Michael J. Prather

picture of Michael J. Prather

UCI Distinguished Professor, Earth System Science
School of Physical Sciences

Ph.D., Yale University, 1976, Astronomy

B.A. (Physics), Merton College (Oxon), 1971

B.S., Yale University, 1969

M.A., Oxford University, 2009

Phone: (949) 824-5838
Fax: (949) 824-3256
Email: mprather@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
3329 Croul Hall
Mail Code: 3100
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Atmospheric Chemistry, Composition, Ozone Depletion, Climate
Academic Distinctions
Director, UCI Environment Institute (2008-2013).
Jefferson Science Fellow, U.S. State Department, 2005/2006, IC Associate, -2016.
Physical Scientist, 1985-1992. NASA, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.
Adjunct Professor, 1986-1992. Applied Physics, Columbia University, New York.
Program Manager, 1988-1992 (Atmospheric Effects of Stratospheric Aircraft, HSRP) & 1986-1990 (Upper Atmosphere Theory). NASA Headquarters (Code SE), D.C.
Fellow of the AGU (1997), Fellow of the AAAS (2004),
Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1999).
NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1992)
UC Irvine Alumni Lauds & Laurels, Faculty Achievement award (2008)
UC Irvine, Commencement Address (Jun 2008, for Physical Sciences & the Arts)
Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award (2015, California Air Resources Board)
Chair, AAAS Atmospheric and Hydrospheric Sciences (W) (2015-2018
World Meteorological Organization, Ozone Assessments: Author, Lead Author, or Coordinating Lead Author, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2014, 2018.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Convening Lead Author (CLA) for 2nd Assessment (1994 & 1995); CLA for Special Report on Aviation (1999); CLA for 3rd Assessment WG I (2001) and Synthesis Report (2001); Lead Author (LA) 4th Assessment (2007); LA 5th Assessment for WG1 (2013) & WG2 (2014); Review Editor for 6th Assessment Report (2022); National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program Experts' Meeting (2005); Scoping meeting for 5th Assessment Report (2009); Scoping meeting for 6th Assessment Report (2017). Expert Meetings on: Geoengineering (2011); Studies of the IPCC Process (2015); Scenarios for Future Assessments (2015); Expert Meeting on Short-Lived Climate Forcers (2018).
Research Abstract
Simulation of the physical, chemical and biological processes that determine atmospheric composition. development of (1) detailed numerical models of photochemistry and atmospheric radiation, and (2) global chemical transport models that describe ozone and other trace gases. Studies include the predicted effects of volcanic sulfate aerosols on stratospheric ozone loss, the role of clouds in scattering sunlight and altering photochemistry, and the non-linearities in chemical systems that lead to sudden changes such as the depletion of ozone caused by CFC increases.

Numerical models of atmospheric chemistry must simulate the transport of trace species by winds, convective mixing, boundary layer exchange with the surface, and exchange between the stratosphere and troposphere. Such models are used to predict future changes in the atmosphere and to analyze global data sets. Observed trace gas distributions are used as measures of the atmospheric circulation or alternatively as indicators of the location and strength of sources. Such a quantitative understanding of these causal relationships is an essential element of assessments of chemical and climatic change, and it is needed to convince governments and the public to make tough environmental choices.
It is hard to keep publications up to date here, please see google scholar for Michael Prather:

Nicewonger, M.R., M. Aydin, M.J. Prather, E.S. Saltzman, (2018) Large changes in biomass burning over the last millennium inferred from paleoatmospheric ethane in polar ice cores, PNAS, # 2018-07172RR, in press. PNAS, Latest: 1-6, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1807172115.
Understanding trends in stratospheric NOy and NO2. C. A. McLinden, S. C. Olsen, M. J. Prather, and J. B. Liley.
J. Geophys. Res., 106, 27787-27793, 2001.
Indirect long-term global cooling from NOx emissions. O. Wild, M.J. Prather, and H. Akimoto. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 1719-1722, 2001.
Prather, M., R. Derwent, D. Ehhalt, P. Fraser, E Sanhueza, X. Zhou, Chapter 2: Other tracer gases and atmospheric chemistry, in Climate Change 1994, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, J.T. Houghton et al., eds., Cambridge U. Press, pp. 73-126, 1995.
Excitation of the primary tropospheric chemical mode in a global three-dimensional model. O. Wild and M.J. Prather.
J. Geophys. Res., 105, 24647-24660, 2000.
Fast-J: Accurate simulation of in- and below-cloud photolysis in Tropospheric Chemical Models. O. Wild, X. Zhu, and M.J. Prather. J. Atmos. Chem., 37, 245-282, 2000.
Lifetimes of Atmospheric Species: Integrating Environmental Impacts,
Michael J. Prather, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(22), 2063, doi:10.1029/2002GL016299, 2002
Fresh air in the 21st Century?,
Prather, Michael, Michael Gauss, Terje Berntsen, Ivar Isaksen, Jostein Sundet, Isabelle Bey, Guy Brasseur, Frank Dentener, Richard Derwent, David Stevenson, Lee Grenfell, Didier Hauglustaine, Larry Horowitz, Daniel Jacob, Loretta Mickley, Mark Lawrence, Rolf von Kuhlmann, Jean-Francois Muller, Giovanni Pitari, Helen Rogers, Matthew Johnson, Michiel van Weele and Oliver Wild, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(2),1100, doi:10.1029/2002GL016285, 2003.
CTM Ozone Simulations for Spring 2001 over the Western Pacific: Comparisons with TRACE-P lidar, ozonesondes and TOMS columns,
Wild, O., J.K. Sundet, M.J. Prather, I.S.A. Isaksen, H. Akimoto, E.V. Browell, and S.J. Oltmans, J. Geophys. Res., 108(D21), 8826, doi:10.1029/2002JD003283, 2003.
An environmental experiment with H2? (Perspective)
Prather, M. J., Science, 302(5645): 581-582, 24 Oct 2003.
CO2 source inversions using satellite observations of the upper troposphere.
Bernard C. Pak, and Michael J. Prather. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 4571-4574, 2001.
The stratospheric N2O-NOy system: Testing uncertainities in a 3-D framework. Seth C. Olsen, Chris A. McLinden, and Michael J. Prather. J. Geophys. Res., 106, 28771-28784, 2001.
Professional Society
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