessment Modelling group at the Tyndall Centre, which now contains 7 members and is currently exploring the land-water-energy nexus in the content of climate change and biodiversity conservation. 

Contact information

E-mail: r.warren@uea.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)1603 59 3912

Postal Address:
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research ZICER, School of Environmental Sciences University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ UK

University website