Alexander Stine

Current Position: 

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Earth & Climate Sciences, San Francisco State University
Kernan Brothers Environmental Fellow: 2010-2012

Faculty Host: 

Alexander (Zan) Stine is a climate scientist interested in how to separate natural climate variability from human-induced climate change in the observational record.

Zan received his PhD in earth and planetary science from the University of California Berkeley in 2010. He previously received an ScM from MIT in climate physics and chemistry, and an ScB from Brown University in geology-physics/mathematics. In between he has lived in Antarctica, Pakistan, Australia and Ecuador. Zan's doctoral work focuses on long-term changes in the seasonal cycle of surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide. In his dissertation, he demonstrated the existence of anomalous large-scale shifts towards earlier seasons on land and later seasons over the ocean, that are not predicted by any models of climate change. He also diagnosed changes in the carbon cycling of the terrestrial biosphere from the seasonal variability of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

As a Kernan Brothers Environmental Fellow, Zan worked with Peter Huybers in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences to understand changes in the response of tree growth to temperature over the last century. Because tree-ring growth is correlated with temperature at many locations, long tree-ring records have been used to infer the temperature history of the Earth before the advent of the thermometer. However, in the latter part of the 20th century, many of these tree rings ceased to track temperature, suggesting a large-scale change in the way the terrestrial biosphere responds to climate, and calling into question tree-ring based reconstructions of past climates.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Email: huce@environment.harvard.edu
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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