Rachel Warren


  • 0.02 CRU

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Key Research Interests


  • Policy relevant science related to climate change and sustainability
  • Integrated assessment modelling of climate change, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainability in the context of the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels
  • Linkages between land use change policy and climate change policy; exploring the land-water-energy nexus in relation to climate change, agriculture, human livelihoods, health and ecosystem conservation
  • Quantification of the benefits of climate policy and climate change mitigation, in particular the avoided climate change impacts 
  • Climate change impacts on ecosystems and species, and hence ecosystem services and the economy
  • Robustness of integrated assessment results to uncertainties within and between models
  • Making policy relevant science available and useful to policy makers, stakeholders and the academic community.

Significant publications

Warren, R., Price, J., Graham, E., Forstenhaeusler N., Vanderwal J. 2018.  The projected effect on insects, vertebrates and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C.  Science 360, 791-795 DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3646. Highly cited.

Warren, R., Price J., Vanderwal J., Cornelius S,  and Sohl, H. 2018. The implications of the United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change for Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas. Climatic Change 147, 395-409.  Downloaded 19,000 times.

Warren, R., et al. 2013. Quantifying the benefit of early mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss. Nature Climate Change 3: 678- 682. (doi:10.1038/nclimate1887).

O’Neill, B.C., et al. including Warren, R., 2017. IPCC Reasons for Concern regarding climate change risks Nature Climate Change 7, 28-37.

Seneviratne, S., et al. including Warren, R., 2018.  The many possible climates from the Paris Agreement’s aim of 1.5°C warming.  Nature 558, 41-49 

Dietz, S., et al. including Warren R. 2018.  The economics of 1.5°C climate change Annual Review Environment and Resources 43, 455-480.

Deryng, D., Conway, D., Ramankutty, N., Price, J., and Warren, R. 2014. Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures. Environmental Research Letters 9:034011 (13pp).

Zommers, Z., et al. including Warren R., 2020.  Burning Embers: Towards more transparent and robust climate change risk assessments. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 1, 516-529 

Hoegh-Guldberg, O., et al. including Warren R., 2019.  The human imperative of stabilizing global climate change at 1.5°C.  Science 365, 6459-6463, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw6974.

Warren, R., Wilby, R.L., Brown K., Watkiss P., Betts R.A., Murphy J.M., and Lowe J.A. 2018.  Advancing national climate change risk assessment to deliver national adaptation plans. Phil Trans Roy Soc A 376: 20170295 DOI 10.1098/rsta.2017.0295.

Egbebiyi T.S., et al. including Warren, R., 2020Investigating the potential impact of 1.5, 2 and 3°C global warming levels on crop suitability and planting season over West Africa. Peer J 8:e8851

Koutroulis, A.G., et al. including Warren R., 2019.  Global water availability under high end climate change: A vulnerability based assessment.  Global and Planetary Change175, 52-69

Colon-Gonzalez, F.J. et al. including Warren R., 2018.  Limiting global-mean temperature increase to 1.5–2 °C could reduce the incidence and spatial spread of dengue fever in Latin America Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115:6243–6248.

Arnell, N.W., et al. including Warren R. 2013. A global assessment of the effects of climate policy on the impacts of climate change.  Nature Climate Change 3: 512-519

Jones, M.C., Dye, S., Pinnegar, J., Warren, R., and W. Cheung. 2012. Modelling commercial fish distributions: Prediction and assessment using different approaches. Ecological Modelling 225: 133-145.

Colvile R.N., Hutchinson, E.J., Mindell, J.S. and Warren, R.F. 2001. The transport sector as a source of air pollution. Atmospheric Environment 35: 1537-1565zing global climate change at 1.5°C.  Science 365, 6459-6463, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw6974..

Ravishankara, A.R., Solomon, S., Turnipseed, A.A., and Warren, R.F. 1993. Atmospheric lifetimes of long-lived halogenated species. Science 259: 194-99. Winner of ‘Outstanding Scientific Paper Award’ NOAA/US Dept of Commerce.


I am a professor of global change and environmental biology at the Tyndall Centre.  My 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. I 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.  

I am a coordinating 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 on 2007.    

My academic background and training is in physics and the natural sciences at Cambridge University.  After completion of my PhD (1989) I pursued my interest in atmospheric sciences and rapidly became involved in policy relevant research, a purpose to which I remain committed today.  Through this commitment I have assisted in national, European and international policy development relating to combating stratospheric ozone depletion, acid deposition, eutrophication, and climate change.

I led the Tyndall Centre’s contribution to HM Treasury’s Stern Review, and continue to lead its contribution to 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.

 My 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, my integrated modelling work was used in the development of international UN ECE protocols and to underpin the UK’s participation within these.

Professor, Global Change and Environmental Biology,  Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2016

Reader, Integrated Assessment of Climate Change, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2012 – 2016

 Leader, Integrated Modelling, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2009 - Present. 

 NERC Advanced Research Fellow, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 2009 - 2013.

 Senior Research Fellow, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 2002 – 2008; Joint appointment with 4CMR, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK, 2007 - 2008.

 Secondment, Global Atmosphere Division, Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 2004. 

 Research Lecturer & Head of Integrated Assessment Unit, TH Huxley School, Imperial College, London, UK, 2000 – 2001.

 Senior Research Fellow, TH Huxley School of Environment, Earth Sciences& Engineering, Imperial College, London UK, 1992 – 2000.

 Open University, UK, Credit in Ecology, with Distinction, 1996.

 Research Associate, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado. Boulder, Colorado USA, Jan 1990-Dec 1992.

 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.

 B.A. (honors) 1985 Natural Sciences, Newnham College, Cambridge, U.K.


PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences.   However, feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 1989

Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 1985

Media Expertise

  • Impacts of climate change
  • Conservation
  • Climate Change
  • Biodiversity

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or