image of Christopher Skinner

Christopher Skinner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

College of Sciences
Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Climate Change Initiative
Olney Hall - 301B


Climate Change, Weather Extremes, Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions, Climate Modeling

Research Interests

Climate Change, Weather Extremes, Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions, Climate Modeling

I am interested in the intersection of climate change and climate impacts. In my research I use process-based numerical models (i.e. climate models) to study how perturbations to the earth system influence weather and climate events. The insights from this work can be used to better understand the role of climate and weather in shaping societies and ecosystems in the past, and to prepare for climate-related impacts in the future.


  • Ph.D.: Environmental Earth System Science, (2014), Stanford University
  • BS: Atmospheric Science, (2008), Cornell University

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Turner Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014) - University of Michigan
  • Graduate Student Award for Scholarly and Research Achievement (2013) - Stanford University
  • Centennial Teaching Assistant Award (2011) - Stanford University

Selected Publications

  • Christopher, S.B., Lora, J.M., Payne, A.E., Poulsen, C.J. (2020). Atmospheric river changes shaped mid-latitude hydroclimate since the mid-Holocene. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 541.
  • Thompson, A.J., Skinner, C.B., Poulsen, C.J., Zhu, J. (2019). Modulation of mid‐Holocene African rainfall by dust aerosol direct and indirect effects. Geophysical Research Letters, 46.
  • Skinner, C.B., Poulsen, C.J., Mankin, J.S. (2018). Amplification of heat extremes by plant CO2 physiological forcing. Nature Communications, 9(1).
  • Webb, M.J., Andrews, T., Bodas-Salcedo, A., Bony, S., Bretherton, C.S., Chadwick, R., Chepfer, H., Douville, H., Good, P., Kay, J.E., Klein, S.A., Marchand, R., Medeiros, B., Siebesma, A.P., Skinner, C.B., Stevens, B., Tselioudis, G., Tsushima, Y., Watanabe, M. (2017). The Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) contribution to CMIP6. Geoscientific Model Development, 10(1) 359--384.
  • Chadwick, R., Douville, H., Skinner, C.B. (2017). Timeslice experiments for understanding regional climate projections: applications to the tropical hydrological cycle and European winter circulation. Climate Dynamics, 49(9-10) 3011-3029.
  • Skinner, C.B., Poulsen, C.J., Chadwick, R., Diffenbaugh, N.S., Fiorella, R.P. (2017). The Role of Plant CO2 Physiological Forcing in Shaping Future Daily-Scale Precipitation. Journal of Climate, 30(7) 2319-2340.
  • Skinner, C.B., Poulsen, C.J. (2016). The role of fall season tropical plumes in enhancing Saharan rainfall during the African Humid Period. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(1) 349-358.
  • Horton, D.E., Skinner, C.B., Singh, D., Diffenbaugh, N.S. (2014). Occurrence and persistence of future atmospheric stagnation events (4:8 pp. 698-703). Nature Climate Change
  • Skinner, C.B., Diffenbaugh, N.S. (2014). Projected changes in African easterly wave intensity and track in response to greenhouse forcing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(19) 6882--6887.
  • Skinner, C.B., Diffenbaugh, N.S. (2013). The contribution of African easterly waves to monsoon precipitation in the CMIP3 ensemble. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 118(9) 3590-3609.
  • Skinner, C.B., Ashfaq, M., Diffenbaugh, N.S. (2012). Influence of Twenty-First-Century Atmospheric and Sea Surface Temperature Forcing on West African Climate. Journal of Climate, 25(2) 527-542.
  • Ashfaq, M., Skinner, C.B., Diffenbaugh, N.S. (2011). Influence of SST biases on future climate change projections. Climate Dynamics, 36(7-8) 1303-1319.
  • Skinner, C.B., DeGaetano, A.T., Chabot, B.F. (2010). Implications of twenty-first century climate change on Northeastern United States maple syrup production: impacts and adaptations. Climatic Change, (3-4) 685.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Observed and modeled interactions between droughts and heat waves for the Northeast US (2020), Grant - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Barlow, M. (Principal), Skinner, C.B. (Co-Principal)
  • Collaborative Research -- Elucidating the drivers and consequences of changes in atmospheric rivers from the last glacial maximum to the present day (2019), Grant - National Science Foundation
    Skinner, C.B. (Principal)