hero image
Julie Brigham-Grette - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Julie Brigham-Grette

Professor of Earth, Geographic, and Climate Sciences | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Julie Brigham-Grette is an internationally-renowned expert on the Arctic’s climate history and sea-level rise.

Expertise (7)

Polar climate

Arctic Science



Geological Mapping


Polar Science


Julie Brigham-Grette is an internationally-renowned expert on the Arctic’s climate history and sea-level rise. She is a frequent contributor to media reports including in Science magazine, PBS, NPR and the CBC.

Since 1991, she has participated in nearly a dozen field expeditions to remote regions of Arctic Russia and was co-chief scientist in 2002 of an expedition on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy, taking sediment cores from the Bering and Chukchi Seas. She also works closely with Indigenous communities in the Arctic.

Social Media





Julie Brigham-Grette in the Arctic with UMass flag loading image


Professor Julie Brigham-Grette on how to learn from history Back to the Pliocene with Dr. Julie Brigham Grette Plenary Lecture Julie Brigham Grette


Education (3)

University of Colorado: Ph.D., Geology 1985

University of Colorado: M.Sc., Geology

Albion College: B.A., Geology

Select Media Coverage (7)

2 degrees, 40 feet: Scientists who study Earth’s ice say we could be committed to disastrous sea level rise

NBC News  tv


“We’re displacing millions of people with the decisions being made now,” said Julie Brigham-Grette, a geosciences professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. More than 60 scientists contributed to the report. Many are experts in their specialties, and some have worked on past reports for the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading body on assessing the climate crisis.

view more

Polar researchers strive for progress despite adverse world events

Nature  online


Like many polar researchers, Julie Brigham-Grette is making up for time lost to the pandemic. In February 2020, within weeks of moving to Germany to begin an eight-month Humboldt Research Fellowship, the COVID-19 outbreak sent her back home to the United States. “Scientists like myself had to sever plans so quickly,” says Brigham-Grette, a geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in Massachusetts.

sea level rise

view more

What Earth was like last time CO2 levels were so crazily high

Mashable  online


"We, in 150 years, have completely reversed everything the ‘rock thermostat’ has done in the last 3 million years," explained Julie Brigham-Grette. "The transition from a warm Arctic to a cold one that has ice sheets took a million years. We’re jumping out of that in less than 150 years."


view more

Russia’s war in Ukraine forces Arctic climate projects to pivot

Nature  online


“We’re all kind of on hold,” says Julie Brigham-Grette, a geologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who established Russian collaborations at the end of the cold war. “We don’t know if Russia will become like North Korea, where there’s very little exchange.”

arctic research

view more

‘Never Supposed to Happen’: North and South Poles See Unprecedented Heat

VICE  online


Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette, professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst department of geosciences and past chair of the Polar Research Board of the US National Academy of Sciences attributed the warming to the movement of the jet streams: a meandering air current that flows from west to east across the globe. Climate scientists have long posited that a changing climate is making the jet streams “wavier,” bring cold currents southward and warm currents northward. That’s what happened over the weekend, Brigham-Grette said.

view more

NOVA: Polar Extremes

PBS  tv


Julie Brigham-Grette, featured in the NOVA program “Polar Extremes," how ice cores from a frozen lake in northern Russia show how the climate has changed over time. (Segment begins at 1:04:00)

Juli Brigham-Grette

view more

Vanishing Arctic ice will open the way for more science voyages, analysis suggests

Science Magazine  print


“The overall picture is mixed,” says Julie Brigham-Grette, a geologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. “We’re opening up an entire environment that has otherwise been cut off from human influence.”

ship in arctic

view more

Select Publications (2)

The continued rise in CO2 is unacceptable. This insanity cannot continue


Julie Brigham-Grette and Martin Siegert


Our message — the message of the cryosphere — is that this insanity cannot and must not continue. COP28 and this December must be when we correct course. Some degree of planetary-wide damage from cryosphere loss is already locked in. We must prevent even worse impacts from a collapsing cryosphere for each additional tenth of a degree temperature rise, especially past the “lower” Paris Agreement limit of 1.5°C.

view more

Antarctica is headed for a climate tipping point by 2060, with catastrophic melting if carbon emissions aren’t cut quickly

The Conversation

Julie Brigham-Grette and Andrea Dutton


Julie Brigham-Grette writes: "New research shows it is Antarctica that may force a reckoning between the choices countries make today about greenhouse gas emissions and the future survival of their coastlines and coastal cities, from New York to Shanghai."

view more