Department of Geography
Robert C. Brown Hall (RCB 6238)
Simon Fraser University, Department of Geography, August 2010 – Present
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Victoria, BC,
July 2009 – Present
Environment Canada, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Victoria, BC, November 2008 – July 2010
Postdoctoral Research Associate,
University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Victoria, BC
Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany (2005)
Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany (2004)
Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany (1998)
My research focuses on the effects of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols on climate on centennial to millennial timescales. The goal is to better understand the response of the climate system to forcing and the interactions between the different climate system components (the atmosphere, ocean, land surface, biosphere and cryosphere) in order to improve predictions for the future. To achieve this objective, I use climate models of different complexity, from simple conceptual models to complex Earth System models.
Current research in my group is centered around the following themes:
- Long-term climate changes in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission scenarios
- Reversibility of anthropogenic climate change
- Feedbacks between climate change and the carbon cycle
- Emission pathways avoiding “dangerous” climate change
- Tipping points in the climate system
Graduate student opportunities
The Climate Research Lab at SFU is currently seeking Masters and Doctoral students interested in pursuing research on past and future climate change using Earth System models.
Click here for info on potential research projects and application procedure.
Publications in refereed journals
Eby, M., A.J. Weaver, K. Alexander, K. Zickfeld, A, Abe-Ouchi et al., 2012, Historical and idealized climate model experiments: An EMIC intercomparison, Climate of the Past, Submitted.
Zickfeld, K., M. Eby, K. Alexander, A.J. Weaver, E. Crespin et al., 2012, Long-term climate change commitment and reversibility: An EMIC intercomparison, Journal of Climate, Submitted.
Weaver, A.J., Jan Sedlácek, M. Eby, K. Alexander, E. Crespin, T. Fichefet, G. Philippon-Berthier, F. Joos, M. Kawamiya, K. Matsumoto, M. Steinacher, K. Tachiiri, K. Tokos, M. Yoshimori, K. Zickfeld, 2012, Stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation: A Model Intercomparison, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L20709, doi:10.1029/2012GL053763.
Kvale, K.F., K. Zickfeld, T. Bruckner, K.J. Meissner, K. Tanaka, and A.J. Weaver, 2012, Carbon dioxide emissions pathways avoiding dangerous ocean impacts, Weather, Climate and Society, 4, 212-292, doi: 10.1175/WCAS-D-11-00030.1.
Zickfeld, K., V.K Arora, and N.P. Gillett, 2012, Is the climate response to carbon emissions path dependent? Geophysical Research Letters. 39, L05703, doi:10.1029/2011GL050205.
Matthews, H.D., and K. Zickfeld, 2012, Climate response to zeroed emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, Nature Climate Change 2, 338-341.
Zickfeld, K., M. Eby, H.D. Matthews, A. Schmittner, and A.J. Weaver, 2011, Nonlinearity of carbon cycle feedbacks, Journal of Climate 24(6): 4254-4274.
Gillett, N.P., V. Arora, K. Zickfeld, S. Marshall, and B. Merryfield, 2011, Ongoing climate change following a complete cessation of carbon dioxide emissions, Nature Geoscience, 4:83–87.
Zickfeld, K., M.G. Morgan, D.J. Frame, and D.W. Keith, 2010, Expert judgments about transient climate response to alternative future trajectories of radiative forcing, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 107 (28): 12451-12456.
Kuhlbrodt, T., S. Rahmstorf, K. Zickfeld, F. Vikebø, S. Sundby, M. Hofmann, P.M. Link, A. Bondeau, W. Cramer, and C. Jaeger, 2009, An Integrated Assessment of Changes in the Thermohaline Circulation, Climatic Change, 96, 489-537
Zickfeld, K., M. Eby, H.D. Matthews, and A.J. Weaver, 2009, Setting cumulative emissions targets to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 106(38): 16129-16134.
Eby, M., K. Zickfeld, A. Montenegro, D. Archer, K.J. Meissner, and A.J. Weaver, 2009, Lifetime of anthropogenic climate change: Millennial life-times of potential CO2 and temperature perturbations, Journal of Climate, 22: 2501-2511.
Matthews, H.D., N. Gillett, P. A. Stott, and K. Zickfeld, 2009, The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions, Nature, 459: 829-833.
Bruckner, T., and K. Zickfeld, 2009, Low risk emissions corridors for safeguarding the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 14, 61-83.
Zickfeld, K., and T. Bruckner, 2008, Reducing the risk of Atlantic thermohaline circulation collapse: sensitivity analysis of emissions corridors. Climatic Change, 91, 291-315.
Zickfeld, K., M. Eby, and A.J. Weaver, 2008, Carbon-cycle feedbacks of changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation under future atmospheric CO2, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB3024.
Zickfeld, K., J.C. Fyfe, M. Eby, and A.J. Weaver, 2008, Comment on “Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO2 sink due to recent climate change”. Science, 319, 570b.
Knopf, B., K. Zickfeld, M. Flechsig, and V. Petoukhov, 2008, Sensitivity of the Indian monsoon to human activities. Advances of Atmospheric Sciences, 25(6), 932-945.
Weaver, A.J., K. Zickfeld, A. Montenegro, and M. Eby, 2007, Long term climate implications of 2050 emission reduction targets. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L19703.
Zickfeld, K., O.A. Saenko, M. Eby, J.C. Fyfe, and A.J. Weaver, 2007, Response of the global carbon cycle to human-induced changes in Southern Hemisphere winds. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L12712.
Fyfe, J.C., O.A. Saenko, K. Zickfeld, M. Eby, and A.J. Weaver, 2007, The role of poleward intensifying winds on Southern Ocean warming. Journal of Climate, 20: 5391-5400.
Zickfeld, K., A. Levermann, M.G. Morgan, T. Kuhlbrodt, S. Rahmstorf, and D.W. Keith, 2007, Expert judgments on the response of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation to climate change. Climatic Change, 82(3-4): 235-265.
Knopf, B., M. Flechsig, and K. Zickfeld, 2006, Multi parameter uncertainty analysis of a bifurcation point. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 13: 531-540.
Kropp, J.P., A. Block, F. Reusswig, K Zickfeld, and H.-J. Schellnhuber, 2006, Semiquantitative Assessment of Regional Climate Vulnerability: The North Rhine - Westphalia Study. Climatic Change, 76(3-4): 265-290.
Zickfeld, K., B. Knopf, V. Petoukhov, and H.-J. Schellnhuber, 2005, Is the Indian summer monsoon stable against global change?, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L15707.
Rahmstorf, S., and K. Zickfeld, 2005, Thermohaline circulation changes: a question of risk assessment, Climatic Change, 68 (1-2): 241-247.
Zickfeld, K., T. Slawig and S. Rahmstorf, 2004, A low-order model for the response of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation to climate change, Ocean Dynamics, 54(1): 8-26.
Slawig, T., and K. Zickfeld, 2004, Parameter optimization using algorithmic differentiation in a reduced-form model of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications, 5(3): 501-518.
Zickfeld, K., and T. Bruckner, 2003, Reducing the risk of abrupt climate change: emissions corridors preserving the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, Integrated Assessment, 4(2): 106-115.
Zickfeld, K., M.E. Garcia, and K.H. Bennemann, 1999, Theoretical study of the laser-induced femtosecond dynamics of small Sin clusters, Phys. Rev. B, 59(20): 13422-13430.
Kropp, J., K. Zickfeld, and K. Eisenack, 2002, Assessment and management of critical events: The breakdown of marine fisheries and the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation. In: A. Bunde, J. Kropp, H.J. Schellnhuber (Eds.), The science of disaster: climate disruptions, heart attacks, and market crashes, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, 193-216.
Contributing author to Smith, J.B., H.-J. Schellnhuber, M.Q. Mirza, S. Fankhauser, R. Leemans, L. Erda, L. Ogallo, B. Pittock, R. Richels, C. Rosenzweig, U. Safriel, R.S.J. Tol, J. Weyant, G. Yohe, 2001, Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons for Concern: A Synthesis, in: J.J. McCarthy, O.F. Canziani, N.A. Leary, D.J. Dokken, K.S. White (Eds.): Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 913-967.
Articles in conference proceedings
Bruckner, T., and K. Zickfeld, 2008, Inverse integrated assessment of climate change: the guardrail approach, International conference on policy modelling, July 2-4 2008, Berlin, Germany.
Bruckner, T., and K. Zickfeld, 2004, Low risk emissions corridors for safeguarding the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, Expert Workshop on “Greenhouse gas emissions and abrupt climate change: positive options and robust policy”, October 30 – October 1, 2004, Paris, France.
Zickfeld, K., and T. Bruckner, 2002, Emissions corridors preserving the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation, In: A. E. Rizzoli, A.J. Jakeman (Eds.), Integrated assessment and decision support - Proceedings of the 1st biennial meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, 24-27 June 2002, Lugano, Switzerland, 145-150.
GEOG 214 Weather and Climate
This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles and processes governing the Earth’s weather and climate. Topics include radiation, energy balance, greenhouse effect, clouds, precipitation, atmospheric circulation, mid-latitudes cyclones, thunderstorms, tornadoes, climate change, air pollution and ozone hole.
GEOG 314 The Climate System
This course examines the climate system and its components – the atmosphere, ocean and land surface. Emphasis will be placed on the physical and biogeochemical interactions between these components. Topics to be covered include: atmospheric processes relevant to climate, role of the ocean and land surface in climate, carbon cycle, climate feedbacks, history and evolution of Earth’s climate, global warming, climate models.
GEOG 414 Advanced Climatology (Climate Change)
This course provides an overview of the climate change/global warming issue, with focus on the scientific foundations but also consideration of its societal implications. Topics to be discussed include observations of climate changes, attribution of climate changes to natural and/or anthropogenic causes, climate models, sources of greenhouse gas emissions, 21st century projections of future climate changes at regional and global scales, long-term climate changes, biophysical and socio-economic impacts, vulnerability, adaptation to climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, geoengineering, climate stabilization, international climate policy.