Stephen Schneider

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Stephen H. Schneider (February 11, 1945 – July 19, 2010) was Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University, a Co-Director at the Center for Environment Science and Policy of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Senior Fellow in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Schneider served as a consultant to Federal Agencies and White House staff in the Nixon, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

His research included modeling of the atmosphere, climate change, and "the relationship of biological systems to global climate change." Schneider was the founder and editor of the journal Climatic Change and authored or co-authored over 450 scientific papers and other publications. He was a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group II IPCC TAR and was engaged as a co-anchor of the Key Vulnerabilities Cross-Cutting Theme for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) at the time of his death. During the 1980s, Schneider emerged as a leading public advocate of sharp reductions of greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.


Early work

Schneider grew up in Long Island, New York. He studied engineering at Columbia University, receiving his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1966. In 1971, he earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and plasma physics.[1] Schneider studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. After briefly warning that the earth could be facing an ice age, he turned his attention to the threat he perceived as coming from warming.[2]

In 1971, Schneider was second author on a Science paper with S. I. Rasool titled "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate" (Science 173, 138–141). This paper used a 1-d radiative transfer model to examine the competing effects of cooling from aerosols and warming from CO2. The paper concluded:

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