Randerson studies the global carbon cycle using remote sensing and in-situ measurements and different types of models. Current research themes in his laboratory include climate-carbon cycle feedbacks, land use change, and the effects of fire on ecosystem function and atmospheric composition. He has conducted field work in Alaska and Siberia to assess the long-term impacts of fire on surface energy exchange and fluxes of carbon dioxide. In 2005 Randerson was the recipient of the James B. Macelwane Medal awarded by the American Geophysical Union for "significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist." He received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (1998) and a B.S. in Chemistry (1992) from Stanford University. He conducted work as a postdoctoral scholar at University of California, Berkeley and University of Alaska. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Climate-Carbon Cycle Feedbacks
Piers J. Sellers Global Environmental Change Mid-Career Award (professional)
2017 American Geophysical Union
NASA Group Achievement Award (professional)
Stanford University: PhD, Biological Sciences 1998
Stanford University: BS, Chemistry 1992
- American Geophysical Union : Fellow
- Ecological Society of America
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- National Academy of Sciences of the United States
Media Appearances (5)
UCI team uses machine learning to help tell which wildfires will burn out of control
UCI News online
“Black spruce, which are dominant in Alaska, have these long, droopy branches that are designed – from an evolutionary perspective – to wick up fire,” said co-author James Randerson, professor and Ralph J. & Carol M. Cicerone Chair in Earth System Science at UCI. “Their seeds are adapted to do well in a post-fire environment, so their strategy is to kill off everything else around them during a fire to reduce competition for their offspring.”
Climate change expected to accelerate spread of sometimes-fatal fungal infection
Science Daily online
"Morgan made this model based on temperature and rainfall; it provides similar but not exactly the same projections of where the CDC says Valley fever is," said James Randerson, Chancellor's Professor and Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Chair in Earth System Science at UCI and co-author of the new study. "In fact, we think it may guide efforts to build a better contemporary map of where the disease poses a threat to public health."
UCI scientists project northward expansion of Valley fever by end of 21st century
UCI News online
“Morgan made this model based on temperature and rainfall; it provides similar but not exactly the same projections of where the CDC says Valley fever is,” said co-author James Randerson, Chancellor’s Professor and Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Chair in Earth System Science. “In fact, we think it may guide efforts to build a better contemporary map of where the disease poses a threat to public health.”
UCI is No. 1 in U.S., No. 2 overall in Sierra magazine’s 2019 ‘Cool Schools’ ranking
UCI News online
Researchers from UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences and School of Physical Sciences will work together under a new initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, to perfect the use of data science in climate studies. They include Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Distinguished Professor of civil & environmental engineering; Padhraic Smyth, Chancellor’s Professor of computer science; and James Randerson, Chancellor’s Professor of Earth system science and the Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Chair in Earth System Science.
UCI’s James Randerson is elected to National Academy of Sciences
UCI News online
James Randerson, whose studies on the relationships among humans, the ecosystem and the environment have advanced our understanding of the effects of climate change, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.
Machine learning to predict final fire size at the time of ignitionInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Shane R Coffield, Casey A Graff, Yang Chen, Padhraic Smyth, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, James T Randerson
2019 Fires in boreal forests of Alaska are changing, threatening human health and ecosystems. Given expected increases in fire activity with climate warming, insight into the controls on fire size from the time of ignition is necessary. Such insight may be increasingly useful for fire management, especially in cases where many ignitions occur in a short time period. Here we investigated the controls and predictability of final fire size at the time of ignition. Using decision trees, we show that ignitions can be classified as leading to small, medium or large fires with 50.4 ± 5.2% accuracy.
The effect of plant physiological responses to rising CO2 on global streamflowNature Climate Change
Megan D. Fowler, Gabriel J. Kooperman, James T. Randerson & Michael S. Pritchard
2019 River flow statistics are expected to change as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 but uncertainty in Earth system model projections is high. While this is partly driven by changing precipitation, with well-known Earth system model uncertainties, here we show that the influence of plant stomatal conductance feedbacks can cause equally large changes in regional flood extremes and even act as the main control on future low latitude streamflow.
The Community Land Model Version 5: Description of New Features, Benchmarking, and Impact of Forcing UncertaintyJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
David M Lawrence, Rosie A Fisher, Charles D Koven, Keith W Oleson, Sean C Swenson, Gordon Bonan, Nathan Collier, Bardan Ghimire, Leo van Kampenhout, Daniel Kennedy, Erik Kluzek, Peter J Lawrence, Fang Li, Hongyi Li, Danica Lombardozzi, William J Riley, William J Sacks, Mingjie Shi, Mariana Vertenstein, William R Wieder, Chonggang Xu, Ashehad A Ali, Andrew M Badger, Gautam Bisht, Michiel van den Broeke, Michael A Brunke, Sean P Burns, Jonathan Buzan, Martyn Clark, Anthony Craig, Kyla Dahlin, Beth Drewniak, Joshua B Fisher, Mark Flanner, Andrew M Fox, Pierre Gentine, Forrest Hoffman, Gretchen Keppel‐Aleks, Ryan Knox, Sanjiv Kumar, Jan Lenaerts, L Ruby Leung, William H Lipscomb, Yaqiong Lu, Ashutosh Pandey, Jon D Pelletier, Justin Perket, James T Randerson, Daniel M Ricciuto, Benjamin M Sanderson, Andrew Slater, Zachary M Subin, Jinyun Tang, R Quinn Thomas, Maria Val Martin, Xubin Zeng
2019 The Community Land Model (CLM) is the land component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and is used in several global and regional modeling systems. In this paper, we introduce model developments included in CLM version 5 (CLM5), which is the default land component for CESM2.
Expansion of Coccidioidomycosis Endemic Regions in the United States in Response to Climate ChangeGeoHealth
Morgan E. Gorris, Kathleen K. Treseder, Charles S. Zender, James T. Randerson
2019 Coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) is a fungal disease endemic to the southwestern United States. Across this region, temperature and precipitation influence the extent of the endemic region and number of Valley fever cases. Climate projections for the western United States indicate that temperatures will increase and precipitation patterns will shift, which may alter disease dynamics.
Expansion of high-latitude deciduous forests driven by interactions between climate warming and fireNature Plants volume
Zelalem A. Mekonnen, William J. Riley, James T. Randerson, Robert F. Grant & Brendan M. Rogers
2019 High-latitude regions have experienced rapid warming in recent decades, and this trend is projected to continue over the twenty-first century1. Fire is also projected to increase with warming2,3. We show here, consistent with changes during the Holocene4, that changes in twenty-first century climate and fire are likely to alter the composition of Alaskan boreal forests. We hypothesize that competition for nutrients after fire in early succession and for light in late succession in a warmer climate will cause shifts in plant functional type.