Paul Higgins

Paul Higgins

Paul Higgins is the Director of the American Meteorological Society’s Policy Program. He studies climate change and its causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

His research examines the two-way interaction between the atmosphere and the land-surface to help quantify responses and feedbacks to climate change. His policy analysis helps characterize climate risks and identify potential risk management strategies. He works with decision-makers to develop new policy options that can overcome contentious political obstacles.

Paul also works to inform policy makers, members of the media, and the general public about climate science and climate policy. In 2011, he was named a Google Science Communication Fellow in recognition for these efforts. From 2005-2006 Paul worked on climate policy in the United States Senate. From 2003-2005 he was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of California. He received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University and a B.S. from The University of Michigan.

 

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Higgins, P.A.T., and Steinbuck, J.V. 2014. A conceptual tool for climate change risk assessment. Earth Interactions. 18(2014):1-15.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2014. How to deal with climate change. Physics Today. 68(10):32-37.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2013. Frameworks for pricing greenhouse gas emissions and the policy objectives they promote. Energy Policy. 62(2013):1301-1308.

Higgins, P.A.T., and Harte, J. 2012. Carbon cycle uncertainty increases climate change risks and mitigation challenges. Journal of Climate. 25: 7660-7668.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2010. Design principles and remaining needs for U.S. federal climate policy: emission fees. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 91(5)601-609.

Srinivasan, U.T., Carey, S.P., Hallstein, E., Higgins, P.A.T., Kerr, A.C., Koteen, L.E., Smith, A.B., Watson, R., Harte, J., Norgaard, R.B. 2008. The debt of nations and the distribution of ecological impacts from human activities. PNAS. 105:1768-1773.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2007. A year to solve the climate problem. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 88(8)1181-1185.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2007. Biodiversity loss under existing land use and climate change: an illustration using northern South America. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 16:197-204.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2006. Toward an optimal approach for health and transportation. Environmental Conservation. 33(3):184.

>Higgins, P.A.T., and Harte, J. 2006. Biophysical and biogeochemical responses to climate change depend on dispersal and migration. BioScience. 56(5):407-417.

Higgins, P.A.T., Chan, K.M.A., and Porder, S. 2006. Bridge over a philosophical divide. Evidence & Policy. 2(2):251-257.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2005. Exercise based transportation reduces oil dependence, carbon emissions and obesity. Environmental Conservation. 32(3):197-202.

Higgins, P.A.T., and Schneider, S.H. 2005. Long-term potential ecosystem responses to greenhouse gas induced thermohaline circulation collapse. Global Change Biology. 11(5):699-709.

Higgins, P.A.T., and Higgins, M. 2005. A healthy reduction in oil consumption and carbon emissions. Energy Policy. 33(1):1-4.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2004. Biogeochemical and biophysical responses of the land surface to a sustained thermohaline circulation weakening. Journal of Climate. 17(21):4135-4142.

Higgins, P.A.T., and Vellinga, M. 2004. Ecosystem responses to abrupt climate change: teleconnections, scale, and the hydrological cycle. Climatic Change. 64(1-2):127-142.

Higgins, P.A.T., Masterandrea, M.D., Schneider, S.H. 2002. Dynamics of climate and ecosystem coupling: abrupt changes and multiple equilibria. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London series B-Biological Sciences. 357(1421):647-655.

Higgins, P.A.T., Jackson, R.B., desRosier, J.M., Field, C.B. 2002. Root production and demography in a California annual grassland under elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. Global Change Biology. 8(9):841-850.

Hussusian, C.J., Struewing, J.P., Goldstein, A.M., Higgins, P.A.T., Ally, D.S., Sheahan, M.D., Clark Jr., W.H., Tucker, M.A., and Dracopoli, N.C. 1994. Germline p16 mutations in familial melanoma. Nature Genetics. 8(1):15-21.

 

Selected Book Chapters, Reviews, Editorials, & Commentary:

Higgins, P.A.T. 2017. Climate Policy. In: The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Douglas Richardson (ed.). Wiley Press.

Higgins, P.A.T., and Mohleji, S. 2014. Weather and Climate in the FY2015 Budget. In: AAAS Report XXXIX, Research and Development FY 2015. The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Washington, DC. (pp 197-202).   

Higgins, P.A.T. 2013. Climate Information Needs for Financial Decision Making. An American Meteorological Society Policy Program Study. The American Meteorological Society. Washington, DC.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2011. United States Federal Policy: Climate Policy. In: Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, 2nd edition. Stephen H. Schneider, Terry L. Root, and Michael D. Mastrandrea (eds.). Oxford University Press.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2011. Disturbance. In: Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, 2nd edition. Stephen H. Schneider, Terry L. Root, and Michael D. Mastrandrea (eds.) Oxford University Press.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2009. Climate Change Research and Development in the FY2010 Budget. In: AAAS Report XXXIV, Research and Development FY 2010. The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Washington, DC.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2009. Carbon cycle amplification: how optimistic assumptions cause persistent underestimates of potential climate damages and mitigation needs. Climatic Change. 95:363-368.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2008. Science in the policy process: rational decision-making or Faustian bargain? Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 89(5):688-690.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2008. Federal climate policy: design principles and remaining needs. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 89(1):102-103.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2007. Book Review: The science and politics of global climate change: a guide to the debate. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 88(4):572-573.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2007. The creation of well-informed climate policy: how you can influence Congress. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 88(1):98-99.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2005. Climate Change: Complexity, Chaos and Order. In: Understanding Change: Models Methodologies and Metaphors. Andreas Wimmer and Reinhart Koessler (eds.). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Chan, K.M.A., Higgins, P.A.T., and Porder S. 2005. Protecting science from abuse requires a broader form of outreach. PLoS Biology. 3(7):e218.

Higgins, P.A.T. March 30, 2005. (LTR) Junk Economics. The Washington Times.

Higgins, P.A.T. 2004. (LTR) The Bush Administration and climate change. Science. 306:2041.

Porder, S., Chan, K.M.A, and Higgins, P.A.T. 2004. (LTR) Scientists must conquer reluctance to speak out. Nature. 431:1036.

Porder, S., Chan, K.M.A, and Higgins, P.A.T. April 04, 2004. (Op-ed) Science and policy—it’s an issue of trust. San Francisco Chronicle.

Chan, K.M.A., Porder, S., Higgins, P.A.T., and Kramer, S.B. 2004. (LTR) Concern is more than just ruffled feathers. Nature. 428(6980):255.

 

Selected Workshops & Briefings (Moderator):

Climate Information Needs for Financial Decision Making, June 3-4, 2013. Washington, DC. www.ametsoc.org/cin.

The Vulnerability of U.S. Water Resources to Climate Change, May, 2011. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Peter Gleick. Video link: www.ametsoc.org/cb.

Geoengineering: The Risk Management Potential of Climate Engineering, April, 2011. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Ken Caldeira and David Keith.

Weather, Climate, and Food, March, 2011. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Donald Wilhite and Michael Roberts.

The Role of Nitrogen in Climate Change, November, 2010. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: James Galloway and Gordon Bonan.

Media and Climate Change, September, 2010. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Thomas Rosenstiel and Bud Ward.

Climate Change and National Security, June, 2010. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Rear Admiral David Titley and Jeffrey Mazo.

Detecting Climate Change: The Temperature Record, May, 2010. The United States Senate. Featuring: Thomas Karl. www.ametsoc.org/cb.

Public Perception, Science, and the Political Landscape, March, 2010. The United States Senate. Featuring: Michael Oppenheimer, Norman Ornstein, and Jon Krosnick.

Climate Change and Public Health, February, 2010. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Rita Colwell, Howard Frumkin, and Jonathan Patz.

Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, January, 2010. The United States House of Representatives. Featuring: Mike MacCracken, Kristie Ebi, Kathy Jacobs, and Susanne Moser.

Federal Climate Policy: Design Principles and Remaining Needs, November, 13 2007. Washington, DC.