Professor of global change and environmental biology
Role at Tyndall
Rachel is a part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and a co-ordinator of the Land & Water research theme. Rachel's research focuses on the production of policy relevant science related to climate change and sustainability. Particular foci include the quantification of the climate change impacts that can be avoided by timely mitigation, and the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. A key area of current interest is the understanding of pathways that deliver the goals of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's Paris Agreement, which aims to limit warming to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, indeed as close to 1.5C as feasible. A critical issue is the interaction between climate change mitigation and adaptation, and land and water management in the context of the Paris Agreement. Rachel lead the team that has developed the Community Integrated Assessment System, CIAS, which links together models of the climate system, climate change impacts and the global economy across a range of institutions.
Rachel is a co-ordinating lead author of the 5th (2014) assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was lead author of the 4th assessment which was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2007.
Rachel led the Tyndall Centre’s contribution to HM Treasury’s Stern Review, and continues to lead its contribution to the AVOIDing dangerous climate change project for the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change. This has delivered key policy relevant science that informed the UK negotiating position within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Rachel's 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, Rachel's integrated modelling work was used in the development of international UN ECE protocols and to underpin the UK’s participation within these.
Rachel leads the Community Integrated Assessment System (CIAS) at the Tyndall Centre which simulates climate change and its impacts, and how these may be reduced through timely emission reduction policies. In 2009, she led workstream 1 of the AVOIDing dangerous climate change project for DEFRA to assist the UK government in its preparations for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in December 2009. She holds a NERC Advanced Research Fellowship and is a Lead Author in the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment reports.
Role at Council
Theme Co-ordinator: Water & Land
Rachel and the CIAS team are exploring impacts of climate change on human and natural systems. Recent foci have included simulations of drought and impacts on biodiversity. She is now exploring the interactions between land use policies and climate policy. CIAS is being adapted to consider how agricultural systems, natural ecosystems and urban systems may compete for land and water in the future.
Rachel's academic background and training is in physics and the natural sciences at Cambridge University. After completion of her PhD (1989) she pursued her interest in atmospheric sciences and rapidly became involved in policy relevant research, a purpose to which she remains committed today. Through this commitment Rachel has assisted in national, European and international policy development relating to combating stratospheric ozone depletion, acid deposition, eutrophication, and climate change.
Ph.D Physics 1989, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, U.K., 1985-1989 Thesis title: Optical, Electronic and Structural properties of Lead Halide Intercalation Compunds. McDermott Long, O., Warren, R., Price, J., Brereton, T. M., Botham, M. S., Franco, A. M. A. (2017) Sensitivity of UK Butterflies to local climatic extremes: Which life stages are most at risk? Full Text UEA Repository (Article) Hallgren, W., Beaumont, L., Bowness, A., Chambers, L., Graham, E., Holewa, H., Laffan, S., Mackey, B., Nix, H., Price, J., Vanderwal, J., Warren, R., Weis, G. (2016)The Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory: Where ecology meets big data Full Text UEA Repository (Article)
McCormack, C. G., Born, W., Irvine, P. J., Achterberg, E. P., Amano, T., Ardron, J., Foster, P. N., Gattuso, J., Hawkins, S. J., Hendy, E., Kissling, W. D., Lluch-Cota, S. E., Murphy, E. J., Ostle, N., Owens, N. J. P., Perry, R. I., Portner, H. O., Scholes, R. J., Schurr, F. M., Schweiger, O., Settele, J., Smith, R. K., Smith, S., Thompson, J., Tittensor, D. P., van Cleunen, M., Vivian, C., Vohland, K., Warren, R., Watkinson, A., Widdicombe, S., Williamson, P., Woods, E., Blackstock, J. J., Sutherland, W. J. (2016) Key impacts of climate engineering on biodiversity and ecosystems, with priorities for future research Full Text UEA Repository (Article)
Jones, M., Dye, S. R., Pinnegar, J. K., Warren, R., Cheung, W. W. (2015)Using scenarios to project the changing profitability of fisheries under climate change Full Text UEA Repository (Article) Jenkins, K., Warren, R. (2015) Quantifying the impact of climate change on drought regimes using the Standardised Precipitation Index Full Text UEA Repository (Article) Jenkins, K., Warren, R. (2015) Drought-Damage Functions for the Estimation of Drought Costs under Future Projections of Climate Change Full Text UEA Repository (Article)
Arnell, N., Lowe, J., Brown, S., Gosling, S., Gottschalk, P., Hinkel, J., Lloyd-Hughes, B., Nicholls, R., Osborn, T., Osborne, T., Rose, G., Smith, P., Warren, R. (2013)A global assessment of the effects of climate policy on the impacts of climate changeFull Text UEA Repository (Article)
Jones, M., Dye, S., Fernandes, J., Frölicher, T., Pinnegar, J., Warren, R., Cheung, W. (2013) Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on Threatened Species in UK Waters Full Text UEA Repository (Article)
Warren, R., Lowe, J. A., Arnell, N. W., Hope, C., Berry, P., Brown, S., Gambhir, A., Gosling, S. N., Nicholls, R. J., O’Hanley, J., Osborn, T., Price, J., Raper, S. C. B., Rose, G., Vanderwal, J. (2013) The AVOID programme’s new simulations of the global benefits of stringent climate change mitigation Full Text UEA Repository (Article)
Warren, R., Vanderwal, J., Price, J., Welbergen, J. A., Atkinson, I., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Osborn, T. J., Jarvis, A., Shoo, L. P., Williams, S. E., Lowe, J. (2013) Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss Full Text UEA Repository (Article)
Gerten, D., Lucht, W., Ostberg, S., Heinke, J., Kowarsch, M., Kreft, H., Kundzewicz, Z. W., Rastgooy, J., Warren, R., Schellnhuber, H. J. (2013) Asynchronous exposure to global warming: freshwater resources and terrestrial ecosystems Full Text UEA Repository (Article)