Featured Scientist-Benjamin Kirtman, PhD

Benjamin Kirtman

Featured Scientist-Benjamin Kirtman, PhD

Dr. Benjamin Kirtman is the program director for the physical science and engineering at the Center for computational science.  He is also a Professor in the Division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), where he also serves as the Associate Dean for Research. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Dr. Kirtman was a Professor at George Mason University.

Dr. Kirtman received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at San Diego in Applied Mathematics. He holds Masters and PhD degrees in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the University of Maryland–College Park. Dr. Kirtman is very active in scientific leadership both internationally and nationally. Currently, Dr. Kirtman is a Coordinating Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report (AR) Five that is due to be released in September 2014. Professor Kirtman is also an Executive Editor of Climate Dynamics one the most prestigious peer reviewed journals in the field, and is an Associate Editor of the American Geophysical Union Journal for Geophysical Research –Atmospheres. Professor Kirtman is the author and/or co-author of over 100 peer reviewed papers focused on understanding and predicting climate variability on time scales from intra-seasonal to decadal. Recently, Dr. has also published on understanding how climate variability might change in a warmer climate.  Dr. Kirtman has advised and continues to work with several Ph. D. students.

Dr. Kirtman’s research is wide-ranging program to understand and quantify the limits of climate predictability from days to decades. The research also involves understanding how the climate will change in response to changes in anthropogenic (e.g., greenhouse gases) and natural (e.g., volcanoes) forcing. This research involves hypothesis testing numerical experiments using sophisticated very high resolution state-of-the-art climate models and experimental real-time prediction. Dr. Kirtman is also currently the lead principle investigator the multi-agency (NOAA, NSF, NASA, DOE) North American Multi-Model Ensemble Sub-Seasonal to Intera-Annual Prediction Project.


  1. Munoz, E., B. Kirtman, and W. Weijer, 2011: Varied representation of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning across multidecadal ocean reanalyses. Deep Sea Research Part II, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.10.064.
  2. Paolino, D. A., J. L. Kinter III, B. P. Kirtman, D. Min, D. M. Straus, 2011: The impact of land surface initialization on seasonal forecasts with CCSM. Mon. Wea. Rev., (in press).
  3. Yeh, S.-W., B. P. Kirtman, J.-S. Kug, W. Park, and M. Latif (2011), Natural variability of the central Pacific El Niño event on multi-centennial timescales, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L02704, doi:10.1029/2010GL045886.
  4. Solomon, Amy, and Coauthors (… B. P. Kirtman …), 2011: Distinguishing the Roles of Natural and Anthropogenically Forced Decadal Climate Variability. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 92, 141–156. doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS2962.1 Goddard, L., J. W. Hurrell, B. P. Kirtman, J. Murphy, T. Stockdale and C. Vera, 2011: Two timescales for the price of one (almost). Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., (submitted).
  5. Kirtman, B. P., E. K. Schneider, D. M. Straus, D. Min, R. Burgman, 2011: How weather impacts the forced climate response. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-011-1084-3.
  6. Kirtman, B. P., and co-authors, 2011: Impact of ocean model resolution on CCSM climate simulations. Climate Dynamics, (submitted).
  7. Achuthavarier, D., V. Krishnamurthy, B. P. Kirtman and B. Huang, 2011: Role of Indian Ocean in the ENSO-Indian summer monsoon teleconnection in the NCEP climate forecast system. J. Climate, (submitted).
  8. DiNezio, P. N., B. P. Kirtman, A. C. Clement, S.-K. Lee, G. A. Vecchi, A. Wittenberg, 2011: Diverging ENSO projection in response to global warming: The role of the background ocean changes. J. Climate (submitted).
  9. Siqueira, L. S. P., and B. P. Kirtman, 2011: Predictability and uncertainty in a low order coupled model. J. Atmos. Sci., (submitted).
  10. Brunet, G., M. Shapiro, B. Hoskins, M. Moncrieff, R. Dole, G. N. Kiladis, B. Kirtman, A. Lorenc, B. Mills, R. Morss, S. Polavarapu and D. Rogers, 2010: Toward a seamless process for the prediction of weather and climate: the advancement of subseasonal to seasonal prediction. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., DOI:10.1175/2010BAMS3013.1.
  11. Hurrell, James W., Gerald A. Meehl, Dave Bader, Thomas L. Delworth, Ben Kirtman, Bruce Wielick, 2010: Reply. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 1702–1703. doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS3118.1
  12. Jin, D., and B. P. Kirtman (2010), How the annual cycle affects the extratropical response to ENSO, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D06102, doi:10.1029/2009JD012660.
  13. Wu, R., and B. P. Kirtman, 2010: Caribbean Sea rainfall variability during the rainy season and relationship to the equatorial Pacific and tropical
    Atlantic SST.
    Climate Dynamics. DOI:10.1007/s00382-010-0927-7.
  14. Yeh, S. W., S. K. Kang, B. P. Kirtman, J. H. Kim, M. H. Kwon, C. H. Kim, 2010: Decadal change in the relationship between western North Pacific
    tropical cyclone frequency and the tropical Pacific SST.
    Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 106, 179-189.
  15. Kirtman, B.P., and G. Vecchi, 2010: Why Climate Modelers Should Worry About the Weather. WMO Monograph: The Global Monsoon System: Research and
    Forecast, 2nd Ed.
  16. Yeh, S.-W., J.-S. Kug, B. Dewitte, M. H. Kwon, B. P. Kirtman, F.-F. Jin, 2009: The flavor of El Nino in a changing climate. Nature, 461, 511-514.
  17. Wu, R., and B. P. Kirtman, 2009: Variability of ENSO-related noise in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. 114, D23106, doi:10.1029/2009JD012456..
  18. DiNezio PN, Clement AC, Vecchi GA, Soden BJ, Kirtman BP, et al. (2009) Climate Response of the Equatorial Pacific to Global Warming. J. Climate, 22, 4873-4892.
  19. Schubert, S., D. Gutzler, H. Wang, A. Dai, T. Delworth, C. Deser, K. Findell, R. Fu, W. Higgins, M. Hoerling, B. Kirtman, R. Koster, A. Kumar, D. Legler, D. Lettenmaier, B. Lyon, V. Magana, K. Mo, S. Nigam, P. Pegion, A. Phillips, R. Pulwarty, D. Rind, A. Ruiz-Barradas, J. Schemm, R. Seager, R. Stewart, M. Suarez, J. Syktus, M. Ting, C. Wang, S. Weaver, N. Zeng,
    2009: A USCLIVAR Project to Assess and Compare the Responses of Global Climate Models to Drought-Related SST Forcing Patterns: Overview and Results. Bull. Amer. Met Soc., DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI3060.1.
  20. Hurrell, J, G. A. Meehl, D. Bader, T. Delworth, B. Kirtman, and B. Wielicki, 2009: Climate system prediction. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2752.1.
  21. Goddard, L., W. Baethgen, B. Kirtman, and G. Meehl (2009), The Urgent Need for Improved Climate Models and Predictions, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(39), doi:10.1029/2009EO390004.
  22. Meehl, G. A., L. Goddard, J. Murphy, R. J. Stouffer, G. Boer, G. Danabasoglu, K. Dixon, M. A. Giorgetta, A. Greene, E. Hawkins, G. Hegerl, D. Karoly, N. Keenlyside, M. Kimoto, B. Kirtman, A. Navarra, R. Pulwarty, D. Smith, D. Stammer and T. Stockdale, 2009: Decadal prediction: Can it be skillful?. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2778.1.
  23. Kishnamurthy, V., and B. P. Kirtman, 2009: Relation between Indian Monsoon variability and SST. J. Climate, DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI2520.1.
  24. Jin, D., and B. Kirtman, 2009: The extratropical sensitivity to the meridional extent of tropical ENSO forcing. Climate Dyn. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-009-0600-1.
  25. Jin, D., and B. Kirtman, 2009: Impact of ENSO periodicity on North Pacific SST variability. Climate Dyn., DOI 10.1007/s00382-009-0619-3
  26. Jin, D., and B. Kirtman, 2009: Why the Southern Hemisphere ENSO responses precedes ENSO. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D23101, doi:10.1029/2009JD012657.
  27. Kirtman, B. P., D. M. Straus, D. Min, E. K. Schneider and L. Siqueira, 2009: Understanding the link between weather and climate in CCSM3.0. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2009GL038389.
  28. Kirtman, B. P., and D. Min, 2009: Multi-model ensemble ENSO prediction with CCSM and CFS. Mon. Wea. Rev., DOI: 10.1175/2009MWR2672.1.
  29. Yeh, S.-W., and B. P. Kirtman, 2009: Interannual atmospheric variability and interannual-to-decadal ENSO variability in a CGCM. J. Climate, 22, 2335-2355.
  30. Wu, R., B. P. Kirtman, H. van den Dool, 2009: An analysis of ENSO prediction skill in the CFS retrospective forecasts. J. Climate, 22, 1801-1818.
  31. Kirtman, B. P., and A. Pirani, 2009: The state of the art of seasonal prediction: Outcomes and recommendations from the first World Climate Research Program (WCRP) workshop on seasonal prediction. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 90, 455-458.
  32. Wang, B., June-Yi Lee, In-Sik Kang, J. Shukla, C.-K. Park, A. Kumar, J. Schemm, S. Cocke, J.-S. Kug, J.-J. Luo, T. Zhou, B. Wang, X. Fu, W.-T. Yun, O. Alves, E. K. Jin, J. Kinter, B. Kirtman, T. Krishnamurti, N. C. Lau, W. Lau, P. Liu, P. Pegion, T. Rosati, S. Schubert, W. Stern, M. Suarez and T. Yamagata, 2009: Advance and prospectus of seasonal prediction: assessment of the APCC/CliPAS 14-model ensemble retrospective seasonal prediction (1980–2004). Climate Dynamics, 10.1007/s00382-008-0460-0.