Rachel Warren


Interdisciplinary synthesist Rachel Warren is Professor of Global Change and Environmental Biology at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia, UK.  She has over 25 years’ experience leading interdisciplinary teams to deliver policy relevant science on climate change. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the quantification of risks avoided by timely climate change mitigation, the risks climate change poses to biodiversity, analysis with integrated assessment models and economics of climate change.

Her contributions as lead author of four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, and the recent UNEP Making Peace with Nature report (2021) have informed world governments about increased climate change risks caused by global warming. Rachel was Lead Author of the 6th (2022) Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C warming (2018), Coordinating Lead Author of the 5th IPCC Assessment (2014), and Lead Author of the 4th Assessment which was awarded the Nobel Peace prize on 2007.   She appears in the Reuters hot list of top 1000 climate scientists.  Rachel won UEA’s Consultancy of the Year Award in 2019 and was a UEA media star in 2018 following the release of her paper in Science quantifying the risks climate change poses to biodiversity and of the Special Report on 1.5C warming.

Since 2005 she has led key partnership projects with HM Treasury, BEIS, FCDO and the UK Climate Change Committee producing over 60 reports informing decision makers addressing climate change and air pollution and informing the UK’s position within the international negotiations.

She has >100 publications including nine in Nature/Science, with >27,000 Google Scholar citations. Moody’s used her work to inspire the largest pension fund in the world to decarbonise.  Since 2009, she has led large international teams to secure over £5m as PI and £7m as Co-I.  Current research interests include exploring synergies and tradeoffs in efforts to meet the various Sustainable Development Goals.

A particular area of 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.  Her research team explores the interaction between climate change mitigation and adaptation, land and water management, and biodiversity conservation in the context of the Paris Agreement.

Rachel was instrumental in the production of key synthesis products and risk assessments for the Summary for Policy Makers of three IPCC Assessments, including the well-known ‘burning embers’ diagram illustrating to world governments how climate change risks accrue with global warming.  She has led the Tyndall Centre contributions to several EU funded projects, UK Climate Change Risk Assessments, and HM Treasury’s Stern Review.  She has a led a number of projects funded the former Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which have informed the UK negotiating position within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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.  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.

A black and white photo of Rachel Warren wearing glasses.

Research Areas


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