James Wang

Dr. James Wang

Senior Fellow

A climate scientist by training, Dr James S. Wang has worked in scientific research and environmental advocacy settings. He is currently investigating the use of narratives to motivate societal sustainability transformations, as a Senior Fellow at the IASS. Previously, he worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, conducting research on the global carbon cycle and its interactions with climate using atmospheric models and satellite observations of CO2 and methane. He has also held a National Research Council Senior Research Associateship, which allowed him to analyze trends in climate data at NOAA. Prior to that, he was a scientist at the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund in New York, where he was involved in communication of scientific information to local, national, and international policymakers and the public, climate and air quality policy development, and integrated assessment modeling. James has served as a reviewer for the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and on NASA proposal review panels. He received his PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 2003 and Bachelor's in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1995.

  • 2019-present Senior Fellow, IASS
  • 2012-2019 Scientist, GESTAR/USRA, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • 2010-2011 NRC Senior Research Associate, NOAA Air Resources Laboratory, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • 2003-2010 Scientist, Climate and Air Program, Environmental Defense Fund, New York, New York
  • 2003 PhD, Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 1998-2002 Teaching Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 1995-1997 Technician, Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, Missoula, Montana
  • 1995 BS with Honors and with Distinction, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • Narratives and societal change
  • International climate and clean air policy
  • Climate science
  • Global cycles of carbon (CO2, methane) and nitrogen
  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Satellite remote sensing
  • Science communication

Publications prior to joining the IASS

  • Wang, J. S., Kawa, S. R., Collatz, G. J., Sasakawa, M., Gatti, L. V., Machida, T., Liu, Y., and Manyin, M. E.: A global synthesis inversion analysis of recent variability in CO2 fluxes using GOSAT and in situ observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 11097-11124, doi:10.5194/acp-18-11097-2018, 2018.
  • Wang, J. S., Kawa, S. R., Eluszkiewicz, J., Baker, D. F., Mountain, M., Henderson, J., Nehrkorn, T., and Zaccheo, T. S.: A regional CO2 observing system simulation experiment for the ASCENDS satellite mission, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 12897-12914, doi:10.5194/acp-14-12897-2014, 2014.
  • Seidel, D.J., M. Free, and J.S. Wang, Reexamining the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus radiosonde observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L22701, doi:10.1029/2012GL053850, 2012.
  • Wang, J.S., D.J. Seidel and M. Free, How Well Do We Know Recent Climate Trends at the Tropical Tropopause?, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D09118, doi:10.1029/2012JD017444, 2012.
  • Wang, J.S., S. Hamburg, D. Pryor, K. Chandran and G. Daigger, Emissions credits: Opportunity to promote integrated nitrogen management in the wastewater sector, Environmental Science & Technology, 45, 6239-6246, doi:10.1021/es200419h, 2011.
  • Ortiz, R. A., A. Golub, O. Lugovoy, A. Markandya and J. Wang, DICER: a Tool for Analyzing Climate Policies, Energy Economics, doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2011.07.025, 2011.
  • Unger, N., T.C. Bond, J.S. Wang, D.M. Koch, S. Menon, D.T. Shindell, and S. Bauer, Attribution of climate forcing to economic sectors, Proc. National Academy of Sciences, 107, 3382-3387, 2010.
  • Wagner, G., N. Keohane, A. Petsonk, and J. Wang, Docking into a Global Carbon Market: Clean Investment Budgets to Finance Low-Carbon Economic Development, In: The Economics and Politics of Climate Change, eds. D. Helm and C. Hepburn, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Golub, A., E. Strukova, and J. Wang, Cost and benefits of climate policy under uncertainty, In: Modeling Environment-Improving Technological Innovations Under Uncertainty, eds. A.A. Golub and A. Markandya, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 9-32, 2009.
  • Wang, J. S., M. B. McElroy, J. A. Logan, P. I. Palmer, W. L. Chameides, Y. Wang, and I. A. Megretskaia, A quantitative assessment of uncertainties affecting estimates of global mean OH derived from methyl chloroform observations, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D12302, doi:10.1029/2007JD008496, 2008.
  • Wang, J. S., J. A. Logan, M. B. McElroy, B. N. Duncan, I. A. Megretskaia, and R. M. Yantosca, A 3-D model analysis of the slowdown and interannual variability in the methane growth rate from 1988 to 1997, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 18, GB3011, doi:10.1029/2003GB002180, 2004.
  • Wang, J. S., M. B. McElroy, C. M. Spivakovsky, and D. B. A. Jones, On the contribution of anthropogenic Cl to the increase in delta-13C of atmospheric methane, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(3), doi: 10.1029/2001GB001572, 2002.
  • Wang, J.S., Oda, T., Kawa, S.R., Strode, S.A., Ott, L., and Pawson, S., The Impacts of Fossil Fuel Emission Uncertainties and Accounting for 3-D CO2 Chemical Production on Inversion for Natural Fluxes Using Satellite and In Situ Observations, European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, April 2019.
  • Wang, J.S., Duncan, B.N., Elshorbany, Y., and Strode, S.A., Evaluation of a Computationally-Efficient CH4-CO-OH (ECCOH) Module with Climate-Sensitive Wetland CH4 Emissions Within the GEOS-5 Climate Model, American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 2016.
  • Wang, J.S., How Well Do We Know Recent Climate Trends at the Tropical Tropopause? Seminar, University of Maryland, Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, College Park, MD, November 2011.
  • Wang, J.S., Managing Climate Change: Understanding the Physics, Biogeochemistry and Policy. Invited seminar, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY, September, 2010.
  • Wang, J.S., S.P. Hamburg, and D. Pryor, Nitrous oxide abatement potential from the wastewater sector and the monetary value of the emissions credits, Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December 2009.
  • Seminar, "Climate Change 101," for several dozen employees of Silicon Valley-based company, Cisco, April 2009.
  • Guest Lecturer, City College of New York, New York City, NY. Gave presentation on dangerous impacts of climate change and options for avoiding them, to third and fourth year undergraduate Biology majors taking the course "Survey of Ecology and Evolution," May 2007.
  • Speaker at Sea of People rally on global warming, to audience of over 1000, as part of national Step It Up 2007 campaign, New York, NY, April 2007. Also spoke at second rally in November.
  • Panelist, session on "Climate Change and Sustainability: Taking Up the Challenge," at convention of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), New York, NY, March 2007.
  • Wang, J.S., B.C. O'Neill, and W.L. Chameides, Linking mid-century targets to long-term climate change outcomes, Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December 2006.
  • Wang, J. S., M. B. McElroy, and J. A. Logan, An Upward Revision of Current Estimates for the Atmospheric Lifetimes of Methane and Other Pollutants Removed by OH, 8th International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, September 2004.
  • Spring and Fall 1999, Fall 2002 Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University
  • 1997-2001 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 1995 Phi Beta Kappa
  • 2000: University Committee on the Environment (UCE) Working Group on Colloquia, Harvard University