Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Joyce Penner
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Joyce E Penner

Ralph J. Cicerone Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric Science

Associate Chair for Atmospheric Science

Phone: (734) 936-0519
Fax: (734) 936-0503
[ Link to website ]


B.A., Mathematics, UC-Santa Barbara
M.S., Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, Harvard University


Cloud and aerosol interactions and cloud microphysics, climate and climate change, global tropospheric chemistry and budgets, model development and interpretation

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Determining effects of pollutants from both biomass burning and fossil fuel burning on aerosols and clouds
  • Understanding how size distribution of aerosols in the atmosphere is altered through processes of nucleation and condensation
  • Understanding how and whether changes in precipitation efficiency of clouds, induced by changes in aerosols, alter large-scale structure of clouds
  • Improving treatment and understanding of gas/aerosol interactions in the atmosphere

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

    • 2016 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award 
    • Member, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), co-winner, Nobel Peace Prize, 2007
    • Ralph J. Cicerone Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric Science
    • College of Engineering Service Excellence Award, 2007
    • Fellow, American Geophysical Union
    • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • College of Engineering Collegiate Professor of Atmospheric Science, 2005
    • Research Excellence Award, University of Michigan College of Engineering, 2003 
    • Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award-1998 of the WMO for "A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere" by Santer et al. 1996
    • With colleagues, developed models to study smoke plume evolution and injection as well as microphysics associated with cloud formation in an environment with massive amounts of smoke
    • First calculation of the effects of smoke from biomass-burning on climate forcing
    • First study of climate effects of sulfur aerosols
    • First calculations of global distribution of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere and the effects of fossil fuel emissions of NOx
    • With colleagues, developed mechanistic method for incorporating effects of aerosols on clouds that allowed an evaluation of the indirect effects of aerosols on climate
    • Author or co-author, 220+ refereed publications

Professional Service

  • President of the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union 2017-2018.

  • Co-Chairman, NRC Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space, April 2015 – December 2018.
  • Member, Executive Committee, University of Michigan Graham Sustainability Institute, September 2011-August 2016.
  • Vice President, International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science (2011 – 2019)
  • Member, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry at Mainz Scientific Advisory Committee (2010 – 2019)
  • Chair-Elect, Chair, and Retiring-Chair of the AAAS Section on Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences (2005-2008) 
  • Member, DOE Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee Climate Subcommittee (2006 –  2013) 
  • Associate Chair, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences (2011 - )
  • Former Member, Space Studies Board, National Research Council
  • Coordinated and edited "Aviation and the Global Atmosphere", a Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Groups I and III 
  • Coordinating Lead Author, chapter 4 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report
  • Lead Author, Chapter 9, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fouth Assessment Report
  • Review Coordinator, Chapter 8, of the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report
  • Provided scientific briefings to Senate staff and Subsidiary Body on Sustainable Technology, United Nations, on effects of aviation on the atmosphere
  • Member of numerous national and international science advisory committees.


  • Zhou, C. and J. E. Penner, 2017: Why do GCMs overestimate the aerosol cloud lifetime effect? A case study comparing CAM5 and a CRM, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 21–29, doi:10.5194/acp-17-21-2017. 
  • Lin, G., J. E. Penner, and C. Zhou, 2016: How will SOA change in the future? Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 1718-172.
  • Penner, J. E., C. Zhou, and X. Liu, 2015: Can cirrus cloud seeding be used for geoengineering?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 8777-8782. 
  • Zhou, C., J. E. Penner, G. Lin, X. Liu, and M. Wang, 2015: What controls the low ice number concentration in the upper troposphere?, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 12411-12424. 
  • Schumann, U., J. E. Penner, Y. Chen, C. Zhou, and K. Graf, 2015: Dehydration effects from contrails in a coupled contrail‐climate model, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 11179-11199.
  • Lin, G., J. E. Penner, and H. L. Clack, 2014: Radiative forcing associated with particulate carbon emissions resulting from the use of mercury control technology, Environ. Sci. Technol., 48, 10519-10523.
  • Zhou, C. and J. E. Penner, 2014: Aircraft soot indirect effect on large-scale cirrus clouds: Is the indirect forcing by aircraft soot positive or negative?, J. Geophys. Res., 119, doi:10.1002/2014JD021914.
  • Lin, G., J. E. Penner, M. G. Flanner, S. Sillman, L. Xu, and C. Zhou, 2014: Radiative forcing of organic aerosol in the atmosphere and on snow: Effects of SOA and brown carbon, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119,  7453–7476, doi:10.1002/2013JD021186.

  • Penner, J. E., C. Zhou, and L. Xu, 2012: Consistent estimates from satellites and models for the first aerosol indirect forcing, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L13810, doi:10.1029/2012GL051870.

  • Zhou, C., J. E. Penner, M. G. Flanner, M. M. Bisiaux, R. Edwards, J. R. McConnell, 2012: Transport of black carbon to polar regions: Sensitivity and forcing by black carbon, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L22804, doi:10.1029/2012GL053388.
  • Yun, Y., J. E. Penner, and O. Popovicheva, 2013: The effects of hygroscopicity of fossil fuel combustion aerosols on mixed-phase clouds, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 4339-4348.
  • Chen, X., N. Andronova, B. van Leer, J. E. Penner, S.-J. Lin, J. P. Boyd, C. Jablonowski, 2012: A control-volume model o­f the compressible Euler equations with a vertical Lagrangian coordinate, Mon. Weath. Rev., in press.
  • Xu, L. and J. E. Penner, 2012: Global simulations of nitrate and ammonium aerosols and their radiative effects, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 9479-9504.
  • Ito, A., J. F. Kok, Y. Feng, and J. E. Penner, 2012: Does a theoretical estimation of the dust size distribution at emission suggest more bioavailable iron deposition? Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL050455, 39, 5807-5807.
  • Lin, G., J. E. Penner, S. Sillman, D. Taraborrelli, J. Lelieveld, 2012: Global modeling of SOA formation from dicarbonyls, epoxides, organic nitrates and peroxides, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 4743-4774
  • Penner, J.E., C. Zhou, L. Xu, M. Wang, 2011: Reply to Quaas et al.: Can satellites be used to estimate indirect climate forcing by aerosols?, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., Proc.,
  • Penner, J.E., L. Xu, M. Wang, 2011: Satellite methods underestimate indirect climate forcing by aerosols, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 108, 1340413408.
  • Wang, M., and J. E. Penner, 2010:Cirrus clouds in a global climate model with a statistical cirrus cloud scheme, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 5449-5474.
  • Penner, J.E., M.J. Prather, I.S.A. Isaksen, J.S. Fuglestvedt, Z. Klimont, and D.S. Stevenson, 2010: Short-lived uncertainty? Nature Geoscience, Vol. 3, No. 9, 587-588, 2010.
  • Roesler, E. and J. E. Penner, 2010: Can global models ignore the chemical composition of aerosols?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L24809, doi:10.1029/2010GL044282.
  • Wang, M., J.E. Penner, and X. Liu, 2009: The coupled IMPACT aerosol and NCAR CAM3 model: Evaluation of predicted aerosol number and size distribution, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D06302, doi:10.1029/2008JD010459.
  • Lee, S. S., L.J. Donner, and J.E. Penner, 2010: Thunderstorm and stratocumulus: how does their contrasting morphology affect their interactions with aerosols?, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 6819-6837.
  • Lee, S. S., J.E. Penner, and S.M. Saleeby, 2009: Aerosol effects on liquid-water path of thin stratocumulus clouds, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D07204, doi:10.1029/2008JD010513.
  • Lee, S. S., J.E. Penner, and M. Wang, 2009: Comparison of a global-climate model simulation to a cloud-system resolving model simulation for long-term thin stratocumulus clouds, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 6497-6520.
  • Lee, S. S. and J. E. Penner, 2010: Comparison of a global-climate model to a cloud-system resolving model for the long-term response of thin stratocumulus clouds to preindustrial and present-day aerosol conditions, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 6371-6389.
  • Feng, Y. and J.E. Penner, 2007: Global Modeling of Nitrate and Ammonium: Interaction of Aerosols and Tropospheric Chemistry, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D01304, doi:10.1029/2005JD006404.
  • Guo, H., J. E. Penner, M. Herzog, and S. Xie: 2007, Investigation of the first and second aerosol indirect effects using data from the May 2003 Intensive Operational Period at the Southern Great Plains, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D15206, doi:10.1029/2006JD007173.
  • Guo, H. J. E. Penner, M. Herzog, H. Pawlowska, 2007:  Examination of the aerosol indirect effect under contrasting environments during the ACE-2 experiment, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 535–548,
  • Penner., J.E., J. Quaas, T. Storelvmo, T. Takemura, O. Boucher, H. Guo, A. Kirkevåg, J.E. Kristjánsson, and Ø. Seland, 2006: Model intercomparison of indirect aerosol effects, Atmos. Chem. Physics, 6, 3391-3405.
  • Chen, Y. and J.E. Penner, 2005: Uncertainty analysis for estimates of the first indirect effect, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 5, 2935-2948, SRef-ID: 1680-7324/acp/2005-5-2935.
  • Liu, X., J.E. Penner, and M. Herzog, 2005: Global modeling of aerosol dynamics: Model description, evaluation and interactions between sulfate and non-sulfate aerosols, J. Geophys. Res.,110, D18206, doi:10.1029/2004JD005674.
  • Penner, J.E., X. Dong and Y. Chen, 2004: Observational evidence of a change in radiative forcing due to the indirect aerosol effect, Nature, 427, 231-234.
  • Penner. J.E., S. Y. Zhang, M. Chin, C.C. Chuang, J. Feichter, Y. Feng, I.V. Geogdzhayev, P. Ginoux, M. Herzog, A. Higurashi, D. Koch, C. Land, U. Lohmann, M. Mishchenko, T. Nakajima, G. Pitari, B. Soden, I. Tegen, L. Stowe, 2002: A comparison of model- and satellite-derived aerosol optical depth and reflectivity, J. Atmos. Sci., 59, 441-460.
  • Penner, J.E., M. Andreae, H. Annegarn, L. Barrie, J. Feichter, D. Hegg, A. Jayaraman, R. Leaitch, D. Murphy, J. Nganga, and G. Pitari, 2001: Aerosols, their Direct and Indirect Effects, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Report to IPCC from the Scientific Assessment Working Group (WGI), 289-348, Cambridge University Press
  • Penner., J.E., J. Quaas, T. Storelvmo, T. Takemura, O. Boucher, H. Guo, A. Kirkevåg, J.E. Kristjánsson, and Ø. Seland, 2006: Model intercomparison of indirect aerosol effects, Atmos. Chem. Physics, 6, 3391-3405, 
  • Ito, A., S. Sillman, and J. E. Penner, 2007, Effects of additional nonmethane volatile organic compounds, organic nitrates, and direct emissions of oxygenated organic species on global tropospheric chemistry, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D06309, doi:10.1029/2005JD006556.   
  • Jablonowski, C., M. Herzog, J.E. Penner, R.C. Oemke, Q.F. Stout, B. van Leer, and K.G. Powell, 2006: Block-Structured Adaptive Grids on the Sphere: Advection Experiments, Mon. Weath. Rev., Volume 134, pp. 3691–3713, DOI: 10.1175/MWR3223.1.   
Updated: 2017-02-09