Senior Fellow - Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment; Associate Professor - Environmental Earth System Science
Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences
Climate, Food Security
Noah Diffenbaugh is an Associate Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His research interests are centered on the dynamics and impacts of climate variability and change, including the role of humans as a coupled component of the climate system. Much of his work has focused on the role of fine-scale processes in shaping climate change impacts, including studies of extreme weather, water resources, agriculture, human health and poverty vulnerability. Diffenbaugh is currently a lead author for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Ad Hoc Committee on Effects of Provisions in the Internal Revenue Code on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), as an editor of Geophysical Research Letters, and as a member representative to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Diffenbaugh is a recipient of the James R. Holton Award from the American Geophysical Union, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, and a Terman Fellowship from Stanford University. He has been recognized as a Kavli Fellow by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and as a Google Science Communication Fellow. Before coming to Stanford, Diffenbaugh was a member of the faculty of Purdue University, where he was a University Faculty Scholar and served as Interim Director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC).
Selected Publications by this Author
The Extraordinary California Drought of 2013/2014: Character, Context and the Role of Climate Change," part of "Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective," a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society »
Environmental Venture Projects
News & Press Releases
In California, dry years coupled with warm conditions are more likely to lead to severe drought than dry, cool years, and the probability of warm and dry conditions coinciding is likely to increase under human-caused climate change. Warm conditions reduce snowfall, increase snowmelt and increase water loss from soils and plants.
By Ker Than,
Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) discusses how California's long-term warming trend is likely to exacerbate drought conditions.
By Adam Nagourney,
Cites a new study by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) which reports that low precipitation was key in starting the drought, but that heat, which has become more common in California, has been essential in maintaining and intensifying the drought.
By Dennis Dimick,
Discusses study led by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) that pored through historical data from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center to explain current conditions and concluded that drought conditions may be the new normal for California.
By Darryl Fears,