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Tom M.L. Wigley

Date and place of birth

18 January 1940; Adelaide, South Australia

Academic Record:

1959 B.Sc. (University of Adelaide)
Major subjects: Pure Mathematics III (Distinction), Applied Mathematics III (Distinction), Physics III (Credit)
1960 B.Sc. Hons (University of Adelaide)
Mathematical Physics (IIA)
1961-2 Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology Training Course
(standing: first)
1967 Ph.D. (University of Adelaide)
(Mathematical Physics: Dissertation entitled 'Problems in Plasma Dynamics and Fluid Mechanics')


1991 Member, Academia Europaea
1992 Sixth Annual Climate Institute Award
1993 Who's Who in the World, Eleventh Edition, 1993/1994
1997 Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Research Laboratories
1998 Norbert Gerbier - MUMM International Award for the paper entitled "A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere" by B.D. Santer et al., published in Nature, Vol. 382, July 1996

Biographical details:

Tom Wigley was born and educated in Australia. His undergraduate (honours) degree was in Mathematical Physics, completing three majors (Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Physics) instead of the normal two. He then trained as a meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology Training School (a 15-month course), subsequently working for a year as a research meteorologist before returning to university to do a Ph.D. His doctoral dissertation in the Department of Mathematical Physics, University of Adelaide, dealt with the kinetic theory of plasmas.

After graduating in 1967, he joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where he stayed until 1975. Here he taught courses in applied mathematics, statistics, air pollution and meteorology. Apart from completing some work in plasma physics while on leave at the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority in Culham, U.K. during 1969, his main research interests during this period were in air pollution and aqueous geochemistry. The former included important work of the dynamics and dispersion of industrial plumes (particularly moist plumes), while the latter produced highly cited papers on the dissolution kinetics of calcite, chemical modelling and carbon isotope geochemistry.

In 1975, he moved to the U.K. to take up a "soft money" research job in climatology, in the then fledgling Climatic Research Unit in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K. In 1978, on the retirement of Professor H.H. Lamb, he became Director of the Unit. Since then, the Unit has become firmly established as one of the world's leading centres in climatology. In 1993, he resigned as Director of the Climatic Research Unit to take up the position of Director of the Office for Interdisciplinary Earth Studies at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO. He was appointed as an NCAR/UCAR Senior Scientist in 1994.

Wigley has published in diverse aspects of the broad field of climatology; from data analysis, to climate impacts on agriculture and water resources, to climate, sea level and carbon cycle modelling, to paleoclimatology. He has concentrated recently on facets of the greenhouse problem, and contributed as a lead author in each of the six recent major reviews of this problem (US DOE, WMO/UNEP/ICSU-SCOPE, and the 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1995 IPCC Reviews). He is one of the most highly cited scientists in the discipline.


1962-3 Meteorologist, Research Section, Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia
1968-72 Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
April-December 1969 Vacation Associate, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Culham Laboratory, Abingdon, Berks, U.K. (on study leave from University of Waterloo)
1972-75 Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
September 1972-April 1973 Visiting Fellow, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (on study leave from University of Waterloo)
1975-78 Senior Research Associate, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.
1978-93 Director, Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.
Jan. 1987- Professor (personal chair in climatology), School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
1993-1994 Director, Office for Interdisciplinary Earth Studies (OIES), University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Boulder, CO
July 1994- Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO.

Professional Consultant for:

United States Atomic Energy Commission
Ontario Hydro-Electric Power Commission
Canada Department of the Environment
Eastman Kodak Company
Tennessee Valley Authority
United Nations Development Programme, Morocco
U.K. Overseas Development Administration
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
British Petroleum Research Centre
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Electric Power Research Institute
U.K. Department of the Environment
United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi
Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, Southwest Research Institute
Hagler Bailly Consulting, Inc.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Science and Policy Associates, Inc.

Other Items:

(*indicates currently active)

National or International Committees

U.K. Department of the Environment Steering Group for Climatic Change
Natural Environment Research Council Stable Isotope Project Coordinating Panel
SCOR/IOC Committee on Climatic Changes and the Ocean (CCCO)
Panel on Paleoclimatology
Royal Meteorological Society Council
UNEP Correspondence Group on the Interface between Climate (Global Circulation) Models and Crop-Climate Models
Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics Subcommittee, British National Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics
International Commission on Climate of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics
Technical Advisory Panel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Global Change Research Program
Chairman, Climate Hazards Coordination Group, Commission of the European Communities, Climatology and Natural Hazards Programme
Atmospheric Sciences Committee, Natural Environment Research Council
Forestry Research Co-ordination Committee, Review Group on Climatic Change and Forestry
Electric Power Research Institute, Global Climate Advisory Committee
Science Review Group, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, U.K. Meteorological Office
*Electric Power Research Institute, ACACIA (A Consortium for the Application of Climate Impact Assessment) Planning Committee
*American Geophysical Union, Atmospheric Sciences Section, Climate and Paleoclimate Committee
*United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)


Editorial Board, Climatic Change (Kluwer Academic Publishers)
Editorial Advisory Board member, Atmospheric Sciences Library (Kluwer Academic Publishers)
*Editorial Board, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change (Kluwer Academic Publishers)
*Editorial Advisory Board member, Encyclopedia of Climate & Weather (Robert Ubell Associates)
*Editorial Board, Global Climate Change Digest (Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc.)
*Editorial Board, Climatic Dynamics (Springer-Verlag)
*Referee for numerous journals

Publications (1990-present)


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