John Walsh

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John Walsh

Chief scientist

University affiliation

  • International Arctic Research Center
  • Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy
  • Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks (Fairbanks)

Contact information

Media contact

Heather McFarland

Areas of expertise

  • Atmospheric and space science
  • Earth science
  • Fisheries and ocean science

Research interests/biography

John Walsh is an expert in Arctic climate, weather, climate change adaptation and sea ice. He specializes in climate modeling, addressing regional vulnerabilities, downscaling models and more. His research has long focused on Arctic sea ice, and he worked to establish the Historical Sea Ice Atlas, a long-term database of sea ice levels back to the 1850s. Walsh was the winner of the 2022 Mohn Prize for his outstanding research in the Arctic. In addition to extensive scientific publications, Walsh regularly serves as an author or editor of official climate reports such as the: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA, 2005); the Polar Regions chapter of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4, 2007); the Arctic climate and modeling chapters of the Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic report (SWIPA, 2011) of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) of the Arctic Council; the chapter "Our Changing Climate" and key appendices in the 3rd US National Climate Assessment report (2014); the Arctic Extreme Events chapter of AMAP's Climate Update report (2021); and a new Report Card section on Arctic Precipitation in the BAMS State of the Climate (2022). The official assessment efforts to which he contributes serve to evaluate, integrate, and communicate recent science research, primarily for public leaders and decision makers. He aims to provide a balanced perspective on Alaska’s recent changes in the face of both growing interest and comparatively sparse data resources in the region.